Deplorable: Illinois State Rep. Amy Grant, a Republican, is facing calls for her resignation after making racist and homophobic insults against her opponent, Ken Mejia-Beal, a gay, black man.
After being caught on tape insulting Mejia-Beal, Grant issued a non-apology where she tried to explain that she can’t be racist because she’s a person of “faith.”
ABC 7 Chicago reports:
There are calls for Republican State Rep. Amy Grant, who represents the 42nd District in DuPage County, to drop out of the race after recorded remarks about her opponent. Some have called the remarks both racist and homophobic.
In the call, she talks about opponent Democrat Ken Mejia-Beal, who is both African American and openly gay.
“He’s just another one of those Cook County people. That’s all you’re going to vote for is the Cook County, you know another Black caucus,” she says.
“Mentioning Cook County is just a code word for Black,” said ABC7 Political Analyst Laura Washington.
Members of the Black and LGBTQ caucuses in the legislature played the call for reporters.
“I’m afraid he’s afraid of the reaction people might give him,” Grant says. “Not because he’s Black. But because of the way he talks. He’s all LGBTQ.”
Commenting on the remarks, State Rep. Greg Harris (IL-13) said:
This conduct is outrageous and despicable.
And it is not just Democrats that are appalled by Grant’s racist and homophobic dog whistle. Republican Rep. Will Davis, who said he once considered Grant a friend, condemned his colleagues remarks, telling reporters:
Rep. Grant makes it real clear that, in her opinion, some people do not deserve to be a part of the community or to represent that community in the General Assembly. That, indeed, is appalling.
In a statement Mejia-Beal said:
… in her hurtful, degrading, and wholly unacceptable comments which have now come to light, Representative Grant makes it clear that she sees only the color of my skin and my sexual orientation — and that in her mind disqualifies me as a leader and even disqualifies me as a member of our community.
Nowhere in Representative Grant’s one-line public response or the phone message she left me reading that same message is any acknowledgement that the statements she made so matter-of-factly on those recordings were also a grievous insult to every member of our community. Where is Representative Grant’s apology to those who hear her comments and wonder if they fit into her vision of our community? Where is the apology to all whose faith calls them to love their neighbors as themselves? Where is her apology to all in our area who are sick of politicians dividing people with their rhetoric? And where is Representative Grant’s commitment to use the time she has remaining in office to finally represent all of our unique community?
My statement on the bigoted comments made by Amy Grant : pic.twitter.com/6rgz52tcBC
— Ken Mejia-Beal (@kmbfor42) September 21, 2020
In a poor attempt at damage control, Grant tried to defend herself by referencing her faith. In a prepared statement Grant said:
I made a very clumsy and insensitive statement that does not reflect how I feel about my colleagues and any candidates. My faith is part of my daily life, and hearing those words calling me ‘racist’ rocks me to my core because that’s not who I am.
In another statement Grant said:
I just don’t have the type of personality that would look at another person and say, ‘Oh, you’re not just perfectly right, so I’m going to disparage you,’ If I hurt his feelings, I am very sorry.
Bottom line: Illinois State Rep. Amy Grant, a Republican, is facing calls for her resignation after making racist and homophobic insults against her opponent, Ken Mejia-Beal, a gay, black man; but she defends her remarks by citing her “faith.”