A New Jersey school board candidate often made racist comments on Facebook, calling Black people “animals” and “useless wastes of life.” He also frequently made homophobic and transphobic comments, mocked people with disabilities, and disparaged those calling for criminal justice reform.
Richard Jankowski, a 51-year-old candidate in Monroe Township, Gloucester County, made the comments on Facebook from 2013 to 2016, according to a report from the New Jersey Globe. Jankowski’s posts were all public, meaning anyone could see them.
“Glad the legal system finally got it right,” Jankowski wrote in July 2013, a day after George Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges for killing Travyon Martin, a Black unarmed teenager.
Jankowski added that he hopes the NFL suspends all the players who tweeted about the verdict. “Call me a racist if you want but I’m a realist… YOU are the racists and the problems with this country, if you don’t like being profiled, start being productive members of society or get the hell out of this country.”
A year later, he criticized the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, after a white cop shot and killed Michael Brown, another unarmed Black teenager. At the time, the militarized police response to the Ferguson protests unsettled people across the country. Jankowski, however, was more interested in the instances of looting, calling the protesters “animals.”
“Hats off to the residents of Ferguson, Missouri … once again you animals showed your stupidity and ignorance by looting and burning businesses in your own town because a shoplifting kid who assaulted a cop was shot … act like a law abiding citizen and this crap never happens!,” he wrote in August 2014.
Four days later, he wrote again, “You are not Americans, you are animals who disgust me. … Get a f—— job and contribute you useless wastes of life instead of constantly committing crimes and protesting when you get what you deserve.”
During the protests in April 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland — after 25-year-old Freddie Gray died in the back of a police car — Jankowski said it was “time to start firing bullets into these fucking monkeys and send them to their grave.”
Six candidates are vying for three open seats on the Board of Education in Monroe Township. About a quarter of the district’s population is non-white, according to U.S. Census data. That number increases to 33 percent for the local high school, according to an analysis from U.S. News and World Report.
Jankowski also criticized Caitlyn Jenner, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, the LGBTQ community, former President Barack Obama, criminal justice reform, Cher, and LeBron James.
“GAY BLACK MAN KILLS 2 STRAIGHT WHITE REPORTERS,” read one post with the image of the Pride flag behind it. “TIME TO BAN THIS FLAG.” The image did not link to an actual article and was originally posted on Facebook by the blog Right Wing News.
“I’m going to make sure with my base, that they know about this gentleman who’s running for school board,” Gloucester NAACP President Loretta Winters told the Globe. “He should not – he should not – represent anyone. He refers to people as animals, he shouldn’t even be representing animals.”
“You can’t refer to black folks or anybody as monkeys or animals,” she told the Washington Post on Saturday. “And to say that ‘we need to get our guns out, and be shooting them,’ to me that’s almost a terroristic threat against any people of color.”
Winters said that Jankowski called to apologize and say that he was dropping out of the race. She told the Post she accepted the apology but added that she believed it only happened because “he got exposed.”
Jankowski’s personal Facebook page and the public one for his campaign have both either been set to private or deactivated.