TX Salon Owner Made $500,000 With COVID-19 Shutdown PR Stunt

It shouldn't come as a surprise that Shelley Martin Luther King — owner of Salon À la Mode, which somehow managed to make Ted Cruz look worse — is a big fraud. Texas Monthlyreports that Luther's GoFundMe campaign, which has raised $500,000 so far, launched on April 23, one day before her Rosa Parks cosplay act. The obnoxious-sounding “Woke Patriots" group runs the campaign and is upfront about the contrived nature of Luther's supposed “civil disobedience."

"We researched her and her cause," campaign organizer Rick Hire wrote on the page, "and decided that we would approach her and offer to support her as our first patriot cause. She accepted our offer."

The “Woke Patriots" website also promotes QAnon conspiracies.

When Luther called the manager on Judge Eric V. Moyé of the 14th Civil District Court, she pleaded poverty and tried to speechify like a rightwing Julia Sugarbaker.

"I have hairstylists that are going hungry because they'd rather feed their kids," [Luther] said. "So, sir, if you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, then please go ahead with your decision, but I am not going to shut the salon."

We've explained in detail why Luther's argument was bullshit. It's also a bunch of lies. Two days before her court appearance, she was approved for a loan from the Payment Protection Program. She doesn't have to pay back a cent if she spends at least 75 percent of the funds on employee salaries. Her stylists could continue receiving a paycheck and stay safe without risking exposure to COVID-19 or Ted Cruz's face.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz gets haircut at Shelley Luther's salonwww.youtube.com

Luther's GoFundMe haul is exponentially greater than what the average Dallas, Texas, salon owner earns a year. Cruz's haircut is not compelling evidence Salon À la Mode pulled in more than the average prior to the COVID-19 shutdowns. Maybe she will share some of her dough-re-mi with her neighbor, Fiddle & Bow Music Co. Luther's status as a celebrity hair scofflaw has drawn protesters to the courtyard space the two businesses share. The morons don't wear masks or social distance. Many are openly carrying firearms because it's Texas.

As Texas starts to lift restrictions, Fiddle & Bow owner Rob Case is concerned that a crowd of armed disease vectors might hurt his foot traffic.

From the Dallas Observer:

"You cannot get into my shop without walking through the crowd of demonstrating people with ... weapons," Case says. "I'm not so much intimidated by the weapons — I've been around them my whole life; I'm really intimidated by the lack of social distancing. It's not safe out there."

Luther doesn't care that her Trump-flag-waving supporters are scaring off Case's customers who aren't too stupid to live.

LUTHER: It's not my responsibility to tell them what to do ... I'm not their mom.

Oh please, if these were Black Lives Matter protesters, she'd have called all the cops on them.

LUTHER: The whole purpose of me opening my business is because it's my right to do so.

Not really, lady, you violated an executive order from the governor. You're only free today because of the blinding power of whiteness.

LUTHER: That would be hypocritical for me to go to them and say "You don't have the right to do that," because they do.

Yes, it's "hypocritical" to ask people not to block your neighbor's business in a demand for you to be able to do business. The protesters are ignoring the bans against large gatherings, but it's not like Gov. Gregg Abbott is interested in enforcing rules angry white people don't like.

Sarah Palin, who does not live in Dallas or Texas, also visited Luther's salon while on her way to visit her daughter in Austin. That sentence spread COVID-19 to at least a dozen people.

[Texas Monthly / Dallas Observer]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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