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A Pilot and a Racist Trump Supporter All Wrapped in One: #MAGA Pilot Arrested for Racist Airport Graffiti

Illustration for article titled A Pilot and a Racist Trump Supporter All Wrapped in One: #MAGA Pilot Arrested for Racist Airport Graffiti
Photo: Leon County Detention Facility

I mean...not that we needed yet another story tying Trump support to good-old-fashioned American racism, but we got one via a 53-year-old pilot for Endeavor Air, a regional subsidiary of Delta, in today’s “Yep, Water is Still Wet as Hell” news.

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James E. Dees, whose name was probably not intentionally made to sound eerily similar to Robert E. Lee (although, who am I to speculate?), was arrested Friday after police say he tagged bathrooms, elevators, and cars at the Tallahassee International Airport with racial slurs and messages supporting President Donald Trump, USA Today reported. 

According to the Tallahassee Police Department, a covert camera in the airport caught Dees in the act of painting graffiti that read “#MAGA,” “Send them all back” and included various racial slurs directed at African-Americans and Hispanics.

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To make matters worse, this, apparently, wasn’t Dees’ first rodeo. In fact, this angry white man, this pilot, who may have held scores of black and brown lives in his hands at 30 thousand some odd feet in the sky at any given time, had been suspected of 20 different instances of this kind of vandalism tracing back to just two days before Christmas 2018, according to court records.

On Dec. 12, investigators believed they captured footage of the graffiti in progress. Dees, who at that time had only been identified as a pilot, entered the elevator in the airport’s parking lot at about 5 p.m.

Dees was captured after a surveillance camera was hidden in an elevator at the airport following the spate of graffiti.

On Jan. 7, Dees was approached by Tallahassee Police officers as he waited for his outbound flight. When officers told him about the camera he didn’t see getting his bigotry on tape, he admitted he was behind the graffiti.

He copped to vandalizing vehicles in the parking lot as well as walls in the elevator and in the men’s bathroom. He told police he has been going through a “really rough time,” and has anger issues. (You guys reading at home may not know this, but “anger issues” is general white speak for “racism.” I tried to get the translation to the Wypipo Urban Dictionary but, apparently, nobody’s created that yet.)

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According to the report, Dees (for whatever damn reason) wasn’t arrested at the scene. He was told he was allowed to leave, and he began to board the flight. But he, instead, returned and told police he was not in the “right state of mind” to fly a plane, and he left the airport.

Yep, you read that right: the cops were about to allow a confessed racist go back to work leaving God knows how many passengers of color in his care. Meanwhile, TSA is confiscating my shaving cream at the checkpoint, presumably, to keep fellow flyers safe from my clean-shaven hansom-ness.

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Dees is being charged with nine counts of criminal mischief and posted bond around 1 p.m. EST Friday. The damage is estimated to be close to $200.

If convicted, the Perry, Fla., resident faces a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. One would hope he’d also be fired but, well, let’s just say I may be avoiding flights through Tallahassee for a while.

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

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DISCUSSION

“He copped to vandalizing vehicles in the parking lot as well as walls in the elevator and in the men’s bathroom. He told police he has been going through a “really rough time,” and has anger issues.”

...and he’s a coward. He sneaks around leaving nasty, threatening messages because h’s afraid to share his racism openly.