I’d like to know who radicalized this man:
A Saginaw optometrist is going to federal prison for 10 months for threatening to harm Black Lives Matter supporters in a series of rants he made over the phone to Starbucks employees, who got an earful about his beef with workers wearing BLM T-shirts.
According to court records, 62-year-old Kenneth Pilon admitted to calling nine Starbucks stores in 2020 and telling those who answered his calls to relay this message to employees wearing BLM T-shirts: “The only good (N-word) is a dead (N-word).”
Pilon also admitted to telling one Starbucks employee, “I’m gonna go out and lynch me a (N-word).”
Starbucks stores weren’t his only target. The FBI says Pilon also left nooses at Kroger and Walmart parking lots in Saginaw, and also tucked one inside a beverage cooler at a 7-Eleven store with a handwritten note attached that read: “An accessory to be worn with your ‘BLM’ T-shirt. Happy protesting!'”https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2023/04/20/black-lives-matter-threats-starbucks-nooses-saginaw-optometrist/70131841007/
Tresa Baldas also writes how Pilon was “miffed” at all of the BLM protests right after a Minneapolis police officer murdered George Floyd.
Imagine being more angry at a movement to end police violence against black Americans, than actually being angry at the police who committed murder!
It has been my experience, though, that some this is status quo for some white Americans.
This is anecdotal, I know, but I remember when the station where I once worked reported a factual story about Michigan State Police pulling over black drivers at a higher rate than white drivers.
The newsroom didn’t offer any commentary, and it was a study conducted by the Michigan State Police!
It didn’t matter.
That story angered many of the station’s white, right wing listeners. I took a number of angry callers over the “biased” nature of the story. I told one listener that the study was done by the state police, but they didn’t care! It was just another example of the liberal media attacking police.
Of course, those same people aren’t exactly on the police’s side when it comes to banning assault weapons.
Thanks to the right wing media bubble, consumers of such media were taught to be more angry at the protesters of police violence than the police perpetrating such violence. So, it’s no surprise this optometrist drank the propaganda.
And now, he’s got ten months in prison to wonder how he got to that point.
We’ve seen similar reactions to the many facing jail time for their role in the January 6th insurrection. They pay the price while the right wing grifters keep marching merrily along.
Photo: “Black Lives Matter” by seikoesquepayne is licensed under CC BY 2.0.