Caitlyn Jenner, Poisoned Communities Alike Disparaged in Emails Dumped on New Year's Eve

What do Caitlyn Jenner and residents of a small, poisoned development in Riverside County have in common? They have both been disparaged and belittled by a top state toxicologist. 
On the eve of the new year, while few were paying attention, California’s top toxics regulator released another batch of racist, discriminatory, and derogatory emails written by senior toxicologist Willian Bosan and senior geologist Theo Johnson at the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). A selection of them reveals comments that disparage gays, African Americans, the disabled, and transgender people.
Bosan forwarded to Johnson a DTSC announcement about June Diversity Celebrations that explained Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month, Native American Citizenship Day and other celebrations, and commented, "I believe they had you in mind for their target audience..." Minutes later, Bosan forwarded the link to a USA today story about Jenner posing in a swimsuit for Vanity Fair to Johnson, writing: "To further add to your celebration."
An initial group of emails written by Bosan and Johnson were released in December. They were laced with phrases such as “crackho hooker,” “Chop-chop Hop Sing,” and “Mommy must have had way too many pain killers when she named this guy,” to refer to non-white communities and colleagues. Those emails were so outrageous that state Senate leader Kevin de León recently demanded that an independent DTSC oversight panel "act immediately to address new scandals like offensive and racist emails brought to light." 
The second batch of heavily redacted emails ridicule residents in a Riverside housing development called Wildomar for questioning shortcomings in the DTSC's investigation into whether toxic water or soil could have caused two deaths and a series of major illnesses. Residents believe poisoned land or water underneath their homes made them sick. 
In one email, senior toxicologist William Bosan asks geologist Theo Johnson if he is going to a Halloween office party dressed as a “Wildomarian.” In others, he refers to a “Wildomarian dialect of doooo doooo.” In still others, Bosan finds polite but tough questions asked by a Latina resident in the Wildomar community about shortcomings in his research to be offensive. The pair concluded nothing was present to make people sick. The report was panned by leading environmental advocate Penny Newman and residents of the poisoned community, including Latinos and whites, for doctoring the preliminary results.
Bosan was key to the outcome of the report, but has also been key in other determinations of harmlessness in cases where residents living in communities facing disproportionate levels of toxic pollution have reported illnesses. More on this to come.
The new emails raise more questions about whether the agency has an even broader cowboy culture of racism and discrimination tolerated by supervisors, and whether sign offs on dirty sites as clean by agency professionals are influenced by such attitudes. 
In an exchange between Bosan and his supervising toxicologist James Polisini, Bosan tells Polisini that NBC is working on a story in which Wildomar residents allege a DTSC cover up of dangerous chemicals in the soil. Bosan tells Polisini that he will get the community back, that he “will shove it up their [Wildomar residents] collective asses like a community enema.” 
In yet another email, Bosan responds derisively to Polisini in a question from top DTSC managers about whether toxic World War II munitions were ever stored in a lake near Wildomar that could have affected groundwater, “That’s the problem--leaking nerve gas shells…,” he writes. In the email exchanges released, Polisini never challenges Bosan's behavior.
While DTSC Director Barbara Lee claims that she took “quick disciplinary action against these two individuals,” they remain employed at DTSC. She claims a "zero tolerance" policy for such behavior.  But instead of being shown the door the pair got a week’s paid leave, according to DTSC insiders. DTSC should fire them. Instead, they get wrist-slaps just like serial polluters do.  White males who disparage both environmentalists and the communities they are supposed to protect get what amounts to extra paid vacation instead of being made, for a start, to apologize to the DTSC staff in a public meeting.
The issues at DTSC go much deeper than racism and discrimination alone. They suggest that equal access and service to all communities, regardless of color or socioeconomic status, is a myth and will remain so.

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