A white woman who lost her livelihood and has had been branded a racist for blocking a black man from entering their apartment building in St. Louis last week is adamant that she did nothing wrong.
If they were both the same race, this would be an entirely different story … maybe not a story at all. But as soon as skin color or gender, or sexual orientation can be leveraged, the thought- police kick in and tell us what our “racist” or “sexist” neighbors are thinking.
“When I noticed an individual that I did not know here, my only thought was to follow directions I had been given by condo association board members repeatedly — and that’s to never allow access to anyone that you don’t know,” Hilary Thornton, who also reportedly goes by the name Hilary Brooke Mueller, said in an interview with local station KTVI.
According to Thornton, the altercation on Oct. 12 began when she left the building’s front door slightly ajar as she let her dog use the bathroom. When a black man by the name of D’Arreion Toles tried to use the open door to enter the building, she confronted him.
“I simply asked if he lived there because the direction from the association is … that if you don’t know the person, you don’t let them in,” she said, adding that she asked him to show her his key fob. “It’s the only indicator any resident has that they live in the building and he wouldn’t answer me.”
Listen to the whole interview below:
But he refused to show it, she claimed, choosing instead to force his way inside. After he made it inside, Thornton followed him to his apartment, where he bid her a good night and went inside.
The whole altercation was recorded from beginning to end by Toles:
He posted the video to his Facebook page sometime later that evening and captioned it with a note revealing that the police had showed up to his place about 30 minutes after the confrontation.
“Women tries to stop me from coming into my building because she feels insecure, Downtown St. Louis luxury loft, because she don’t feel that I belong, never really thought this would happen to me, but it did!” he wrote. “Then 30 mins later police knock on my door, because she called! I was shocked this is America in 2018!”
The post went mega viral, earning millions of views and triggering massive backlash from everybody, including Thornton’s employer.
“The video is showing the employee in her private life at her own residence interacting with another person,” her former employer, the property management firm Tribeca-STL, reportedly announced in a statement afterward.
“The Tribeca-STL family is a minority-owned company that consists of employees and residents from many racial backgrounds. We are proud of this fact and do not and never will stand for racism or racial profiling at our company.”
The consensus by Tribeca-STL, the mainstream media and social media appears to be that Thornton is an unabashed racist, if not a white supremacist:
What is it with angry plus-size white women like #HilaryThornton that’s makes them so racist??? There’s also story about another fatty who called the cops on a black man for cheering on his son at a soccer game. Get a Big Mac & chill! https://t.co/lQAdH6gnBm via @YahooLifestyle
— El Bromista! (@XanderWylde) October 18, 2018
@hilarythornton_ is a trouble maker and a racist. When does feeling threatened give you the right to deny a person civil right
— Woodrow Lee (@Wlee18Jun) October 18, 2018
She was wrong.
If living in an apt. building makes her feel so unsafe she shouldnt be living there.
If she felt so threatened she would have called the police, instead of following him.
— Da’Velle (@willingfollower) October 17, 2018
So does she stop everyone that she doesn’t know from entering the building. If so, the building owner needs to pay her as the designated security guard.
— Sammy or Sammie (@SammieIsSam) October 17, 2018
Hilary Brooke Thornton is a nasty piece of work. This is becoming an epidemic of black people being harassed due to racist people who feel empowered by Donald Trump & can’t mind their own business. It wasn’t even that long a black man got shot dead in his own home by a cop.
— JoJo (@DomajorReminor) October 15, 2018
“That’s false and heartbreaking,” she said in the interview regarding allegations that she’s a racist. “Those are words that cut deep.”
She added that she’d do the same thing again, saying, “I do it all the time. The UPS man and Fed Ex (guy) stand there and try to get in, I say I can’t (let them in).”
Some on social media have defended her from allegations of racism, though they’ve likewise argued that she shouldn’t have followed Toles to his apartment in the first place:
this is being blown way out of proportion, Hilary is not a racist this is ridiculous#HilaryThornton
— Gabrielle Michaelson (@lilbuffdog) October 20, 2018
— Saskia Steinhorst (@scruffy65) October 17, 2018
I don’t believe #HilaryThornton is racist for not letting the guy the building I do however think she went way overboard following the guy to his apartment. I understand the safety aspect but being being nosy and following him was wrong. But not a fireable offense in my opinion.
— Ryan Glasgow, M.Ed. (@CoachGlasgow3) October 17, 2018
Not included among her defenders is her estranged husband, Brandon Mueller, a reported black man who feels disappointed over Thornton’s actions.
“The individual in the video and I have been separated for over a year, and I, myself, no longer reside at the Elder Shirt Lofts building,” he said in a video shared on Facebook. “As a man of color, I have spent most of my professional career teaching others the importance of diversity and inclusion.”
Listen to his whole statement below:
It’s unclear whether her marriage to a black man will change the public’s mind in regard to her alleged racism. Toles has for his part made it clear he holds no animosity toward Thornton and wants people to leave her alone.
“Don’t go after the lady. Let her be at peace. Let her live her life,” he said. “I am not mad at her. I am not upset with her. I am not going to go after her legally or anything like that. I wish her the best. I would still have a conversation with her.”
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