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'What a bunch of racists': MLK weekend becomes 'Republicans Are Racists Weekend' for pro-Black Lives Matter CEO of spice company

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Photo by Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images

A pro-Black Lives Matter CEO of a Wisconsin-based spice company billed the extended weekend honoring Martin Luther King Jr. as "Republicans Are Racists Weekend."

What are the details?

Bill Penzey of Penzeys Spices — whom one can safely say resides squarely on the left — penned a recent email to customers laying out his views in no uncertain terms, asking if they "remember how Republicans did all they could to derail" the Black Lives Matter movement "by trying to drown out BLM’s message with shouts of All Lives Matter, and Blue Lives Matter, and lying about the leaders of BLM being Marxists and Communists?"

He also asked, "Remember after George Floyd’s murder the anger and righteous outrage that swept across America? Remember how Black Lives Matter stepped in and redirected that anger into peaceful protests [and] how Republicans, going against a mountain of evidence to the contrary, once again lied and said BLM wasn’t a peaceful movement but instead terrorists inciting violence throughout the country and then raced out to buy a crapload of guns because maybe they were finally going to get their chance to shoot a Black person? What a bunch of racists."

With that, Penzey pivoted to advertise his company as one that "cheeses off racists" — and then gave a sales pitch: "And where normally cheesing off racists is something we throw in for free with the purchase of any of our spices, in honor of the life of Dr. King, this extended weekend we are throwing in an extra cheesing off of an up-to-$12.95 value 1/2-cup jar free with any $10 purchase."

Never let the birthday of a civil rights icon go to waste, right?

But the grandstanding was far from over. The email added to the GOP faithful that "if you’re a part of a party that does everything it can to make it harder for Black people to vote, gerrymanders the value of minority votes down into a small fraction of the value of white votes in state houses and in the U.S. House of Representatives, and are willing to vote for candidates of the party that nominated a man for president who explained why he was launching his campaign by saying: 'Mexicans are rapists and murderers,' the Racist label is one you will deservingly wear every day you stand with them. Get used to it, or maybe instead, become a better person. The choice is yours. We will be here rooting for you to Choose Love."

Penzey also asked those who "believe in vaccines, all the goodness set in motion each time we say Black Lives Matter, and knocking on every door possible before 11.8.22 to turn out every last vote to save our democracy" to join his mailing list.

'Grifting off terrible political takes'

WITI-TV in Milwaukee noted that black Republicans pushed back against "Penzey’s rhetoric."

"Penzey’s has been grifting off terrible political takes and low name-calling for a decade, so the reporters will give them free media," Republican Wisconsin state Sen. Julian Bradley told the station. "These lies are news?"

Apparently not, as WITI detailed the CEO's history of political grandstanding.

The station said Penzey in 2014 wrote that Waukesha County residents had "fled west" to escape diversity in Milwaukee — and then in 2016 accused Donald Trump supporters of "racism" with their votes.

"You really are a good bunch, but you just committed the biggest act of racism in American history since Wallace stood in the schoolhouse doorway 53 years ago," he wrote on Facebook, according to WITI. "Make this right. Take ownership for what you have done and begin the pathway forward."

A Waukesha County Republican said of Penzey at the time, "He doesn't know me. He doesn't know anybody that I know that had purchased from him, but we're racist because we chose to vote for a person that in this country, we have every right to do?" the station said.

Penzeys also spent nearly $100,000 on Facebook ads in 2019 calling for Trump's impeachment, WITI reported.

The station added that Penzey and his company didn't return WITI's messages.

Penzeys Spices email to customers calls Republicans 'racists' | FOX6 News Milwaukee youtu.be

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