Corey Brooks is pastor at New Beginnings Church in Chicago’s south side. Well known and well liked, Brooks tended to his parish without much controversy or incident. Until, that is, he endorsed Republican Bruce Rauner for governor over Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn.
After appearing in an ad for Rauner, Brooks received death threats on his voicemail and on social media, including calling him an “Uncle Tom.”
Brooks told WGN, “It’s unfair that a person does not have a right to voice their opinion and speak about who they want to support, and that some people still feel you have got to stay on this Democratic plantation. If you choose to leave it or go off it, we will attack you.”
Shortly after the ad appeared, New Beginnings Church suffered a break in and had $8,000 stolen from a collection for a new community center. Brooks also started receiving threatening messages.
One voicemail said, “Watch your back fat (expletive). We own you, black. We own you. They can’t protect you, you sell out. You Uncle Tom (expletive). Token. You puppet for Bruce Rauner.”
Brooks also endorsed Republican Senate candidate Jim Oberweis over Democratic Senator Dick Durbin.
Police are investigating the break in and the threats.
Not everyone believes the Pastor’s story. Failed Democratic candidate for governor and progressive activist Tio Hardiman believes the messages and the break in are merely publicity stunts.
Hardiman, a Huffington Post contributor, called Brooks and other black clergy who’ve thrown their support behind Republican Rauner “the sell out pastors of Chicago.”
Brooks tells WGN he and his family have moved out of their home in response to the treats against him.
[h/t IJ Review]