Republican caught in homophobic, racist rant about gay Black rival. Her apology is so weak she shouldn’t have even bothered
Illinois Republican lawmaker Amy Grant has given an extraordinarily terrible apology after she was recorded attacking her opponent, who is a Black, gay man, for being “all LGBTQ”.
The Republican, who represents District 42 in the Illinois House of Representatives, was recorded on a fundraising call denigrating her Democratic opponent Ken Mejia-Beal ahead of the November 3 election.
In clips from the call revealed by the Democrats on Monday (September 21), Grant claimed that Mejia-Beal is “afraid to come into the district”, which includes the outer Chicago suburb of Wheaton, because “he’s afraid of the reaction that people might give him.”
She said: “Not because he’s Black, but because of the way he talks — he’s all LGBTQ. He wants to work for the chronically ill. He just gives us like crazy… and every week it’s a different reason for why he wants to get into the race.”
In another clip from the call, Grant said of her opponent: “He’s, he’s just far to the left… I mean, he’s just another one of the Cook County people. That’s all you’re gonna vote for is the Cook County, another, you know, Black Caucus — that’s all we need is another person on the Black Caucus.”
After her comments were exposed, Grant issued a one-sentence statement claiming to have “reached out” to Mejia-Beal to apologise.
She wrote: “I deeply regret the comments I made about Ken Mejia-Beal, and reached out to apologise to him this morning. These comments do not reflect my heart or my faith.”
The statement, shared in letter format on Grant’s Facebook page, includes a large blank space below the one-sentence response.
Amy Grant ‘reached out’ to opponent by reading one-sentence statement to his voicemail inbox.
Mejia-Beal has since clarified that the only contact he has had from Grant is a phone message in which she read out the same short statement.
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He said: “I am a DuPage County resident. I’m a financial professional. I’m a husband. I’m an advocate for property tax relief, access to health care, and other issues I am passionate about.
“But in her hurtful, degrading, and wholly unacceptable comments which have now come to light, representative Grant makes it clear that she sees only the colour 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.”
He continued: “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 neighbours 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?
“I am running because I know we are a stronger, better community than the one representative Grant depicts in her hurtful words and extreme agenda — and the people I talk to in every part of our district know that too.”