A rallying cry of this wave of protests that have captured the American narrative since the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police on May 25 has been an ask for equity. But equity and equality are the furthest thing from the minds of those advocating for the ongoing mass demonstrations.
As The New York Times points out, it was in May that over 1,300 health professionals signed a testament to their approval for the protests, which have been tens of thousands of individuals strong. These epidemiologists, doctors, and other medical personnel, had decried the anti-lockdown protests as reinforcing white supremacy, but as soon as the Black Lives Matter protests began, they switched their view and said that not supporting the protests was white supremacist.
As the Times points out, this represents a bit of cognitive dissonance on behalf of those who signed the letter, while at the same time witnessing deaths and complications due to coronavirus spread.
Christina Hoff Sommers writes: "Infuriating. Public health experts judge safety of protests depending on who is protesting. 1300 experts condemned protests against lockdown as 'rooted in white nationalism.' But protests against racism—'vital to the national public health.'"
The Times interviewed a few of these health professionals who had decried the anti-lockdown protests, who had encouraged everyone to stay home. Brown University epidemiology professor Mark Lurie said "Instinctively, many of us in public health feel a strong desire to act against accumulated generations of racial injustice. But we have to be honest: A few weeks before, we were criticizing protesters for arguing to open up the economy and saying that was dangerous behavior."
"I am still grappling with that," he said.
Well, yeah, so is everyone whose free speech rights were violated, whose right to free expression of religion was violated, and who were unable to tend to their dying kin during their last moments on earth because medical professionals like Lurie said everyone else's health was more important.
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston infectious disease epidemiologist Catherine Troisi said "I certainly condemned the anti-lockdown protests at the time, and I’m not condemning the protests now, and I struggle with that. I have a hard time articulating why that is OK."
Why does she have a hard time reconciling that? Because the cognitive dissonance in making it okay to condemn some protestors for not adhering to public health norms and lifting up a set of protestors who do not adhere to public health norms is complete and total insanity. Troisi is lying to herself and she’s trying to make that okay. It’s not.
Dan Bongino of Fox News and Bongino Report tweeted: "If you think beaches are spreading coronavirus, but packed protests aren’t, then you’re probably a moron. And you should probably stop advertising that you’re a moron. Thanks."
When those protestors in North Carolina, Michigan, Nevada, California, Florida, and Toronto stepped out to express their want for society, the economy, and yes, their own businesses to reopen, they were roundly derided as insensitive grandma killers. This is what we were told.
These folks who wanted to go to church, attend to the bedsides of their dying loved ones, hold funerals for their dead, they were supposed to suck it up for the greater good, to put their own cares aside lest they spread the illness.
Yet those who want to murder 8-year-old girls in Wendy’s parking lot are well within their rights, apparently.
For some reason we’re meant to believe that these protests, that began over the wrongful police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, warrant the ignoring of those same social distancing restrictions that we were told were literally more important than tending to our beloved at the moment of their death.
No one should be forced to exit this world alone, not when those who love them want to be near. There is nothing more important than tending to our dying.
Instead, we heard that this was shallow. Now these medical experts admit that some protestors’ concerns more important than others, that there is a hierarchy of grievance. That is neither equity nor equality. If that is what Black Lives Matter protestors are fighting for, count me out.
Protests are an integral part of the fabric of American discourse. The freedom to peaceful assembly is a natural right, held dear by Americans the continent over, a right fought and died for by so many brave men and women from the Revolutionary War straight up through those wars that we are still fighting now. We know this.
As we hear the chants and calls for equity and equal justice, as we hear the left finally, blessedly, demand that their first amendment rights triumph over ludicrous government restriction, let’s remember that rights are not based in race, grievance, or identity. Rights are for all of us, and the single most important thing in American jurisprudence is that we are all treated equally under the law.
If you think rights are only for some individuals in our nation, if you think that freedom of speech and assembly are only to be given to some and not others, you are not fighting for equality, you are not fighting for black lives, you are fighting for the death of democracy and the devastation of the only nation on earth that made these principles the core of its founding documents.