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GOP congressman now has to deal with adviser’s racist Facebook posts

This is abhorrent.


Eric Geller


Posted on Feb 5, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 2:52 pm CDT

Benjamin Cole isn’t just Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.)’s senior adviser for policy and communications. Based on Facebook screenshots posted by ThinkProgress, he’s also a horrifically racist man.

The liberal blog acquired screenshots from Cole’s Facebook page that show him referring to African-American residents of his Washington, D.C., neighborhood as “animals” and “hood rats” and describing neighborhood incidents with the hashtag “#gentrifytoday.”



According to ThinkProgress, Cole had removed his posts by Wednesday, Feb. 4, a day before the story ran online. The site has posted several other screenshots besides the ones above, including one from a video that Cole posted of a woman breaking a glass bottle “to use as a weapon.”

Neither Cole nor anyone else in Rep. Schock’s office has commented on ThinkProgress’ story. The Illinois Republican legislator was already having a bad week after the Washington Post revealed his office’s elaborate and expensive Downton Abbey-themed decorations.

Republican congressmen have a sad history of employing staffers with deeply bigoted beliefs. In 2013, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) fired a staffer named Jack Hunter after it emerged that Hunter used to host a racist radio show in the persona of a Confederate firebrand called “the Southern Avenger.” It took Sen. Paul two weeks to make that decision.

Benjamin Cole used to have a Twitter account, but he deleted it sometime on Thursday.

Update 2:25pm CT, Feb. 5: Politico’s Jake Sherman reports that Cole has resigned.

Update 11:11pm CT, Feb. 5: Updated story to reflect Cole deleting his Twitter account. 

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*First Published: Feb 5, 2015, 4:12 pm CST