The catch when it comes to being a racist is that, well, you can’t really be one without physically exhibiting some sort of racial intolerance. Of course by doing so, you’re also risking universal public scrutiny, career-ending backlash and in many cases legal repercussions — funny how being a bigot works, huh?
61-year-old Michigan resident Kenneth Pilon made a case for the latter after being hit with six hate crime charges for harassing the community of Saginaw with nooses and racists notes aimed against Black Lives Matter supporters at their peak in 2020.
According to NBC News, all six charges are linked to interfering with federally protected activities for incidents dating to June and July 2020. Pilon is accused of leaving nooses at many locations around Saginaw attached to a note that read, “An accessory to be worn with your ‘BLM’ t-shirt. Happy protesting!” Local resident Regina Simon went on Facebook at the time to post the one she received on her car (seen above), which she believes became a target after Pilon discovered that Simon, a woman who identifies as white and Mexican, was married at the time to a Black man.
More info below, via NBC News:
“Regina Simon said she wasn’t going to let the note intimidate her, so her family held a protest in their community. She said she also wanted her daughter, who was 5 at the time, to know the importance of standing up for what you believe in.
‘We’re aware that there are people who have that feeling in their heart,’ she said, referring to Pilon. ‘But that’s not going to change the way that we live. I’m not going to let somebody bring hate to our door and make us change who we are.’
The affidavit further alleges that Pilon also called multiple Starbucks stores in and around Saginaw to leave derogatory messages. It alleges that when an employee would answer, Pilon would say: ‘Tell the Starbucks workers wearing BLM shirts that the only good n-word is a dead n-word.’ He told another worker that he did not like Black Lives Matter T-shirts and that he was ‘gonna go out and lynch me a n-word,’ according to the affidavit.”
Feds suggested that Pilon was motivated by a drive to intimidate protesters “from participating lawfully in speech and peaceful assembly opposing the denial of Black people’s right to enjoy police protection and services free from brutality.” Let’s hope legal action like this further permits Pilon, and many others like him, from exhibiting the bigotry in their hearts.
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