Afro-Americans referred to as the “N” word by a Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson employee in Thiensville who was later fired for sending the racist text message to the wrong person, who happens to own a motorcycle customs shop.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
April 15, 2016
Thiensville, WI – A Suburban Motors Harley-Davison Dealership employee has been fired as a result of sending a racist text message referring to Afro-Americans as the “N” word to the wrong person, Jesse Sawyer who happens to be the owner of Jesse’s Hawg Pen, a motorcycle customs shop in Milwaukee. Jesse had text Jeff Enright, a Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson Dealership employee inquiring about a motorcycle part. Enright responded with what was determined to be a racist text message referring to Afro-Americans as the “N” word. Apparently, Enright was texting to someone else and discussing how Afro-Americans using the word “N” doing a job and how they couldn’t vote and the bars were closed on election day.
The Enright racist text message was then exposed on Facebook by Jesse who wasn’t to thrill about getting a N word racist text. It took Scott Houpt, the owner of the Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson Dealership (SMHD) at least 24-hours to terminate Enright after learning about it.
According to Jesse, Milwaukee area Afro-American biker’s and Afro-American motorcycle repair and custom shops have spent about $500,000 to $1,000,000 per year at the SMHD and suddenly they are considered the N word by an employee. Another SMHD employee, Billy O’Dwyer who started working last year at SMHD posted “on behalf of myself and the more than 40 other Suburban employees that do not attach themselves, in any way, to the transaction between Jeff and Jesse. MY HOPE is that no one else would either.” In other words, O’Dwyer and other employees at SMHD have disassociated themselves from Enright and don’t condone what he texted to Jesse.
At least 1,000 bikes were bought by Afro-American bikers at SMHD costing between $4,000 to $40,000. In return, Afro-American biker groups have gotten a few $200 in gift certificates and some biker group appearances at the SMHD anniversary biker parties, according to Sawyer.
Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA) has included the following Facebook (FB) postings by Sawyer from the “Keeping It On 2’s” Facebook page that was posted for bikers to share.
Sawyer FB posted, “Hello to the biker world…This is Jesse Sawyer the owner of Jesse’s Hawg Pen in Milwaukee,Wi. I’m writing in regards to the racist text message I received from Jeff Enright a long standing employee at Suburban Harley Davidson in Theinsville Wi. The racist message was accidentally sent to my phone while conducting a business transaction with Suburban Harley. I’m bothered by the text most of all due to me leading so many customers to this establishment for the past 13 years. As a business Suburban Harley is responsible for their employees during their work hours. Jeff Enright came to my shop several hours later to apologize for the “NIGGER” slur, but I felt it wasn’t do to me, it was only an apology for the mistake of being caught saying it. I would never accept an apology from a man who can’t stand on what he said. If we’re “NIGGERS” don’t let us not be because we seen, or heard it. It’s crazy that what stood out the most during Jeff Enright talk of shame was him saying Scott advised him that IF he COULDN’T resolve this with me, he was going to be fired. It shouldn’t take me saying it’s ok to call me a “NIGGER” to determine the future of his job at Suburban Harley. It then took the president Scott Houpt 24 hrs. later to contact me regarding this issue to say I fired him and my dealership doesn’t represent this. I can only imagine the call that I may not have received if I had accepted his apology, or hadn’t threatened to exposed this to his African American customers. I feel we have helped build Suburban Harley Davidson business with our hard earned dollar, and in 2016 why are we still being considered as “NIGGERS”? This dealership receives the most black earned dollars out of any dealership in Wisconsin. From this day forward, I will not wear a shirt with their name on my back. We spend $40 for t-shirts to advertise their name for what, to be just “NIGGERS” at the end of the day? There’s no need to keep this as a race issue, but there is a strong point to make demands from this issue. 10 years ago I advised Scott how African Americans will grow in this Harley Davidson world. Within 5 years it happened and he couldn’t believe it. Five years later Harley Davidson corporation were teaching all dealerships urban outreach. I never understood why teach whites to deal with blacks when we’re all humans. Apparently the outreach didn’t work 10 years later. I feel as the #1 dealership in Wisconsin why not have an African American parts person, salesman, apparel, or even a service person at your dealership out of 75 employees. This issue is nothing more then me standing for our rights as a whole. I have dealt with people and dealerships from the east to west, and from north to the south. It’s crazy for me to see that some people make this situation excusable. Is this because of the close-out giveaways at parties, or just the 10% discount you receive? We need to learn to stand for more as a whole in all situations instead of only at motorcycle crash scenes, or anniversary parties in the black community. I have played a major part in building this bike community from sports bikes, metric cruisers into a Harley Davidson loved bike. When the African American dollar leaves their dealership, we will then see how strong we are as a group, and what they’re willing to change for us. I allowed 10 of my white customers to see this text and 6 of them said, we stand with what’s right without me asking. Don’t allow another to stand for what we need to stand for. Call Suburban and voice your opinions to this matter and don’t try to kill a snake at the tail. Speak to the president Scott Houpt 262-242-2464 and see what his plans are to better this situation. Thank you”
Second posting by Sawyer, “Good Evening Biker World, this is Jesse again. First I would like to say I appreciate everyone who has stood behind this! Big D Deon A Polk Please explain to me what Suburban Harley has done for the African American Bikers? They have gave us $200 in giveaways, they have gave us special appearances for 2hrs at anniversary parties, or is it the counter discount on parts? Now we as a whole have given them over a 1000 bike sales at a minimum of $4000- $40,000. We have cleared their shelves of clothing, we have cleared their shelves of accessories, we wear their name on our back locally and/or cross country, we attend and support all their events including their annual block party, we do rides for their establishment, and most of all we pass up other dealerships to support their establishment. I think the 4 to 5 clubs they choose to grab a hold of for the discount advertisement equals to me $1000-$1500 a year. Now our sales equal to over $500,000- $1,000,000 per year. Now tell us again about them helping the biker community? If they employed a minimum of 4 African American employees that received $30,000 a year that’s $120,000 coming back to our community. Instead of a million going farther north of Mequon Rd. This is a lifestyle that we choose to put our foot print down in. Our dollar keeps their 75 employees, oh I mean 74 employees employed. I would never settle for water and dawn detergent over what’s real. Big D you texted me at 8:04 am and asked would I like to be in your Catarina Kravey YouTube video offered on your club site. I responded to call me back twice and hear it is 13 1/2 hrs later I still haven’t received that call. I can say you have spoke to the people you consider good to “NIGGERS” multiple times today and I guess you didn’t want to talk or ride down on me. Stand up as a man and realize I wasn’t called a “NIGGER” personally, but I stand with the fact it was said and handled, but not handled affectively. Re read your earlier post and tell us have you known them for 5years or 8 years? I guess we can answer that, tell us the year of your bike? We don’t count the times you went to trade in that metric cruiser and was turned away. Also,: he wasn’t fired the day of, he returned to work the next day to find out he was fired!! And last but not least let’s not forget, he was ONLY FIRED BECAUSE I DIDN’T ACCEPT HIS APOLOGY!! I wonder how would you be defending Suburban Harley then? That is all!!!”
Polk is the President of Raw Iron Brotherhood Motorcycle Club. Polk confirmed in a SMHD thread FB posting discussion that “There are Harley dealerships that wont even speak to a black person when u walk in yet black folks stay having events at that dealership.”
In has not been determined, if Enright’s racist text message was attributed to Donald J. Trump’s bigoted and racist campaign for the Republican nomination for President.