Letter: Endangering lives is wrong
I will be the first to protect your right to protest so long as your actions do not cause harm to others. Most protests/demonstrations occur because several people believe the same thing, and I have participated in several of those myself.
The more recent protests advocating swift re-opening from the coronavirus shutdown have been anything but organic; they are sponsored.
In Michigan, the protests were heavily sponsored by the extremely conservative billionaire DeVos family and the organizations they fund. The infection rates in Michigan, the beloved home of the DeVos family, are some of the highest in the country. However, no one saw our current Secretary of Education or her family out there blocking entrances to hospitals in the name of protecting civil rights.
Kelli Ward, the GOP chairman in Arizona, is advising protesters to dress as health care workers to “fool the press.” Meanwhile, the rates of infection and death continue to rise in her state, and the real health care workers continue to struggle to keep patients and themselves alive. Turning death and lasting disability into a political strategy is beyond irresponsible.
These anti-lockdown protests are supposedly a backlash against temporary restrictions on personal liberties. They are not. Ultra conservative groups, such as FreedomWorks and Tea Party Patriots, are using this opportunity to revive their ranks before the upcoming election. According to the New York Post, “Most of FreedomWorks’s 40 employees are working remotely on the effort, helping to connect local protesters and set up websites for them.”
The financial support for these groups comes from a long list of billionaires, not individual citizens. It is safe to assume that, as states re-open, the funders will find another “cause” to convince people their personal rights are under attack.
They all, the backers and the protesters, have a right. But using the coronavirus pandemic as a platform and endangering all our lives is terribly wrong.
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