Republican Party leaders in central Illinois are calling on their own candidate for state senate to step down following racist remarks he made at a candidate's forum last week.
Al Reynolds, who is considered the Tea Party candidate in Illinois' 52nd District, has been unavailable to the media since saying that African American men preferred dealing drugs to going to college, because it is "easier."
"I've been in the city and the dichotomy of the women and the men in the minorities, there is a difference in the fact that most minority women, either the single parent or coming from a poor neighborhood, are motivated more so than the minority men," Reynolds said, when asked what he would do to increase diversity at state colleges. "And it's a pretty good reason. Most of the women who are single parents have to find work to support their family. The minority men find it more lucrative to be able to do drugs or other avenues rather than do education. It's easier."
The room was silent as Reynolds made his remarks. (Video below) He continued:
"We need to provide ways that are more incentive, other than just sports avenues, for the men for the minorities to want to go to college and get an education and better themselves before the women have to support them all."
The comments were made at a forum co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the Champaign County NAACP, according to the News-Gazette of East Central Illinois.
The comments gave Reynolds' Democratic opponent, incumbent Sen. Mike Frerichs, plenty to respond to:
"I've been in this community for a long time now," Frerichs said. "I've been working in this community for a long time and I've worked with a lot of African-American men. They're not pursuing careers in sports. They're not trying to sell drugs. They're trying to support their families. They're trying to be good people."
According to the Commercial-News in Illinois, GOP leadership in Vermilion and Champaign counties called on Reynolds to withdraw from the race--but his campaign has yet to respond to multiple calls for comment by various local news agencies, and he has not withdrawn.
"Mr. Reynolds' opinions are in stark contrast to the core values of the Champaign County Republican Party and are personally offensive to me," party Chairman Jason Barickman told the News-Gazette.