COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - An employee at the South Carolina Department of Corrections said a manager sent an email to members of his staff containing a racial slur.
WIS News obtained that email and the apology the manager sent afterward.
He has been fired.
The original email was a meme containing the N word (which was blurred in the picture below).
The employee who sent WIS the email wants to remain anonymous to protect her job. She said staff members should not have to deal with this kind of discrimination in the workplace.
That employee said John Aldi, Jr., the Statewide Security Threat Group Coordinator for SCDC, sent the email to a group of about 30 employees in the security division at the end of January.
She said she didn’t receive the email, but it quickly spread among her co-workers. She showed us it came from Aldi’s state email address.
Employees say they made the department aware of the issue.
Then, a day later, Aldi sent an apology via email.
It reads in part: “Yesterday, I sent an out of context Facebook post that I found on my Intel Facebook page that may have offended some of you. They were not my words, thoughts or beliefs. I sincerely apologize if you were offended or hurt by this.”
The employee who spoke with WIS said people who received the apology say it sounded scripted and insincere. They say they think this behavior creates a workplace environment where African American employees feel inferior.
“It’s like a slap in our face it makes us feel like we’re not valued," she said. "They can make jokes and racism innuendo and you’re just supposed to sit around and take it. We all work equally as hard in SCDC, so we all deserve the same respect.”
Friday, Aldi was fired. He had only been an SCDC employee for less than a year.
A spokesperson with SCDC said the department does not tolerate racist conduct.