Jeff Whitman drove two miles out of his way to follow a black man to his house and call him a “n***er” in a now-viral racist tirade caught on video. The consequences for his racism were immediate.

Last week, Whitman — owner and operator of Uriah’s Heating, Cooling, and Refrigeration — made the news for taking his road rage way too far. Charles Lovett, who lives in Columbus, recorded Whitman on his phone when the latter arrived outside of Lovett’s house in his company truck, angry that Lovett didn’t allow him to go straight in a right-turn-only lane.

“Is there a reason why you just followed me to my house?” Lovett said as he exited his vehicle in his driveway.

“I wanted to let you know how much of a n***er you are,” Whitman said in the video, with his company name, phone number, and state contractor’s license prominently displayed on his driver’s side door.

Now, Whitman is apparently apologetic after the internet ruined his business. Searching for Whitman’s business on Yelp shows hundreds of one-star reviews from commenters saying Whitman “gives hardworking tradesmen a bad name,” and that Uriah’s is “owned and operated by your not so friendly neighborhood racist.” Uriah’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) accreditation has been suspended due to Whitman violating the BBB’s integrity standards.

When Columbus NBC affiliate WCMH confronted Whitman in the immediate aftermath of the video spreading on social media, Whitman was unapologetic about his actions.

“I don’t know if it makes it right or wrong all I can say is I grew up with it and not a big deal for me,” Whitman said.

However, in a phone message to Columbus Dispatch writer Theodore Decker, Whitman is now saying his decision to follow Lovett to his house and hurl racial slurs at him was “an awful mistake.

“I’m out of business, I’m completely out, I’m done, I’ll never work in Columbus again,” Whitman said. “This has completely and thoroughly ruined my life.”

“I just don’t understand the intensity of the hate,” said the man who drove two miles out of his way to verbally abuse a complete stranger based on the color of his skin.

The story of Jeffrey Whitman’s swift comeuppance shows a very clear lesson: Racists are not sorry for being racist until you make them pay for it financially. While Whitman’s claims that his 86-year-old mother and wheelchair-using 25-year-old daughter are being harassed are unfortunate if true, it’s difficult to feel sympathy for him suffering due to the fact that his determination to spew racial hatred at a stranger is what led to the public outcry.

Whether Whitman is truly sorry for the mindset that led to his actions that day or of he’s simply apologizing because he got caught and lost his business remains to be seen. But the fact that the public outcry was so swift may end up being its own deterrent for racists thinking about lashing out at minorities in the future.


Scott Alden is a freelance contributor covering national politics, education, and environmental issues. He is a proud Toledo University graduate, and lives in the suburbs of Detroit.


    1. “I’m out of business, I’m completely out, I’m done, I’ll never work in Columbus again,” Whitman said. “This has completely and thoroughly ruined my life.”

      YOU ruined your life…fool. You are getting exactly what you deserve. Now, instead of staying ignorant, do the work, learn, elevate yourself out of the mental gutter you are in.

      1. That racist bigot ruined himself! He is only sorry he got caught….otherwise he would cotinueto be ignorant, he did it ti himself he showed is TRUE colors period! He needs reported to whomever issued his license as well not just the BBB I highly doubt an 87 year old woman and a girl in a wheelchair is being harrassed he is just digging himself deeper, there is NO return regardless of how many times he continues to lie he will say anything remember….he will say anything to get what HE wants FAKE APOLOGY NOT ACCEPTED!!!!!!!!!!

  1. do not like it when people lose their jobs for saying stupid things. I am also willing to consider second chances, once they correct their actions.

    This guy did not just say stupid things, he actually followed his victim to intimidate. Never apologized.

    Fuck him!

    1. Second chances are fine IF given for the right reason. Apologizing after getting caught is not the right reason and means nothing. I don’t care that he ruined his life. Hate’ll do that do ya one way or another.

      1. True ! For a time in my life, I hated a certain group of people. But, gradually, it dawned o me that I was hurting whenever I encountered some of those objects of MY hate. I was the one suffering from my emotional and mental conditions. Thus, I began backing away from HATING. iMMEDIATELY, seems like a dark cloud was removed from my consciouness. I felt BETTER.

