A Chicago water-department supervisor has put his full racist colors on display after using his city email account to make fun of the city’s deadly Fourth of July violence by offering “Chicago Safari” tours, according to reports.
The now-ousted district water superintendent Paul Hansen apparently decided it was cute to make fun of the string of shootings that occurred over the Fourth of July weekend, and sent a series of anti-black emails to other high-ranking water-department workers, offering a fake “Chicago Safari” package with guarantees to see “at least one kill and five crime scenes” and “lots of animals in their natural habitat,” the Chicago Tribune reports.
The email had the subject line “Chicago Safari Tickets,” according to the report, and started out, “If you didn’t book a Chicago Safari adventure with us this 4th of July weekend this is what you missed.”
The email then listed the number of people shot in South and West Side neighborhoods, including Englewood, Garfield Park and Woodlawn.
“Remember all Chicago Safari packages include 3 deluxe ‘Harold’s Chicken’ meals a day,” Hansen’s email continued. “We guarantee that you will see at least one kill and five crime scenes per three day tour. You’ll also see lots and lots of animals in their natural habitat. Call and book your Chicago Safari today.”
The “promo” even had an image of four white people standing in safari gear and taking pictures of several black people who are trying to break into a car, according to the report. Because, why not put some effort into your racism?
As the Chicago Tribune notes, this is just the latest discovery in an ongoing investigation into Hansen, with the whole drama starting because, according to authorities, Hansen was using that same city email account to negotiate the purchases and/or sales of at least four firearms and five cars. It is, of course, against city rules to use a government account for personal business. However, a deeper dive into Hansen’s emails uncovered something much more racist, such as the email quoted above.
But, of course, with people like Hansen, it doesn’t end there. Other emails included messages to colleagues that were said to be written in “Ebonics,” and there was also a picture attached to a message with the subject “As an apology - Paula Deen Opens Swimming Pool for Youth,” depicting a small black child sitting in a bucket filled with water and holding a watermelon slice, according to the report.
There was also an email about “Watermelon Protection” that depicted a Ku Klux Klan scarecrow guarding a field of watermelons.
Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson revealed the racist batch of emails in his quarterly report as part as the ongoing investigation into Hansen’s use of government email, according to the Tribune.
In addtion, another individual, Thomas J. Durkin, the general foreman of plumbers, was also cited in the report as jumping in on the anti-black emails while also throwing in some anti-Muslim references. Durkin recently resigned after being put on administrative leave while still under investigation.
It’s amazing how these individuals always manage to resign before they’re booted. Must be nice.
Anyway, as the Tribune notes, Ferguson’s report also raised questions as to whether those were all of the disturbing emails to be found. Ferguson said that the mayor’s Law Department has a restriction that prohibits “unfettered access to city emails,” which has hindered the investigation. The rules mandate that Ferguson’s office has to submit requests for emails using limited search terms and date ranges, the Tribune notes.
Still, Hansen was so flagrant with his misuse of a city computer that in one four-month period alone, he called up sexually explicit, age-restricted YouTube content and visited other sites that had nothing to do with city business on “thousands of occasions,” Ferguson’s report noted. Durkin was also cited for sending and receiving sexually explicit photos and videos on his city email account.
For Durkin’s part, he sent one email from his city account that referred to Muslims as “rag head cocksuckers,” Ferguson said. And in response to Hansen’s safari email, Durkin described black Americans as “wild animals” who are “untamed.”
Ferguson said that both Hansen and Durkin will be placed on the ineligible-for-rehire list.
Read more at the Chicago Tribune.