The election of Donald Trump has really emboldened the “I don’t have a racist bone in my body” crowd. Seeing the president talk crazy with impunity has inspired his admirers to see if that lack of consequences also translated to them. In news surprising no one but white men, they don’t.
NBC News reports that Patrick Carlineo Jr., a 56-year-old New York resident, has been sentenced to a year in prison. In November, Carlineo pleaded guilty to threatening to assault and murder Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar as well being a felon in possession of firearms. Carlineo was arrested in April after he placed a threatening call to Omar’s office; in the call, he inquired about the Muslim Brotherhood, labeled Omar as a “terrorist” and closed it out by saying that back in the day the forefathers would’ve killed her and he would “put a bullet in her [expletive] skull.” If there was a bingo card for things trash-ass white dudes say, ol’ boy would have damn near filled it out.
Sonya Zoglin, the attorney for Carlineo, sent an email to the Associated Press saying he never really meant to hurt Omar—the classic “Come on now, you know I was just playing” defense, if you will.
In addition to threatening a U.S official, Carlineo also went ahead and played himself. He is a convicted felon and was found to be in possession of a .45 caliber handgun, three rifles, two shotguns and rounds upon rounds of ammunition. Apparently, he believed no one could take away his 2nd Amendment rights, not even himself.
After Carlineo pleaded guilty, Omar sent a letter to the judge seeking leniency during his sentencing. In the letter she wrote:
“Punishing the defendant with a lengthy prison sentence or a burdensome financial fine would not rehabilitate him. It would not repair the harm he has caused. It would only increase his anger and resentment.”
In addition to prison time, Carlineo was also ordered to forfeit his guns and ammo. There seems to be this trend where people (read: white men) believe free speech is speech without consequences. No one is stopping you from talking crazy; just be prepared to catch hands—or, as Carlineo learned, a case.