Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock’s week just got a little worse after one of his staffers was forced to resign for a series of posts over several years on his Facebook account comparing African-Americans to “zoo animals” engaged in a “mating ritual” and attacking them as “hood rats.”
The website BuzzFeed publicized the postings by Benjamin Cole who has been the Congressman’s senior adviser for policy and communications for the past 11 months.
On his personal Facebook page, Cole posted a series of complaints as far back as October of 2013 about “Black criminals who live and loiter on my street” whom he hoped would end up “behind bars.” He also claimed that these “black miscreants” had “routinely” harassed people who live in his building.
In another post, Cole wrote, “So apparently the closing on the National Zoo has forced the animals to conduct their mating rituals on my street.”
Cole also claimed to have witnessed a crime, posting in 2013, “one of the hood rats on my street just got shot by another hood rat. I was there when the gun was fired.”
In a statement released on Thursday, Congressman Schock said that he is “extremely disappointed by the inexcusable and offensive online comments made by a member of my staff.”
This is just one more incident in a week strewn with troubles for the Illinois Republican.
Earlier in the week, Schock came under fire for remodeling his office in a garish Downton Abbey-styled decor. But he was also criticized for reportedly accepting free decorating services which, if true, would be a violation of House ethics rules.
Schock eventually told reporters that he was waiting for an invoice for the work and would pay for the services later.
The original story about the decor, though, also involved the now-resigned aide.
In the original Washington Post story about Schock’s remodeled office, it was noted that Mr. Cole attempted to intimidate the reporter into deleting his photos of the remodeled office.
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