Yet another hate crime has ensued in President Donald Trump’s America.
Kenneth Sjarpe of Washington state, who is white, was arrested and charged with a hate crime after allegedly threatening three men at a gas station he assumed to be Muslims.
According to Raw Story, the altercation occurred last month at a Bellevue gas station where Sjarpe yelled racial slurs at the men, demanded that they leave the country, and threatened to shoot them.
One of the men targeted by Sjarpe told police that he was pumping gas while two of his relatives sat in the car when Sjarpe, 55, emerged from the Arco convenience store and started hurling insults at them.
“Go back to your country,” Sjarpe allegedly said, accompanied by a racial slur and followed by “I’ll shoot you.”
One of the unnamed men got out of the car and confronted Sjarpe, who then got into his Ford Bronco and headed toward them. He continued to threaten the group while repeatedly calling them Muslims.
The men reported the ordeal to police who reviewed the gas station’s surveillance footage to confirm their story. The following day, Sjarpe was approached by a detective and ultimately admitted to exchanging words with the men and claiming he “probably” used a racial slur.
“His voice got louder as he started talking about how he hated those people,” the detective said in a report. “Iranians, Indians, Middle Easterners — they shouldn’t be in our country [and they’re] taking our jobs.”
Sjarpe later expressed his support for Trump and his agenda to keep “them out” — surprise, surprise.
It appears that Sjarpe has made a habit of harassing people he believes are Muslims as he is also suspected of taunting an Ethiopian immigrant in a separate incident. The East African native reported that a man called him a racial slur, and then chased him up the stairs of a business before passersby intervened.
“I want you guys to get out of my country, [racial slur],” the man allegedly said. “If you don’t leave, I will make you disappear.”
Sjarpe faces charges of felony harassment and malicious harassment charges, which is Washington’s hate crime charge.
It is a well-known fact that Trump has emboldened the racists in this country, provoking them to act out in these barbaric ways. However, Trump didn't create racism. These sentiments were already present and are deeply rooted in American history.
While there is no excuse to justify Trump playing up the worst qualities of our society, he is inadvertently holding up a mirror to the fact that the so-called United States aren't so united at all.