An Arizona man who said he was “being made into a horrible person” because of a social media post that referenced a violent incident in Charlottesville was fired from his job Wednesday, the Arizona Republic reported.
James Cobo was responding to a Facebook post about protesting President Donald Trump’s visit to Phoenix. “You are all pathetic. Can’t wait to drive through. 4×4 with push bumper will be sweet in this crowd. I named my lifted truck ‘trumper,’” Cobo wrote.
The comment seemed to reference the incident 10 days previously when Heather Heyer was killed after a car plowed into a group of protesters in Charlottesville.
Cobo’s employer, West Valley Tires Point S of Buckeye, Arizona, was not amused and fired him Wednesday, The Arizona Republic reported.
“I’m being made into a horrible person over a joke that was just meant to ruffle some feathers,” Cobo told the Republic on Wednesday. “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?”
Cobo defended what he wrote and said he was not racist.
“I never hurt anybody, nor did I have the intent to,” Cobo said. “I never said I was actually going to hit anybody with a vehicle. They assumed it. Never would have thought it would be a big deal.
“I still can’t figure out why I’m being called a racist. I’ve never even said anything racist.”
Cobo admitted his intent was to upset people.
“I was poking at them, trying to get a reaction like they do to the Trump supporters,” Cobo said. “Just hurt feelings like they do to everybody that doesn’t feel the same way they do about life.”
He also denied that his post was referencing Heyer’s death, but he was not sympathetic, the Republic reported.
“If you play in the road, you might get hit by a car. My parents taught me that when I was little,” he said. “Now, her family has $225,000, because she played in the street, and people feel sorry for her family.”
A GoFundMe page created to raise money for Heyer’s family raised nearly $225,000 before it was closed.
Cobo said he had no regrets.
“I don’t care that I got fired. I already got another job,” he said. “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.”