      2. Exactly and he said it was a mistake cause it ruined his business,not cause it’s wrong and he made no effort to make it up to the person he harrased.,not even fake effort

    2. >>>do not like it when people lose their jobs for saying stupid things The 1st Amendment guarantees free speech, but you know what it doesn’t guarantee? A lack of consequences! ROFL

  2. He fully admitted that he’s always been that way. It wasn’t a mistake, turned into one for him. All he had to do was go home. Problem solved!!!

  3. “I just don’t understand the intensity of the hate,”

    Let me explain it: We’ve had it up to HERE with this garbage. Enough. We aren’t putting up with it any more. I’m a white guy, and I’m completely sick of this racist trash. I can’t IMAGINE how sick of it black people must be.

    Black people have been in this country since 1620 – long before most of our ancestors. Slavery ended more than 150 years ago. Why are we STILL fighting this battle? What will it take for a way-too-large portion of white America to recognize that black people are AMERICAN CITIZENS? Not some “other” that doesn’t really belong here?

    We’re supposed to be patient? We’ve BEEN patient. 150 years after the Civil War ended, they’re STILL flying the Confederate Flag and calling it “heritage.” I’m Italian-American. That doesn’t mean I think Mussolini is my “heritage.”

    Enough of handling racists with kid gloves while they HARM people. While black people are being shot by cops, and harassed just for going about their daily lives. Jeffrey Whitman wouldn’t let someone else just live his life in peace.

    “Whosoever diggeth a pit shall fall in it.” – Proverbs 26:27

    1. Hey Dude I respect your honesty heartfelt response. It struck a cord within me. If you’re on Facebook, I would like to meet you. Bruce Barnes, Black man in white suit.

    2. Couldn’t have said it better….(well maybe I could have lol). But you hit the nail on the head. Continue to stay on the side of good and decency I hope there’s a lot more people like you in this world!

    3. *full-hearted applause* bravo – both well said and very accurate.

      as a queer pagan with Jewish parents who had an amazingly diverse social circle (it was a running joke that straight white christians had to be escorted by a member of the ‘tribe’ until they’d proven themselves of good character…) it’s enheartening to know that mine isn’t the only anger that’s boiled over.

    4. This is an eloquent, heartfelt and thoughtful response. I have often wondered why we are STILL dealing with this subject. Perhaps when enough of us stand up and question the tolerance of racism, it will end.

    5. Omg. When you said blacks have been here since 1620,long before many of your ancestors ( which btw is so spot on and completely correct ) I almost had an orgasmic moment. I am absolutely amaze how knowledgeable you are about this factual history that most whites would nash their teeth and go into total convulsion to such admittance. Bravo to you for embracing the truth. You give me hope.

      1. Thanks for giving the PROPER information on how long blacks have been in the Americas AluraLu. I’m currently reading the wonderful book, They Came Before Columbus, which gives a very rich and rather accurate account of how our influence was all over the globe long before “race” was even considered an issue….


    6. Bro, thank you so much… I am a black man and I fight daily in an effort to end this stuff. To hear your words, knowing you’re white, makes them that much more special. I LOVE how you kept saying WE.. Thank you for believing, thank you for caring, thank you for loving……

    7. Actually, Horatio, the indigenous inhabitants of the North Continent now falsely named America were largely dark-skinned, some more black than most of the African Slaves whose bones are the foundation stones of most States. And they had been there since before White Men appeared on this planet. (approx 8,000 to 10,000 years ago). I know, I was surprised, but there is pictorial evidence online of just how black many tribes were. Interestingly NONE survive.

    8. EXACTLY, and thank you.

      To Jeffrey Whitman: We don’t like the way you were raised, sir. It’s actually NEVER BEEN OKAY. I’m sorry you’re so stubborn. Do something to make your daughter’s life better, and apologize to your mom every day.

