CHICAGO-Following is the statement of SEIU Healthcare Illinois Executive Vice President Greg Kelley in response to U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk’s recent comparison of President Barack Obama to a “drug dealer:”
“Here we go again. We may not know what resides in Mark Kirk’s heart but we certainly know what comes out of his mouth. What he said this weekend about President Obama was totally inappropriate and he must apologize. It’s another example of Kirk’s long history of insulting the president which is now matching up with the hateful and “birther” space carved out in the public sphere by fellow Republican Donald Trump to dehumanize Barack Obama.
“There is NO amount of context Kirk could provide to his dog-whistle statement that would change the propriety of these remarks. And when you add Kirk’s long history of gaffes, missteps and innuendo, especially when it involves people of color, I think the people of Illinois themselves have the context to conclude Kirk has a serious problem: Either he doesn’t know what he’s doing, which is alarming; or he DOES know what he’s doing, which is despicable. He must apologize.”