In the wake of the tragic murder of Heather Heyer at the hands of a white supremacist in Charlottesville, Virginia one might have reasonably expected the conservative right – specifically Trump supporters – to moderate themselves and turn down their hateful rhetoric. Instead, the needless death seems to have worked many of them into a violent lather.
As Trump prepared this past Tuesday to give another inane campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona, many Americans were concerned it might devolve into a repeat of the Charlottesville violence. One Trump fan, in particular, helped fan the flames of anxiety. James Cobo took to Facebook to make a vile post, in which he threatened to copycat the vehicular murder of Heather Heyer:
Rightfully concerned Americans spread the post across social media, unwilling to take the risk that Cobo might seriously intend to commit murder. The Arizona Republic reports that soon after he made the post, Cobo was fired by his employer West Valley Tires Point S. They released a statement via Facebook:
West Valley Tires made the only right decision by terminating their hateful employee. Cobo, in response, offered a cowardly, milquetoast explanation:
“I’m being made into a horrible person over a joke that was just meant to ruffle some feathers,” Cobo told The Republic. “I admit it was a tasteless joke, but keyword here is it was a joke. If anybody was ever going to go and intentionally hurt people, why would they talk about it on social media publicly before doing it?” he continues. Cobo’s claim that it was a “joke” is absurd. First, making light of a terrible murder isn’t funny. Second, there is no way a neutral viewer would know whether he was kidding or not. He is responsible for his words. But he wasn’t done there.
Cobo’s claim that it was a “joke” is absurd. First, making light of a terrible murder isn’t funny. Second, there is no way a neutral viewer would know whether he was kidding or not. He is responsible for his words. Unfortunately, he wasn’t done there.
“I was poking at them, trying to get a reaction like they do to the Trump supporters. Just hurt feelings like they do to everybody that doesn’t feel the same way they do about life,” Cobo said, seemingly oblivious to the irony that the right accuses the left of being “snowflakes” while simultaneously the right is constantly complaining about their “hurt feelings.”
The most disgusting tidbit Cobo saved for the end.
“If you play in the road, you might get hit by a car. My parents taught me that when I was little. Now, her family has $225,000, because she played in the street, and people feel sorry for her family,” he said, in reference to the successful GoFunMe page Heyer’s parents have started. The heartless nature of his comments underscores the immoral vacuum at the core of many Trump fans.
Cobo clearly hasn’t learned his lesson and bragged that he’s already secured new employment.
“I don’t care that I got fired. I already got another job. The only thing that upsets me about this situation is that adults are able to throw a tantrum and raise hell and get what they want by doing so. This is not how America is supposed to work.”
Hopefully, his new employers discover just what kind of spiteful man they’ve brought into their fold and decide to take action the same way West Valley Tires did. Hate can’t be given room to put down roots, and Cobo’s unrepentant comments are nothing if not hateful.
Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.