    9. He says he does not understand the intensity of the hate? He should look inside if HIMSELF and he will find the Answer. We as Black People, understand the intensity and its origins. We live it and have been, and continue to be victimized by it. We have the memories of being disrespected, humiliated in front of our Children, parents, etc.. The physical, psychological, abuse is also seared in our memory. He is the one that is privileged to never reflect on anything like that…..Nor will his Children, nor his Children’s children. We will never have that luxury, nor will our Children, or their children. He doesn’t understand the intensity of the hate, because of the swift and justified response. Take a walk in our shoes. Does he understand what fear and anxiety Black parents suffer when their child leaves the house to go to the corner store? Or take a ride on his/her bike? HE WILL NEVER HAVE TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT THAT!

    10. God Bless You Horacio. At Least you see and understand that fact and you are not threatened by it. We are here we are citizens and we just want to be respected as human beings and exercise our rights just like every other American Citizen. Live our lives with dignity work, and raise our families.

    11. Excellent history lesson for all. The driver acknowledged that it is the way he grew up. But, he never acknowledged that he needed to change his views. Some folks are stuck in the past and fear a future they can’t control. Keep sending the right message and thank you.

  4. Whether you’re at work or not, you still have some representation of the company you work for. And companies do not want this image associated with them. That word may be just stupid to you but to us and the history behind it, it is something serious. Even something like losing their job is a small win for us because too many white people have gotten away with treating us like crap and we are always expected to take it. So there is definitely no sympathy for how this man’s life is now ruined based off of his own actions. Don’t be racist and mind your own business. It’s that easy. 🤷🏾‍♀️

    1. He was the owner of the company. He lost his business because his potential client base walked away from him.

    2. Don’t be racist is not sufficient … it’s only a start. Be inclusive, realize that “We the People” includes every one of U.S. Diversity rules. “If you’re not part of the solution …” Let’s really “Love one another.”

  5. I also am white. I would like to thank you for standing up for those who really need to be defended against This Racist regime. I will not be here to vote during the next election because my medical coverage has been denied. They are dismantling our government allowing foreign government to interfere in our elections and cutting off all right as voters. Everyone is saying we will vote them out. They have no intention of letting us vote again.

    1. Not voting is not the answer. There are more than two parties—-do some research on the other parties and then pick the candidate that reflects your ethics and mindset the most.

      1. ivonne, I hope I’m wrong, but I think Janet was saying that with her medical coverage being denied, she won’t be here next year.

  6. The pitiful whine of a bully when his jerkoff behavior finally catches up with him.

    Can he understand how many people have the reverse of sympathy for this loser? I’m DELIGHTED to see that he is totally screwed and suffering badly. It SERVES HIM RIGHT. He’s A BULLY and nothing more. I hope choking down his arrogant pride hurt like a sumbitch.

    That was some of the most-deserved clapback I’ve seen in a long, long time. Let’s not forget this ass-can pursued a person for miles to invade his personal space and terrorize him.

    Dirtbag gets what he deserves.

    1. Exactly! He opened his big mouth by following this poor person home like a psycho so he gets exactly what he deserves. Maybe now he will think b4 he opens his racist mouth.

    2. Exactly — he not only followed this man home, but he had two miles worth of city driving time to stop, think real hard about what he was intending to do, and drive away. He chose to reveal his a**holery to the world instead, and now he’s whining about the consequences. I do so enjoy an afternoon dose of schadenfreude.

  7. I understand racism is a product of ignorance and the ill use of a useful tool called discrimination. We must discriminate left shoes for left feet and right shoes for right feet, else there could be great suffering. But this person seems to have put his best right foot forward, and tripped over his other right foot. Now I begin to wonder if racism isn’t a product of mental illness…or am I tripping over my two left feet?

    1. You may be tripping over your feet….please let’s not give people another reason or excuse for their actions and/or claim SSDI…

  8. Shout out to white people who call out and put racist white people in check and who also don’t try to lecture POC for reacting to racism. Thank you!

  9. Janet Van Stry I am so sorry you have lost your insurance. My husband and I can barely afford ours. The Repugs will kill us all….who isn’t a preexisting condition? How can those who will be affected still vote for these cruel, vile, evil hucksters? As this regime destroys more and more of us will they come to even a semblance of understanding they were duped?

  10. It’s the orange moron making idiot think this is normal behavior, it’s not! Good, maybe other idiots will learn, but I doubt it! They are trumpers!

