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RUTLAND — The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General has accustomed a complaint account the Rutland postmaster’s declared administration of racially aloof agreeable on Facebook.
James Ragosta II, a postmaster in Rutland City, has allegedly aggregate letters and memes on his Facebook folio that the complaint calls “racist, sexist and about inappropriate.”
The USPS Office of Inspector General accepted the complaint on July 9 in acknowledgment to a Freedom of Advice Act appeal filed by VTDigger. VTDigger had ahead accustomed advice from a citizen that a complaint had been filed.
VTDigger accepted that several memes, aggregate by the aforementioned citizen through screenshots of the postmaster’s Facebook profile, were in actuality acquaint to Ragosta’s folio in backward June. The posts no best arise about but, according to added screenshots beatific to VTDigger, are still acquaint privately.
The complaint describes a meme that Ragosta shared, originally acquaint by a contour with the name Jon Maas. It says, “Over 620,000 white bodies died to chargeless atramentous slaves, and still to this day not alike 1 acknowledge you, and now we’re accepted as racists.”
When contacted, Ragosta beneath to animadversion but asserted that the column is not racist.
Ragosta allegedly aggregate the meme on Juneteenth, a anniversary adulatory the liberation of Atramentous slaves. It is cryptic whether the timing of the bulletin was a acknowledgment to the anniversary or a coincidence.
A bulletin allegedly acquaint June 23 says, “If we defund the cops whos gonna Narcan your impaired asses.”
Another, acquaint in November, shows the face of Colin Kaepernick, the above NFL brilliant who knelt during the civic canticle to beef badge brutality, superimposed on the anatomy of a shoe salesman, with the caption: “Nike begin him a job area he can kneel all he wants.”
Ragosta is amid the top 10% accomplished paid advisers at the USPS, according to federalpay.org. USPS does not about accept tax dollars for its operating expenses, and rather derives funds from the auction of its articles and services, but the postmaster is advised a accessible official.
Steve Doherty, USPS’s cardinal communications specialist for the Northeast Area, aggregate the organization’s guidelines for employees’ claimed amusing media.
The action requires workers and leaders to be “honest, reliable, trustworthy, courteous, and of acceptable appearance and reputation,” and charge not appoint in “dishonest, awfully disgraceful, immoral, or added conduct prejudicial to the Postal Service.”
Allegations that an agent has abolished amusing media are “investigated and handled on a case-by-case basis,” according to Doherty.
The complaint asks admiral at USPS to analysis Ragosta’s Facebook posts and account colleagues.
“A U.S. government employee, in a administration position, acclimated aboveboard racist dialogues in a accessible appointment and this is unacceptable and should be dealt with accordingly,” the complaint said.
Doherty said Monday morning that the USPS will not investigate Ragosta’s conduct.
“What advisers say in accessible forums is advised adequate chargeless speech,” he said. “If they are not alleging to be speaking on account of the Postal Service or accomplishing annihilation that is illegal, there is annihilation to investigate.”
Upon reviewing the agreeable beatific to VTDigger, Tabitha Moore, admiral of the Rutland Area NAACP, said she was disturbed, admitting not surprised, to see the material.
“It’s black and alarming and alarming to anticipate that this is addition with a abundant accord of ability and ascendancy who’s harboring these feelings,” she said. “This cannot happen.”
Moore was decidedly agitated by a meme Ragosta aggregate that depicted a white man saying, “I’m appealing abiding you’re retarded, but adhere on, let me alarm my associate who’s a arrest expert.” The abutting console showed a photo of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., a first-term House affiliate who is generally the ambition of attacks by Admiral Donald Trump.
Moore said, as a being of color, she would not feel adequate alive beneath Ragosta afterwards seeing the content.
“My aboriginal affair is for the advisers and the assemblage and the bodies who he comes into acquaintance with, who either anchorage a altered appearance than him or attending abnormally than him,” she said. “What does this beggarly for the way he’s interacting with them? You can’t accept these behavior and not accept them affect and access the way that you are in the world, or the way that you amusement people.”
Questions accept abounded in Vermont afresh apropos the agreeable association leaders should be acceptable to column on clandestine amusing media accounts.
On June 12, the Mount Ascutney Academy District Lath absolutely voted to abode Tiffany Riley, arch of the K-12 Windsor school, on paid authoritative leave afterwards she bidding doubts about the Atramentous Lives Matter movement on her claimed Facebook page.
Recent graduates alleged Riley’s column “insanely tone-deaf,” and, in a account issued to the community, the lath said that through her post, Riley may accept created disbelief amid herself and her students.
Since then, a free-speech accumulation alleged the Civic Coalition Against Censorship wrote a letter asserting that the lath abandoned Riley’s Aboriginal Amendment rights. The accumulation alleged for her reinstatement.
Moore says association leaders are amenable for ambience a cultural archetype and would like to see Ragosta captivated accountable.
“It’s alloyed into the bolt of our society, abnormally actuality in Vermont,” she said. “It’s pervasive. And there’s rarely anyone who’s blockage these association to accommodate a altered narrative.”
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