Images of people congregating at Lake of the Ozarks went viral with every blue check on Twitter letting us know how idiotic and dangerous that was. And then there was the MSNBC reporter lambasting a man on air for not wearing a mask. Of course, thanks to the video camera on the phone of that man, he was able to take his own video and we were able to see the rest of the MSNBC crew…without a mask.
Nothing was more important than staying in for the good of everyone else. Work, sports, church, going to the beach or lake. Don’t even think about it. But that was so last month.
As protests began to spread in the wake of the George Floyd murder in Minnesota, many politicians were left with an interesting position. Continue with the lockdowns or take to the streets in large numbers?
Remember, we’ve already had “Reopen” protests that sprung up about a month ago throughout the country, including in Mississippi. These protests were not just vilified by authority figures, but we even had government officials and police departments say protesting was not an “essential activity.” People were soon being handcuffed for being at the park without permission from the crown.
But we’d learn that the current protests are acceptable. If you want to protest against racism or police brutality – two items I agree are wrong – than have at it. More than 1,000 doctors and other health professionals famously signed on to a letter saying we should be protesting because the cause is bigger than the health crisis.
Yale epidemiologist Gregg Gonsalves said President Donald Trump was guilty of genocide for not taking stronger measures to contain the coronavirus. He signed the “protests against racism are more important than stopping the spread of COVID-19” letter.
Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, who spent most of the past couple months complaining about the lax lockdown mentality of Gov. Tate Reeves and kept his city closed after the rest of the state opened, said he supports the protestors. Reeves, to his credit, has been one of the few balanced voices in America – supporting the rights of the Reopen protests and the protests this past weekend.
Other politicians – such as New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy – said he supports the current protestors but will continue to go after lockdown opponents.
At the end of the day, the rights of protestors should always be supported. And while they won’t, the politicians who changed their tone on protesting should be called out. Because, call me cynical, but it appears that they were more interested in power, control, and political points than health and safety.