“The kid next to me in the hospital could have been a Black baby, could have been a brown baby, could have been a yellow baby.” – Kevin Rinke
This week, Detroit Free Press profiled out-of-touch millionaire Kevin Rinke. The Toyota salesman took the opportunity to casually refer to Asians as “yellow” – a racial slur that caught the attention of Heartland Signal.
Unfortunately, this isn’t Rinke’s first time spewing offensive comments. Last year, The Detroit News released a deep dive of some of the lawsuits Kevin Rinke got sacked with due to the hostile work environment he created at his car dealerships over the years.
According to court records involving former employees who alleged Rinke fostered workplaces rife with racist remarks and sexual harrasment, working for the seedy Toyota salesman was a deeply uncomfortable experience because he “believed he could get away with anything.”
Rinke was sued multiple times by employees, who alleged he asked women if they were wearing matching underwear, made lewd sexual gestures, called a female employee at home and asked if she was receiving oral sex, said “women should not be allowed to work in public,” called Black staffers the n word, employed other “relentless racial slurs,” and even referred to a baby as “well hung.”
He also allegedly said that “I promise not to come in your mouth” was one of his favorite phrases. The constant barrage of offensive comments and racist language pushed employees to quit and cost Rinke thousands in settlement fees.
Heartland Signal: Michigan GOP Gubernatorial Candidate ‘Not a Fan’ of Black Lives Matter, Refers to Asians as ‘Yellow’
By Kate Ly Johnston
Kevin Rinke, a Republican businessman self-funding his campaign for governor of Michigan, called Asians “yellow” and said he is “not a fan” of Black Lives Matter.
Rinke, a first-timer to political elections and former owner of the Rinke Automotive Group, had a lot to say about race in an interview published by The Detroit Free Press on Tuesday. He made the “yellow” comment while saying he doesn’t believe in white privilege.
“I think [white privilege] is a divisive term and it’s looking to stir things up,” Rinke said. “I didn’t pick what color I came out. I was a baby. The kid next to me in the hospital could have been a Black baby, could have been a brown baby, could have been a yellow baby. We were all babies.”
He then said Black Lives Matter is “full of hate” and “full of division,” and that the movement doesn’t “[rise] above the pettiness that separates us.” […]
Rinke previously faced lawsuits from former employees claiming he created racist and sexist work environments at his car dealerships, resulting in thousands of dollars in settlement fees. According to court records obtained by The Detroit News, former employees sued Rinke multiple times, saying they quit due to his offensive comments, such as calling Black staffers the n-word and remarking on one Black worker’s penis size.
Another female worker alleged that Rinke once asked her if she had a “matching bra and panties on” and that he said “women should not be allowed to work in public.” Her lawsuit also cited Rinke’s lewd behavior, such as making masturbation gestures during long phone calls and calling a baby “well hung” while looking at photos of newborn infant boys in front of employees.
The Michigan Democratic Party put out a statement last Wednesday criticizing Rinke for these actions, and for furthering false claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Though Rinke told FOX 17 that he doesn’t believe the election was stolen, he calls out “significant irregularities” in Michigan’s voting record. His website and intro ad also share his pledge to “audit the voter rolls” because of a “tainted election.” […]