Saturday, June 13, 2020

Black business owner claims his white landlord is evicting him for joining Black Lives Matter protest

A black business owner claims his white landlord evicted him from an office space because he was peacefully protesting at a Black Lives Matter demonstration.

Jeremiah Johnson, Exodus Bargblor, Xaví Fonceca and Edward Idehen run co-owned fashion brand Stylent from a rented office near Des Moines, Iowa.

The landlord allegedly told the company to relocate after he saw a video of two of the owners peacefully protesting.

In the clip, one of the owners is heard telling the landlord: 'You never thought anyone would step up and finally fight back to what was happening in this country.'

An onlooker states: 'Either way, that doesn't have anything to do with you leasing this place.'

The co-owner adds: 'You're being mad at me for other people. I was protesting the right way. Why get mad at me then?

'You say you're not ok with the riots, and also you're not ok with me peacefully protesting?'

The landlord replies: 'I'll just tell you flat out. If there's something illegally going on at a place that I'm at, I don't want to be a part of it. I'm personally going to leave.'

The business owner goes on to explain that 'there's two different groups' at the demonstrations, one peaceful and one who engaged in rioting.

The landlord goes on to say that he thinks it is 'poor judgement to be at a place where something illegally is going on'.

He said if 'it [illegal activity] happens, I leave, I'm out of there. I don't want my face associated with something that's going on'.

The owner again tries to explain that he was not with 'the guys out there doing' the looting and rioting.

While it is unclear where they were protesting, Iowa has faced a over a week of largely-peaceful demonstrations sparked by the death of unarmed black man George Floyd.