Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn claims he and his campaign did not “thoroughly read” a Chicago Sun Times article that he retweeted and ultimately deleted.
The article, written by Neil Steinberg, compared black Republicans to Jewish supporters of the Nazis. The article was written to criticize Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner and his supporters.
“As a general rule, individuals will sell out the interests of their groups in return for personal benefit. It isn’t just a black thing. Jews collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, helping them to round up their own people in the hopes they’d be the last to go,” the article reads.
The context of the article is that Steinberg is criticizing Hermene Hartman, the publisher of a Chicago African-American periodical called N’DIGO, who took $51,000 from Rauner’s campaign before writing her support for the candidate.
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The article also criticizes Quinn for being “sleepy and shambolic, buffeted trying to keep the state together,” but praises him for not buying supporters like Rauner.
Quinn’s campaign responded to the incident with the following statement: “We retweeted a local publication’s news story on Twitter last week before thoroughly reading it and didn’t realize there was an inaccurate and offensive sentence in the story. When it was brought to our attention, we immediately deleted the tweet.”
Jewish leaders were outraged by the article itself as well as the governor’s retweet, but Steinberg, the author, explained what he meant by his words.
“I said that there are always individuals willing to sell out their own people for personal benefit,” Steinberg told the Free Beacon, “I wasn’t speaking of black Republicans, such as there might be, but black Chicago leaders who endorse Rauner. I mentioned Jews in World War II who collaborated with the Nazis, not to equate the two, but because I’m Jewish, and I didn’t want African American readers to think I was criticizing them without also being willing to point out something unsavory about my own people. The fact that a few of the lesser rings of the right wing echo chamber hell chose to vibrate about this at the moment is of no concern to me. They’ll find something else to distort by lunch. Thanks for asking.”