I'll never understand why people sometimes get into trouble just for being honest. No, I'm not talking about suspects who confess to serious crimes. Whether you assaulted someone or just committed a white collar crime, those who confess still legitimately deserve some kind of punishment.
What I'm referring to relates to those moments when some average person makes a very accurate and honest statement, but somehow their honesty translates into a national controversy because the source it originated from was an unlikely voice for that issue.
Case in point: a lawn care company from North Texas is in trouble because one of their old alleged business cards recently surfaced online. The business card itself wasn't particularly unique in anyway - white card-stock, no biggie.
But what was written on the card was more truth than some people could handle.
"American owned, your alternative to illegal lawn services"
Apparently putting those words on a business card is enough to set off a firestorm of outrage on the Internet in 2018.
Of course, this news story gets even wackier when you consider that Jeff Hinkle, the owner of MowMasters lawn mowing service, says the card in question was a sample card from three years ago. He claims it wasn't his real business card.
Hinkel sent out a statement that says:
“Many card samples were made up to determine which wording would be used to let customers know there are legitimate, honest, taxpaying lawn services with excellent credentials and verifiable backgrounds.”
OK, fine, so some guy who mows lawns for a living had his name written on a sample business card that he claims never officially went into use.
Great, so that's that - end of the story, right?
Wrong. The reportersat CBS Dallas weren't satisfied with his answer, so they did some digging and found an old photograph of a work truck from Hinkel's business that had the same wording on it (but I was unable to find that photo when I looked for myself).
In an effort to defend his reputation, Hinkel sent CBS-Dallas a picture of his current business card, which simply says, "God bless America."
Now far-left extremist groups have launched public outrage campaign against Hinkel and his business. His business was even compared to the Ku Klux Klan by Mijente, a California based illegal immigrant rights group.
This news story has now received national coverage, which begs the question: why? What's the point? The hypothetical business card that's not even being used by the actual business wasn't wrong in it's original statement. There really are undocumented people who migrated here illegally who take jobs doing landscaping work. Since they're working off the books, they don't always pay their fair share of taxes. They also take work away from people who are here legally. And guess what? When you hire illegal workers and they don't do their job correctly, it's almost impossible for the customers to report them (because you can't report someone who uses an illegal ID).
This isn't a shockingly unfair stereotype; it's extremely accurate. The United States of America has been engrossed in a serious immigration crisis since the early 1980s. The consequences of this mass migration has contributed to organized criminal groups participating in human and drug trafficking. The annual casualty count of this war with criminals at our border is disturbingly high and Hinkel is nothing more than a guy who mows lawns for a living. His only crime is having two eyeballs and the sensibility to see something that's happening right in front of his face. Instead of vilifying a lawn care worker, why not address the actual human rights crisis happening between the US and Mexico? Wouldn't it be more effective to use all of that energy advocating for immigration reform rather than chastising a guy who waters flowers to earn a paycheck?
You'd think so, but maybe it's possible all the people who are offended by this news story don't actually care at all about what he did. Maybe they're all just really bored and they needed something to preoccupy their time for 20 minutes, not realizing this sort of negative attention could actually hurt someone's business.
If that's the case, get a hobby, folks. Seriously, do something better with your time, literally anything. For example, have you considered gardening? I hear it's very popular in Texas.
Shortly after publishing this op-ed, Sandra Peterson (another regular contributor to this blog) sent me this short story as a response. The following was written by her.
This reminds me of my first-ever call up to jury duty in the early 90s here in Houston. An illegal immigrant was suing a luxury hotel because he slipped on a patch of ice while performing his job duties. At first glance, it looks like a legitimate Worker's Compensation claim. But it wasn't.
This guy was hired by a contractor to that hotel to handle the outside maintenance of the property. There had been one of those fabulous Houston ice storms the night before, and his boss had told him to go spread some sand on some icy patches; and that's where he slipped and threw out his back. He was unable to work for several weeks.
He tried to sue his employer, but that didn't work because the employer knowingly hired him as an illegal, and therefore, didn't have to pay Workman's Comp (actually, at the time, he wasn't even entitled to Workman's Comp in Texas).
So, he ended up suing the hotel. Which is where I came in. I was chosen for the jury to hear the case. It ended up getting settled before arguments could begin, so I was not put into a position where I could be compassionate and force the hotel to pay for an injury that wasn't its to pay for, or judge things on the law, and send the guy off with nothing.
And that's the conundrum businesses are in. MowMaster is doing the right thing, hiring legal workers. The company will pay out any Workman's Comp claims, etc it has to. But the unicorn-fart sniffing social justice warriors don't see that. They think he's being racist by not putting vulnerable illegals in a position where they could possibly get injured and get nothing.
What to do? Keep on keeping on and weather the social media storm, or cave and put your business and others at risk?