Mike Lindell, the outspoken CEO of Minnesota-based MyPillow, was back in the news over a donation of his wares to members of the Minnesota National Guard who were sleeping on the floor as they helped protect locations in the Twin Cities area.
In a tweet June 3, Lindell announced the donation and showed some of the guardsmen and women and MyPillow employees unpacking and testing out out the products.
“MyPillow donated @MyPillowUSA’s to the @NationalGuard here at the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minnesota where they’ve been sleeping on the floor,” Lindell tweeted.
“Thank you all for protecting MN! We’re praying for Minnesota during this difficult time. #staysafemn,” he added.
MyPillow donated @MyPillowUSA’s to the @NationalGuard here at the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minnesota where they’ve been sleeping on the floor. Thank you all for protecting MN! We’re praying for Minnesota during this difficult time. #staysafemn pic.twitter.com/qmkhp8e823
— Mike Lindell (@realMikeLindell) June 3, 2020
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz called up the National Guard after protests over the death of George Floyd consumed the Minneapolis area, The New York Times reported.
Floyd, who was initially arrested over suspicion of trying to buy goods with a counterfeit bill, died after an officer kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes.
The exchange, which was recorded by a bystander, quickly gave rise to both peaceful protests and violent riots. The epicenter of the unrest was naturally Minneapolis, where the situation was so grave a police precinct had to be ceded to rioters.
Attention turned to the difficult living conditions members of the National Guard were facing on assignment in part because of this tweet from the Minnesota National Guard:
It’s been a long night for Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen. pic.twitter.com/ePMw3Cgsh3
— MN National Guard (@MNNationalGuard) May 31, 2020
KCPQ reported over 4,000 members of the guard had been sent into the Twin Cities area at the time and that the number would increase to nearly 11,000.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune detailed some of the privations being endured by the guardsmen and women, including Tech Sgt. William Hildebrand.
Hildebrand, normally a manager for U.S. Bank, “has shared select details of the past few days with his kids — that he spent Friday night on a concrete floor at the armory in St. Paul, that he is now sleeping on a cot, that he hasn’t had a shower in three days — and he constantly assures them he’s safe,” the outlet reported.
“He served in Iraq for six months in 2010, during the drawdown, and says that being activated for the protests and riots after George Floyd’s killing at the hands of Minneapolis police is much more stressful than Iraq,” it continued. “Because this is his home.”
“You’re just waiting for the scales to tip one way or the other,” Hildebrand told the Star Tribune.
“Things are either going to get better or they’re going to get worse. We’re not going to maintain this kind of riot purgatory. You’re just kind of waiting. All of that plays into the human dynamics of it. People gotta feel heard. People gotta speak their piece. But we also have to defend the city, protect the people. It’s a balance.”
According to the Star Tribune, things were calming down in Minneapolis. Charges had been filed against all four police officers involved in the incident that led to Floyd’s death, and public transit was beginning to tentatively restart.
The National Guard, however, wouldn’t be going home anytime soon, not with the tinderbox atmosphere in Minneapolis. They also couldn’t keep sleeping on the floor.
Lindell has been critical of how Minnesota has been run at the top in the aftermath of Floyd’s death.
In an interview with Newsmax TV, he said that Derek Chauvin, the officer whose knee was on Floyd’s neck, should have been taken arrested and detained in the immediate aftermath of the incident under a Minnesota law which allows individuals to be taken into custody for up to 48 hours.
He also indicated he might look into running for governor.
“If God has me do it, I will do it,” Lindell said.
“I just see things that are so poorly run, and they could be done a lot better. It might get down to, ‘if you want something done right, do it yourself.’”
Whatever the case, few could criticize his activities during the current health crisis and the Floyd protests. From repurposing his factories to produce masks to providing MyPillows to members of the National Guard sleeping on the floor, those are some impressive bona fides as both a philanthropist and a Minnesotan.
At the very least, there are going to be quite a few of our service members who won’t be waking up sore thanks to Lindell’s generosity.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.