Report: Ill. Congressman’s Press Secretary Compared Black People to Zoo Animals

Benjamin Cole 

ThinkProgress has uncovered a series of Facebook posts allegedly made by an Illinois Republican’s senior adviser for policy and communications, in which he made controversial, racially charged comments and endorsed gentrification.

Rep. Aaron Schock’s press secretary, Benjamin Cole, who is also a former Baptist pastor, the site notes, apparently made several posts on Oct. 13, 2013, in which he mocked two black pedestrians outside his apartment in Washington, D.C.


One of the messages, accompanying a posted video, compared the two to animals that escaped the National Zoo: “So apparently the closing of the National Zoo has forced the animals to conduct their mating rituals on my street. #gentrifytoday Pt1.”

The National Zoo was closed that week because of the government shutdown, ThinkProgress notes.

In December 2013, Cole continued his posting, this time talking about “one of the hood rats” on his street being shot by “another hood rat.”


At the beginning of this year, Cole also detailed an exchange he had with a black police officer after allegedly being assaulted by a black woman.

The posts have reportedly since been deleted, but not before screenshots were taken. 


Read more at ThinkProgress.

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