A Carrollton, Texas landscape company is seeing a deluge of negative Yelp reviews because of its racist marketing. Some people in Carrollton and surrounding areas received cards from Mow Masters that read “high business standards, follow tax laws, best credentials, ethics, ratings and reviews. Employees are crime and drug free. We are insured!” Below that in hard to miss red letters, the card added, “Taking back Carrollton – one lawn at a time.” And near the very bottom, it takes one more jab at the immigrant community: “Your alternative to illegal lawn services.” The company, owned by Jeff Hinkle, isn’t just creating despicable ads, it’s also spreading misinformation.
On its site, for example, it is more direct in its bigotry: “Mow Masters™ is your alternative to illegal street crews. We are American owned, we pay our taxes, we work hard, and we do the right thing.” But the reality is that most of the company’s supposed virtues actually describe many undocumented immigrants. It’s a myth that undocumented immigrants do not pay taxes. While an exact number on how many of the nation’s undocumented immigrants pay taxes, Washington DC think tank Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy reports that this demographic contributes $11.74 billion each year in state and local taxes.
The marketing material is especially insensitive in a city that has such a large Latino community. Carrollton has a 32.6 percent Latino population. And now many of them are using their voices to speak out against the company. People have flooded its Yelp pages and lowered its previous perfect score has plummeted to two stars.