Illinois GOP Lawmaker Apologizes for Mocking Black, Gay Democratic Challenger

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday September 23, 2020

Illinois Republican State Representative Amy Grant has apologized for audio recordings of a phone call in which she mocked her Black, gay Democratic challenger, Ken Mejia-Beal, Out reports.

In one of the released audio recording of the call, Grant says to an unidentified person:

"I mean he's just another one of the Cook County people. That's all you're gonna vote for is Cook County, another, ya know, Black Caucus, that's all we need is another person in the Black Caucus."

In another, Grant says Mejia-Beal is "afraid to come into the district" because he might fear the reactions of constituents — negative reactions, Grant asserts:

"...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."

On Tuesday, Grant posted a brief apology to Facebook:

For his part, Mejia-Beal responded that Grant's apology was inadequate, and that the comments on the audio recording "[make] it clear she sees only the color of my skin and my sexual orientation."

Grant is a Freshman representative, having won her seat in 2018 with 54 percent of the vote. Out notes that Mejia-Beal, a long-time resident of the district, is campaigning on fiscal "responsibility, making Illinois healthier, and making Illinois greener," as well as restoring the possibility of the "American dream" for the voters he will represent.

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.

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