News & Politics

Whitmer Says Protesters Displayed the 'Worst Racism and Awful Parts' of U.S. History

A protester carries his rifle at the State Capitol in Lansing, Mich., Thursday, April 30, 2020. Hoisting American flags and handmade signs, protesters returned to the state Capitol to denounce Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay-home order and business restrictions due to COVID-19 while lawmakers met to consider extending her emergency declaration hours before it expires. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

There’s a special place in hell for those who cry “racism” where there is none.

It used to be a career-ender for a politician to be called “racist” or to be accused of using racist language. Now, of course, the word has lost much of its power thanks to overuse the last decade or so. And the biggest reason for that is the shameless way people use it to silence their political opponents. Don’t like the bill being introduced? It’s racist. Don’t like to be criticized? That’s racist, too.

Protest someone for their draconian stay-at-home orders? Calling them “racists” will get everyone on your side in a hurry.

Or so Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer thought. She said on CNN’s State of the Union that the protesters carried “swastikas and Confederate flags and nooses” in the protest, among other transgressions — such as being armed.

Fox News:

“There were swastikas and Confederate flags and nooses and people with assault rifles,” Whitmer said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “Some of the outrageousnesses of what happened at our capitol depicted some of the worst racism and awful parts of our history in this country.”

The Michigan governor, however, added that those people represented a small portion of the demonstrators at the state capital and that, for the most part, the protest was peaceful.

The protest wasn’t peaceful “for the most part.” It was entirely peaceful. After viewing a half dozen videos of the protest, I didn’t see one racist sign in any of them. There was probably a confederate flag or two but any swastikas were referring to the governor’s fascist policies — a common protest tactic on the left.

There were a few nooses, representative of the metaphorical desire to “string her up.” But are we now at the point where any noose anywhere representing anything is racist? Even when the protest is directed at a lilly-white woman governor?

Fox News:

Holding American flags and handmade signs – and with some carrying firearms — the demonstrators in Lansing first congregated shoulder-to-shoulder on Thursday outside before demanding to be let inside the building as lawmakers were poised to debate an extension of an emergency and disaster declaration. Some chanted “Let us in,” The Detroit News reported.

State Sen. Dayna Polehanki, a Democrat, tweeted a photo of what she described as armed demonstrators yelling above her. She said some of her colleagues were wearing “bullet proof vests” inside the House chamber.

The only “threat” to the Democratic state senator was in her overactive imagination.

NBC News couldn’t find any pictures that suggested racism in the slightest. Whitmer is white, for crying out loud. Why would the protesters make the stay-at-home orders a racial thing?

Whitmer’s use of the term “racism” to describe what happened during the protest is a perfect example of smearing people for no other reason than they opposed her policies. And if she has to defend herself and her policies by calling anyone who disagrees with her “racist,” she has no valid argument to make in support of it.

UPDATED: Armed Protesters Flood Michigan Capitol as Whitmer Attempts to Override State Legislature