There were more big-dumb protests Thursday over Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's anti-coronavirus measures, which Fox News describes as real “strict," like Whitmer is that hardass schoolteacher who doesn't let students leave class to pee. Facebook deleted event postings for the ignoramus rallies because they didn't bother advising participants to stay in their cars, wear masks, or social distance worth a damn.

Armed protesters also turned up at the capitol because that's what white guys do when they aren't afraid of their asses getting shot. Police allowed several hundred loons, many of them unmasked, inside the building. They tried to gain access to the House floor while chanting, “Let us in!" Michigan law is a little weird in this area: Signs and banners aren't allowed in the capitol because they might damage the architecture, but protesters can openly carry in the building. I don't think bullets are great for the preservation of Victorian pilasters and the wood wainscot.


Protesters had already showed up outside Whitmer's home — where she lives with her daughters — last week for what they called “Operation Queen's Castle." The “American Patriot Rally" was a further escalation. They chanted “Lock her up!" — although they were the ones ignoring the law — and “Heil Whitmer," presumably ironically. Creeps carried signs stating “Tyrant Bitch" and “Tyrants Get the Rope." Michigan State Police Lt. Brian Oleksyk still insisted the protests were “peaceful," even though angry, unmasked men shouted and potentially spat coronavirus in cops' faces. At one point, a protester hit reporter Anna Liz Nichols in the head with a rifle. She's fine, fortunately, but that incident would've been all police (and the media) needed to classify a Black Lives Matter rally as a “riot."

The Michigan Liberty Militia, an extreme anti-government group, joined the protests as "security detail" for the event. It should go without saying, but if the new Black Panthers -- the group that so terrified Megyn Kelly — turned up at a BLM rally as “security," there would've been a lot of arrests and the “riot" would've been shut down via tear gas. Fox News would've called out Barack Obama for somehow encouraging it, by existing.

These protesters don't represent a popular movement. Most Michigan residents support Whitmer's actions in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. And while even a small minority deserves to express its views, no matter how stupid, armed thugs don't have the right to intimidate lawmakers or endanger the lives of their fellow citizens. As we keep pointing out, violating social distancing guidelines isn't non-violent civil disobedience. These protesters are going to make other people sick. In a few weeks, you might even be able to trace literal deaths to these protests.

State police had to protect Whitmer from these toddler terrorists. It was astonishing to see militia members standing outside the governor's office. If black people showed our asses this way, we'd be dead as fucking fried chicken.

Not surprisingly, Donald Trump reprised his shameful tune from Charlottesville and declared there were "good people" on both sides of this issue.

Trump once stated how much he missed the “good old days" when police beat the crap out of protesters, but this is different. These armed thugs are “good people" and he knows because they aren't protesting him. They're even carrying Trump 2020 signs in addition to the ones with swastikas on them.

Whitmer isn't about to “give a little" because that would result in needless deaths. She's correctly said that this isn't a “political problem. It's a public health crisis."

WHITMER: I am completely focused on saving lives. I'm not going to engage in political negotiations with anybody. We don't have time for politics and games when people's lives are on the line.

Unfortunately, the Republican-controlled Legislature is playing politics and trying to limit the scope of Whitmer's response. Republicans argue that she's closing too many businesses and not accounting for lower levels of COVID-19 spread (that we know of) in “rural areas." This is a barely coded appeal to white residents who resent Whitmer ordering them to shelter in place when most coronavirus cases are in the “black areas." Thirty-two percent of the state's cases involve black patients, who are just 13.6 percent of Michigan's population. Black people account for more than 40 percent of all deaths. Trump would have no problem seeing the disease continue ravaging the black community. In 2016, Hillary Clinton carried 92 percent of Michigan's black vote.

Republicans threatened to sue Whitmer if she extended Michigan's state of emergency, which was set to expire last night, without their approval. Justin Amash suggested that a “state of emergency can be abused" and Whitmer should “respect the [Legislature's] legitimate concerns." Amash supposedly lives in Michigan and doesn't fully appreciate how bad things are. Michigan has 41,347 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 3,788 dead. This is within two months. California has 49,841 confirmed cases but just 2,016 dead. Michigan has roughly four times as many cases/deaths per 100K residents.

Last night, Whitmer extended the state of emergency to May 28 through executive order.

WHITMER: While some members of the Legislature might believe this crisis is over, common sense and all of the scientific data tells us we're not out of the woods yet. By refusing to extend the emergency and disaster declaration, Republican lawmakers are putting their heads in the sand and putting more lives and livelihoods at risk. I'm not going to let that happen.

That's right, dummies, the Wolverine Queen ain't fucking around.

[CNN / Michigan Advance]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).

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