Illinois GOP Representative Aaron Schock’s spokesman, Benjamin Cole, didn’t limit his offensive Facebook posts to racist rants against black people having the gall to set foot in his neighborhood. According to Talking Points Memo, in a Facebook post from 2010, he also said that we “should build a mosque on White House grounds” for our clearly Muslim president, Barack Hussein Obama.
Let us forget for a moment the fact that President Obama is a practicing Christian (who is also an American). At the time of Cole’s post, 18 percent of Americans believed that Obama was a practicing Muslim. This was during the height of the birther hoopla that claimed he was a Muslim who was actually born in Kenya, and therefore, ineligible to serve as president. Apparently, Cole decided to jump on the birther bandwagon at some point, and crack wise about it on Facebook.
One confused reader said that he didn’t understand all the outrage surrounding the proposed Ground Zero mosque, in reply to Cole’s post. TPM reports that Cole answered:
I wasn’t talking about the Ground Zero mosque, I just think it would be nice for the President to have his own house of worship, since he’s not been able to find one suitable in DC since 2004 when he moved here.
Buzzfeed, along with Think Progress, focused on the racism in Cole’s posts in their stories. The truth is that the disrespect shown to Obama, by the birthers, by the Tea Party, and by the right in general, is both astounding and dismaying. In many ways, that disrespect is racist, too. Obama doesn’t know his place, so the white-and-always-right Right is going to put him there. However, someone as prominent as Benjamin Cole should hold himself to a higher standard. Cole, sadly, showed that he’s a bottom-feeder instead.
The Journal-Star says that Cole has resigned from Rep. Schock’s team in the wake of this scandal. The statement that Schock sent to the Journal-Star says:
I am extremely disappointed by the inexcusable and offensive online comments made by a member of my staff. I would expect better from any member of my team. Upon learning about them I met with Mr. Cole and he offered his resignation which I have accepted.
It’s especially telling that these posts stretch back years, and we’re not talking about one or two isolated posts occurring over the last four hears. Cole’s history shows that he is racist and hateful all the way through. At least Rep. Schock recognized that, and decided that he didn’t want someone like that on his team.