There is such a dearth of good news these days that one is hard-pressed to celebrate much of anything in America. The Census Bureau reports half of America is impoverished, Republicans want to eviscerate anyone not white, not rich, and not Christian, and naked racism is so rampant it is an acceptable and very popular conservative political policy. If that is not enough badness, many Americans are suffering in poverty even though they have one, and often two jobs if they are fortunate. That being the case, the idea of celebrating any American’s misfortune at losing their job would disgust most Americans; likely the same Americans who are disgusted at the increase in naked racism among Republicans and their various conservative iterations. That blatant racism was on display last week in Pennsylvania and although it was disgusting and nothing to celebrate, the man displaying typical conservative racism gave decent Americans a reason to cheer; he was summarily fired for being a racist.
The incident occurred at an otherwise innocent protest by a bunch of grandmothers and grandfathers who were terrified for their grandchildren’s health and well-being due to a Rex Energy oil fracking operation near the Mars Area School District in Mars Pennsylvania. The grandparents lined up their rocking chairs and sat down in a peaceful and silent protest against the every-increasing health hazards of fracking. One of the grandparents, Laurel Colonello, explained to reporters that “the oil fracking and drilling site is way too close to the school and puts the children in danger. This is a dangerous activity that really benefits few people only with money and we are totally opposed to it and we’ll sit here as long as we have to.”
Apparently, the idea of retired Americans in rocking chairs exercising their Constitutional right to protest enraged a Pennsylvania conservative who began aggressively mocking the elderly Americans for not being productive and took special exception to an African American photojournalist, Tom Jefferson, who was documenting the elderly citizens’ demonstration.
The now unemployed man identified by Butler News as John Pisone “swaggered up to the rocking chair grandparents” and began assailing them as moochers. Pisone approached one of the older grandparents and asked, “Have you actually done something with your life, have you had any kind of a job?” Pisone was apparently off work from his job with MMC Land Management due to weather. When the grandparents failed to respond to Pisone’s verbal assaults, he shifted the focus of his inexplicable rage to the photojournalist.
Pisone motioned to the cameraman and said, “Just like this chimp right here” to which one grandma replied, “What did you say?” It was the opening the racist was looking for and he jumped at the opportunity to exude his racial animus. “Yeah, chimp. A f*cking n****r right here with a mop on his head. I don’t give a f*ck. He’s milking my f*cking tax dollars.”
Another grandma told the racist that “We’re peaceful, we do not need your antagonism,” to which the racist mockingly responded by making “chimp-like” noises; a skill he can hone and put to use when he is seeking new employment.
The photojournalist posted the video of socially-conscious grandmas and grandpas in their rockers protesting an oil industry practice proven to be a monumental health hazard to Facebook and it caught the attention of Pisone’s employer MMC Land Management. The company then summarily fired the blatantly racist and released a statement on its own Facebook page that should be a valuable lesson and send a powerful message to all Republican racists.
“Today, we were disgusted to learn that one of MMC’s ‘former employees’ used racial slurs and made racially charged comments during a peaceful protest in Mars, Pennsylvania, outside of work hours at a location with which we have no affiliation. We are sorry that this incident occurred. Whether at work or not, we do not condone hate speech – EVER. MMC has terminated this employee and will never do business with him again in the future.”
The day after his termination the racist removed his profile on Facebook; likely a maneuver to prevent any prospective employers from learning that John Pisone, besides being fired for being a racist, is as nasty a racist as one is ever going to experience. Let’s face it, one has to be stupid-consumed with racial hatred, and apparently elder hatred, to look directly into a photojournalist’s lens and spew racial epithets laced with F-bombs to punctuate just how much he hates African Americans.
Obviously it is not illegal to be a rank racist. In fact, since the election of Barack Obama as President, Republicans have made racial animus a popular plank in the official RNC platform; a policy the GOP’s loyal Aryan base have embraced as a badge of honor. However, badge of honor or not, racism is not being embraced by all Americans and at least one Pennsylvania company made a bold statement that not only do they not condone any of their employee’s racism on the job, they will not tolerate it “EVER.”
No-one wants another person to be unemployed, but if losing a job sends a message to even one racist that the reason they are now going to be “milking other Pennsylvanians’ tax dollars” by drawing unemployment is because they are racist, it is worth celebrating; and loudly.
What is also worth celebrating is that a group of grandparents concerned about their grandchildren’s’ health sat peaceably in their rocking chairs throughout the racist’s demeaning taunts and racial outbursts. That group of elderly white Americans, and one African American photojournalist, epitomize what a “real American” is supposed to be and sends a powerful message that by not responding in kind to blatant racism, a potentially bad situation turned into something to celebrate; a socially-conscious business summarily firing a nasty racist simply for being a racist.