Rep. Aaron Schock's Spokesman Benjamin Cole Resigns Over Racially Charged Facebook Posts

| by Kathryn Schroeder

Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Illinois) has accepted the resignation of spokesman Benjamin Cole, his senior advisor for policy and communications, after racially charged Facebook posts made by Cole were discovered.

Schock’s office announced Cole’s resignation to the Journal Star Thursday.

Cole has worked for Schock since March 2014.

“I am extremely disappointed by the inexcusable and offensive online comments made by a member of my staff," Schock said in a statement to the Journal Star. "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."

The Facebook posts made by Cole on his personal page were uncovered by Think Progress on Thursday, which led to controversy and his subsequent resignation.

Cole, a former Baptist pastor and energy industry spokesman, allegedly posted a series of videos and comments on October 13, 2013, mocking two African Americans outside of his Washington, D.C. apartment.

The first video’s caption read, “So apparently the closing of the National Zoo has forced the animals to conduct their mating rituals on my street. #gentrifytoday Pt. 1.”

The “animals” Cole was referring to were presumably the two African Americans in the video that was likely recorded from his apartment window.

In a follow-up video post, Cole wrote, “#gentrifytoday Pt. 3 … This is where she finds another glass bottle, and breaks it on their stoop to use as a weapon.”

The National Zoo was closed the week the posts were made due to a federal government shutdown.

As of Wednesday, the posts had been removed from Cole’s Facebook page.

In December of 2013, Cole made another racially charged post to Facebook, sans video.

“one of the hood rats on my street just got shot by another hood rat. I was right there when the gun was fired,” Cole wrote.

Buzzfeed unearthed additional damning evidence against Cole.

In a post made in 2010, Cole suggested a mosque be built on White House grounds so that President Obama would have a place to worship.

Here's another post of Cole's followed with a questionable comment beneath it:

Cole has not responded to requests for comment.

Sources: Think Progress, Journal Star, Buzzfeed / Photo Source: Think Progress