Day care director in Manhattan accused of sharing racist social media posts

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The now former executive director of a day care in Manhattan is under investigation over racist social media posts.

Outraged parents shared the messages with Eyewitness News, including a Facebook post calling former President Barack Obama a traitor and using anti-Black racial slurs repeatedly.

Another was a repost from Make Michigan Great Again attacking Congress member Ilhan Omar, one blamed China for the coronavirus followed by an anti-Asian joke, and there was also an obscene photo of a naked baby urinating with the caption, "I piss on coronavirus."

The photos of posts from 2019 to 2020 were shared exclusively with Eyewitness News by parents.

"He said it was a prophecy that came true, about the N-word," said a parent, who wished to remain anonymous. "He said it was a prophecy that wasn't even my own words, but look, Black Lives Matter it came true. We were just disgusted and appalled."

Another parent also didn't want her identity used for fear of retaliation.

"Their response to it was, 'If you don't like it, then leave the school," she said. "And some parents, we don't have that option."

She said she's been facing threats and intimidation from the Battery Park City Nursery and from other parents for speaking out.

"It is a very vulnerable, terrible situation to be in," she said.

Councilmember Chris Marte said he advised the mother to remove her child from the daycare because of the threats.

"I was outraged," Marte said. "I was disgusted."

He says the mother is not alone.

The man, who is no longer employed by the program, was an executive director of the organization and not an on-site director.

His social media posts were forwarded to the Special Commissioner of Investigation, however, the owner and program themselves are not under investigation.

"These allegations are deeply disturbing, and this individual is not permitted to interact with children or families pending the outcome of an investigation," the DOE said in a statement.

The Battery Park City Nursery receives city funding through the Universal Pre-Kindergarten program.

The former executive director also released a statement on the matter.

"I think people took my posts out of context and marked me as racist without knowing me," he said. "When I reposted the posts in question, I did not do it with any intentions of race or bias. I do understand that others may have perceived my repost with malice, and I truly apologize for the misconception. But the posts do not define me or who I am."

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