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East St. Louis residents react to tweet posted by Illinois official

EAST ST. LOUIS - An Illinois state official has resigned after posting a comment to Twitter calling East St. Louis the s****hole of the universe.  Blair Garber was appointed to chairman of the Illinois Lottery Control Board by Gov. Bruce Rauner.  Garber apologized and resigned Wednesday, according to Rauner’s office.

“I think it’s a disgrace,” said Lavon Singleton, an East St. Louis native.

The comment was in response to a tweet from country music star Charlie Daniels.  Daniels posted a message earlier this month poking fun at Sen. Dick Durbin for being offended by President Trump’s alleged use of the word.  Garber responded on Twitter saying Durbin was from East St. Louis, the s***hole of the universe.

Singleton was born and raised in East St. Louis.  He believes someone who makes those comments should not have been allowed to resign.  He feels Garber should have been fired.

Rev. Johnny Scott is a lifelong East St. Louis resident and is president emeritus of the East St. Louis Chapter of the N.A.A.C.P.  He calls Garber’s words, “fighting words” but says engaging in a fight with Garber would do no good.

Scott says he’s raised his family in East St. Louis and has had a great life.  He says there are plenty of great people in East St. Louis.

“My friends are not saying we need to get out of Dodge or get out of East St. Louis,” said Scott.  “We’re still making a living just like everybody else.  So, I don’t put a lot of credence on what this person is saying.”

Sen. Durbin released a brief statement saying he’s proud to be from East St. Louis and Garber’s resignation was the right thing to do.