A 61-year-old Michigan man has pleaded guilty to two federal hate crimes in the intimidation of Black Lives Matter supporters, according to Fox 2 Detroit. Those supporters were Starbucks employees who were granted permission to wear BLM t-shirts. It seems someone took their activism very personally.
Many businesses suffered severe backlash after outwardly showing support for the movement against police brutality following the murder of George Floyd. The very words “Black lives matter” unleashed a sort of unhinged white rage which evidently awakened inside Mr. Kenneth Pilon of Saginaw, Michigan. According to Fox’s report, Pilon was accused of calling up nine Starbucks stores, and harassing employees with racial threats after seeing an announcement allowing them to don BLM t-shirts behind the counter.
Prosecutors say he also threatened to kill Black people and even went the extra mile of putting a noose inside an employee’s vehicle with a note: “An accessory to be worn with your ‘BLM’ t-shirt. Happy protesting!”
If he was that upset, he could have just tried going to Dunkin’ Donuts. Now he’s traded his morning cup for a prison sentence.
Read more from the Department of Justice:
“The defendant levied racially-motivated death threats against multiple Black people wearing Black Lives Matter t-shirts,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The defendant also used a noose, a vile symbol of hatred and violence that harkens back to the Jim Crow era, to convey a threat of racial violence. Racially-driven threats of violence simply have no place in our society today, and the Department of Justice will continue to prosecute any individual who engages in this type of threatening conduct.”
Is it me or have these hate-crime perpetrators been extra honest about their actions? Logically, the intention behind their extravagant racial taunts would be hard to disprove in court—especially an explicit threat to kill Black people. But lately a number of suspects—particularly white people accused of attacking Black people—have wasted no time admitting to what they did and why.
After Ahmaud Arbery’s killers received hate crime sentences, it seems everybody else gave up trying to prove their innocence.
The FBI recently released the statistics report on hate crimes in 2021. Sixty-four percent of the crimes were motivated by racism and 56 percent of the known offenders were white. Remember, these are only the ones that have been reported, documented and investigated. There are likely even more proudly proclaimed racists walking among us.