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Michigan Governor Describes Stay-at-Home Protests as ‘Some of the Worst Racism’ She’s Seen

Illustration for article titled Michigan Governor Describes Stay-at-Home Protests as ‘Some of the Worst Racism’ She’s Seen
Photo: Jeff Kowalksy (AFP/Getty Images)

Last week, hundreds of disgruntled citizens gathered outside of Michigan’s state capitol building in defiance of the state’s stay-at-home orders meant to slow the spread of COVID-19. Many of the protesters were holding rifles and, according to Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, many of them were also holding bigotry and hate in their hearts as well.

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On Sunday, Whitmer made an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union in which she said protesters demonstrated “some of the worst racism and awful parts of our history in this country.”

“There were swastikas and nooses and Confederate flags and people with assault rifles,” she said, adding that the group of protesters represented only a small part of the larger population, “the vast majority of whom are doing the right thing.”

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“The behavior you’ve seen in all of the clips is not representative of who we are in Michigan,” Whitmer said.

Whitmer wasn’t the only one who observed horrendous behavior by protesters. Many Michigan residents and other witnesses took to social media with video footage of the unruly crowds. Some of them pointed out that demonstrators—many of whom were armed—were demanding access to the House floor where they were not allowed.

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Side note: Remember when Black Lives Matter was a whole terrorist organization because they defied law enforcement and occasionally blocked traffic? Now imagine them storming government buildings with guns.

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Of course, President “Very fine people on both sides” Trump responded to the racist, volatile protesters and those who stood alongside them the way he always will: by referring to them as “very good people.”

“The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire,” Trump tweeted on Friday. “These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal.”

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It’s unclear what kind of “deal” Trump would deem appropriate—since “stay your asses at home until the health crisis passes and more people will live” clearly ain’t it—but Whitmer’s response certainly is clear.

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“The fact of the matter is we are in the global pandemic. This is not something we negotiate ourselves out of and is a political matter. This is a public health crisis that has taken the lives of almost 70,000 Americans,” she told CNN.

According to The Hill, Michigan’s latest COVID-19 tally stands at 43,207 confirmed cases and 4,020 deaths as of Saturday.

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

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DISCUSSION

In my mind, this event and the NYC “Social Distancing Arrest” will be forever conjoined. Gun-wielding neo-confederates — in the Michigan State House, for fuck’s sake — don’t get so much as a harsh word from the cops, while a dude asking questions in NYC gets the shit slapped out of him by the second coming of Officer Coffey.

Next time someone stands up for any part of policing in it’s current form, I’m going to punch them in the neck.