Benjamin Cole, the senior adviser for policy and communications to Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock, recently deleted a string of racist Facebook comments referring to a Black woman as a zoo animal, but his racist comments have resurfaced thanks to some incriminating screenshots.
Cole will certainly have some serious explaining to do after screenshots of Facebook posts from 2013 revealed extremely racist comments referring to Black people as zoo animals and hood rats.
The former Baptist pastor uploaded a series of posts with the hashtag #gentrifytoday along with a video of a Black woman outside his apartment complex.
In the video, the Black woman can be heard shouting and seems to be engaged in an argument with an unseen party.
Cole decided to post the video to social media along with the caption, “So apparently the closing of the National Zoo has forced the animals to conduct their mating rituals on my street. #gentrifytoday Pt.1”
Based on the date of the posts, the comments came during the federal government shutdown that forced the National Zoo to close.
Another post reveals the woman near a stoop along with the caption, “#gentrifytoday Pt.3 This is where she finds another glass bottle, and breaks it on their stoop to use as a weapon.”
The tone of the caption appears to be a parody of the type of narration that often accompanies National Geographic shows that highlight animals in the wild.
According to Think Progress, which published screenshots of the posts, the posts were taken down Wednesday.
Cole’s #gentrifytoday posts weren’t the only racist remarks that filled his social media.
In another post, he said he spotted “hood rats” on his street.
“One of the hood rats on my street just got shot by another hood rat,” he wrote. “I was right there when the gun was fired.”
Ironically enough, Cole actually scolded other Baptist pastors back in 2008 who had racist reactions to President Barack Obama’s election in an article for BaptistNews.com.
In this article, Cole admitted that he had once battled with racism and claimed to have learned from that dark past rooted in bigotry.
“During the course of the past year, I too have been forced to wrestle with my own prejudices,” he wrote, according to Think Progress. “At times, I’ve joined the bigoted banter and helped to scratch the old wounds of racism.”
Unfortunately, the string of racist comments and banter that continued after that 2008 article only proved that Cole had not done away with his racist ways.
So far neither Cole nor Schock have publicly commented on the racist posts.