Fight the (Brain)Power

Hundreds of black and latino men stormed city hall—many armed with long guns and other weapons, wearing military style clothing, and hiding behind face masks—where they screamed at law enforcement officers, and waved guns in the air, and demanded to speak with public officials. The media took the event in stride and the president lauded the demonstrators as good people, and suggested that government officials try to make a deal with them. That scenario is, of course, unthinkable. But if you take out the racial and ethnic profiles, that’s exactly what happened in Michigan. Meanwhile, at the Reopen Illinois gathering, a new twist was added to the protests (many of which have described government officials as Nazis for trying to protect people from the virus), when a woman held up a sign that read: Arbeit macht frei. That’s the slogan displayed above the entrance of Auschwitz, and translates as Work will set you free. (Editor’s note: It didn’t.) I never thought this would be a Feel Good Saturday headline: Auschwitz is no longer trending on Twitter.

+ While the protests are getting coverage, and the reactions to them point to dramatic differences in racial and ethnic privileges in America, do they really represent a broad movement? According to a recent survey, the answer is a resounding no: 93 percent of Americans do not think the economy should reopen immediately. And that opinion is bipartisan. “Democrats and Republicans agree that, rather than doing so immediately, as many governors are currently attempting, the nation should wait at least a month before reopening.” And in some cases, when governors tell businesses they can reopen, business owners are saying, no thanks.

+ This is not to say people aren’t getting restless. We all want out. We just don’t attack our government for protecting us. NPR: Mobile Phone Data Show More Americans Are Leaving Their Homes. (Don’t look at me. I left my phone at home to make absolutely sure none of my family members could reach me.)

+ When arguing over which services should reopen first, things could get sticky. Inside the Risky Race to Reopen Nevada’s Brothels. (I wonder if decision makers will take the tissue shortage into account…)

+ While the protests to open get most of the coverage, there are also protests to keep things closed: Florida man stalks beach as Grim Reaper to protest reopening amid pandemic. (As I mentioned earlier this week, that’s basically how I dress at the beach, and I’m not really protesting anything other than having to be at the beach.)

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