    1. Yup….he never apologized for the racist remark, and we are supposed to feel sorry for him. His being shunned should be a message for him. When others speak out and refuse to condone this behavior, it gives hope that America can maybe one time unite!

  11. There’s a lot of comments hating on the racist white man. Which is fine. What I would like to mention is how impressive this black man reacted. He kept his cool, stood up for himself, defended his actions. All whilst being racially targeted by someone who was also simply wrong. Well done sir. I’m glad that although there are hate crimes being committed constantly, people are standing up for themselves.

    1. Yes! Grace and maturity in motion. I don’t know that I could have been as intelligent sounding or even been able to say anything at all.

    2. Go one step further. The target stood there not knowing if racist pig was going to reach for a piece and end him. That took courage.

  12. He doesn’t “understand the intensity of the hate”? It was his incomprehensible (and reprehensible) “intensity of hate” that triggered a backlash. What’s so difficult to understand about that? And now he’s attempting to make a play for sympathy for a situation of his own creation. Well, Mr. Whitman, you have no one to blame but yourself for putting the “s.o.b.” in “sob story”.

  13. Do you realize how ENTITLED and PATHETIC one must be to feel like they have any right to do this? People like this are everywhere and we must STOMP THEM OUT LIKE ROACHES. VOTE!

  14. Thank you. I understand that some white people “get it.” I appreciate that. My husband is white and sometimes he doesn’t get where the hate comes from as we just walk around living our lives. He gets even angrier than I and I have to teach him what my dad used to teach us growing up… and that was to stop to think of how to act rather than immediately react. For instance, as kids we knew that stopping at a gas station we were to check to see if the restrooms were ‘operating’ before he pumped gas. If they weren’t, we drove on to the next one. We also grew up to be letter writers. My sister and I will drop a letter or email to a company’s headquarters in a New York minute. My Congress person and representatives here from me. I use Resist Texts a lot lately.

  15. He deserves every single loss he gets. I could care less about his momma, who apparently didn’t curb his filthy mouth and had to know his feelings towards blacks and couldn’t lift a feeling for his daughter either. Their hatred not only hurts that person but it hurts their loved ones too and causes that hate to spread. Some trash asses called my gorgeous daughter a nigger as she was going in to pay for her gas of course they were driving by and I was with her and I wanted their asses to come back cause I had something for them. She flipped them off and kept her stride but why should that be a norm for her? What if she had been alone? What if they had turned around? This hatred is stupid based on stupidity. We’re tired and if a son of a bitch loses his business oh well, if he loses his life oh well. LEAVE BLACK PEOPLE THE HELL ALONE!

  16. I grew up listening to hateful slurs, too. That will always be engraved in my brain because those who spoke them were those I loved. However, those same people took me to church where I learned about respect & love. I also had my own mind.
    How can a grown man NOT know better? People cut others off on the road all the time! To, not only call names but to follow someone to their home continuing to rant is incredibly disturbing !
    NOW, after his business is affected he rethinks! Too late!

  17. He’s shocked that he’s finally suffering some consequences for his hateful behavior. I guess he never realized before that freedom to say awful things comes with the freedom to face the consequences. It’s a shame that he’s gotten away with it this long-white privilege in action I guess. Somehow I don’t feel any sympathy for him.

  18. It wasn’t the video brother. It was your own actions and words.
    I feel for you, but at the same time, I really feel the need to say

    Hang in there…it’ll get better.

  19. This guy’s logic is completely asinine. Even if he wasn’t racist I’m sure he would find another way to completely ruin his life lmao

  20. I just wrote him privately and said:

    “I am a minster. Right now you sit at the edge of change.

    In one direction you will find righteous conviction. A sharp, aggressive, understanding of what you did and how you were attacked for it. This path will emboloden you with the flame of aggression.

    The other path travels through righteous understanding. A powerfully difficult path that makes it’s way through self reflection, empathy, and an understanding of what you did and how your fellow brothers and sisters reacted to it.

    You can further decide that your fellow brothers and sisters acted in a manner to hurt you, or you can decide that your fellow brothers and sisters felt hurt by what you said, and lashed back out with equal distrust.

    It’s easy to decide that you were wronged. It’s harder, and better for the soul, to understand that to be truly sorry for what you have done is to realize how your actions hurt others, and why they should not be repeated.

