Mark Kirk’s “poor choice of phraseology”

To be honest, I’d be OK if Mark Kirk did not win re-election…

Republican Sen. Mark Kirk may have just made his upcoming race for re-election a lot more difficult.

Kirk, who is seen as a top target for Democrats to regain a seat in 2016, is currently under fire for remarks that some critics consider to be racially insensitive. While being interviewed by the Peoria Journal Star this month, the Illinois lawmaker suggest that black areas in the state are the ones “we drive faster through.”

Although the comment was made in the context of promoting initiatives Kirk supports to strengthen the economic and social standing of the African-American community in Illinois, the language he used has not been well received.

“I think what he was trying to say is, he was trying to relate that to crime. But boy, it was a poor choice of phraseology,” George Mitchell, president of the NAACP’s Illinois State Conference, told The Huffington Post.

“Creating some billionaires does not change the economic plight. What changes the plight of poor people is to not have a few billionaires come out of the group, but to have everyone lifted,” added Mitchell. “A rising tide lifts all boats.”

Kirk’s office issued a statement to try to quell the uproar on Tuesday.

“Anyone watching network news in Chicago is aware of the frequent killings and violence that affects various communities in Illinois. Senator Kirk is active in fighting gang violence, keeping assault weapons off the streets, and working within the African-American community to find aspiring entrepreneurs,” an official spokesperson for the senator said in the statement. “No one can question Senator Kirk’s commitment to the African-American community.”

Read the whole story here.

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