A New Jersey school board candidate who referred to Black Americans as “animals” and “monkeys” in a series of outwardly racist Facebook posts has dropped out of the race, a statement posted to Facebook confirmed.
Richard Jankowski, 51, of Williamstown was gunning for a seat on the Monroe Township Board of Education but withdrew himself amid outrage over his offensive posts, NJ.com reported. The posts, in which Jankowski likened Black folks to animals and declared it’s “time to start firing bullets” to kill them, were authored between 2013 and 2016.
The racist remarks were seemingly in response to public outrage and citizen protests sparked by the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman, who killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, and the 2014 police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.
“So now I watch videos of the ‘protesters’ throwing trash cans and any other items at any white person they see…….time to start firing bullets into these f—–g monkeys and send them to their graves,” Jankowski wrote April 15, 2015, according to the New Jersey Globe.
” … 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 …” he wrote August 15, 2014. “Act like law abiding citizens and this stuff never happens!”
Three days later, Jankowski couldn’t bite his tongue any longer and slammed the “animals” in Missouri for demanding justice for Brown, who was fatally shot by a white officer.
“Another black criminal gets killed after assaulting a white cop and you pieces of shit want justice?’ he asked. “You’re not Americans, you are animals who disgust me … Get a f—–g job and contribute you useless wastes of life, instead of constantly committing crimes and protesting when you get what you deserve, [sic]”
Jankowski announced his withdrawal from the race in a statement shared on the Williamstown/Monroe Township Facebook group on Saturday, which was posted by board- member Shawn Rutter, NJ.com reported. All his social media accounts have since been shuttered.
“I want you to know that I wrote those remarks in anger from what I have seen transpire through our country over the years,” the statement read. “I acknowledge this is not an excuse for my actions.”
The Gloucester County branch of the NAACP has come out in fierce opposition to Jankowski since the New Jersey Globe report detailing his racist posts. NAACP President Loretta Winters said Jankowski was unfit to represent anyone — even animals.
“You can’t refer to black folks or anybody as monkeys or animals,” Winters 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.”
Jankowski’s absence from the election now leaves five candidates vying for three open spots on the school board, according to the news site. The election is set to take place Nov. 6.