    It isnt about not doing it again, it’s about learning why your words brought this much damage onto you, and trying to be a better person who shows compassion for others, and spreads love instead of hate.

    It’s easy to make a change because you are embarrassed. It’s easy to say what you did was wrong when all you are trying to do is get everyone to stop being mean to you. But those choices dont mean anything to the kingdom of heaven or the powers that be.

    It’s much harder to take a self critical look at ones self and see where our behaviors fly in the face of love and American brother/sisterhood. It is difficult to come to the truth that our actions were the ones that were wrong, and that the base state for our world is love. That we turned against that love and it turned against us in return.

    But to truly understand that is to not only open the door of heaven to you, but to create heaven on earth, for you, right now.

    Blessings, and good luck.”

  21. …I am very happy that this despicably deplorable racist’s life is ruined!..

    “I’m out of business, I’m completely out, I’m done, I’ll never work in Columbus again,” Whitman said. “This has completely and thoroughly ruined my life.”

  22. I am not seeing something important in comments, or maybe I missed it. He was BREAKING the law, wanting go straight in a right turn only lane. I WISH a state trouper and been there. Even better a state trouper who was a person of color and he tried to mouth off to him. He’d probably be posting from jail right now.

  23. I am not seeing something important in comments, or maybe I missed it. He was BREAKING the law, wanting to go straight in a right turn only lane. I WISH a state trouper had been there. Even better, a state trouper who was a person of color and this joker tried to mouth off to him. He’d probably be posting from jail right now.

  24. It should. You don’t get to be a horrible monster and get away with it. And he shows no remorse whatsoever

  25. Is anyone else wondering how sorry we should feel for his Mother when, in his own words, “all I can say is I grew up with it”? Not that we know for sure if it was specifically her doing, but SOMEBODY raised this racist.

  26. Another white man realizing that “white privilege” only goes so far when it comes to consequences.

  27. It is so unfortunate that your innocent relatives have had to suffer for your arrogant, ignorant, racism. Just imagine, if you will. It is a scant 60 years ago. No internet, no social media. You probably could have gotten a few of your friends to join you and beat that “person of color” up, maybe threaten his family, and who knows….start a fire on his lawn or on his house. Too bad, your mental state is channeling 1958 and not 2018.

  28. Mr. Whitman, forgive me if I don’t believe you, when you pretend that it never occurred to you that a Black person would react negatively to being labeled with the N word. Thank you, Scott, for providing a voice for those like me.

  29. Another “proud” white man who’s feelin’ his oats with Trump in office. Thank god for video cameras — fuck this guy, fuck his business, fuck anyone he’s friends with, and fuck this sort of bullshit white supremacist bullshit. Welcome to the 21st century, assholes.

  30. Except for what he said in defense that thus is how he was raised,this is how he has always been, and he doesn’t see what the big deal is.
    This..from a supposed…adult man.
    This was a lifestyle ,cultural,social,racial CHOICE.
    Nobody held a gun to his head and forced him to be a dick,he made a CHOICE.
    He was comfortable in his behavior CHOICE,so much so,rather than go home or to work,let’s stalk a victim to their home to ensure he coukd exercise his CHOICE so far most of of his life to be a racist POS.
    Then you use your family,your crippled daughter… to attempt empathy,over business.Business.
    Not any morality,not any ethics,let’s use my crippled daughter as a sympathy pillow…Wow,you’re a mess,bro.

  31. This idiot deserved everything he got. He acted like a jackass and suffered the consequences. I’m sorry for his daughter. She might know better. I am not sorry for his mother. She should have taught him better. And if he’s upset that the video went viral, has he been living under a rock for the last 10, 15 years? Of course, it was going to end up on social media and gone viral. And, of course, people were going to react.

  32. This guy ruined HIMSELF. Not only did he follow someone home to harass them, which is scary in itself, he then insulted someone over nothing. Kudos to the person recording the video for staying calm! The man in the van got what he deserved.

  33. Typical narcissist. He blames the consequences of his behavior instead of his behavior.
    Throughout the article he never once mentions how his actions affected the other man, only what happened to him. That is not a person who is sorry.

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