After a gun sale investigation in Chicago city government revealed a trove of bigoted emails in May that led to multiple high-profile firings, the city’s inspector general released the content in an effort at transparency.
The investigation turned up offensive emails written by three high-ranking officials of the city’s water department. According to DNA Info, Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson released the emails Monday — and the findings were shocking.
Among the emails were multiple racist references to watermelons, an age-old stereotype about African Americans, as well as an image that depicted a Ku Klux Klan robe in a watermelon patch with a sign that read “watermelon protection.” The emails also include anti-Muslim sentiments and “derogatory and threatening statements” from a water department chemist to ex-employees — two of whom filed complaints for harassment.
One email offered employees “Chicago Safari Tickets” and included an image of white people taking pictures of black individuals. “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 email said.
In Inspector General Ferguson’s report, he called the emails from the chemist’s emails “particularly egregious” because the still-anonymous chemist had a “long and documented history of harassing other employees.”
Read the inspector general’s report on the newly-released Chicago water department emails below, via Scribd.