The United States has gone full Twilight Zone since the tragic and entirely unjustified killing of George Floyd. Yes, there is the obvious hypocrisy of those people who have come to be known on social media as “Karens” scolding those of us who dared to leave the house without a hazmat suit – all the while applauding the throngs of protesters calling for justice for Floyd.
That’s just the tip of the crazy iceberg, though. We’re now dealing with something of a paradox – and a ridiculous one. Even as protesters flood streets across the country, the media and certain other interested parties are still pushing social distancing and encouraging people not to go out or return to work.
There is no way to explain or justify logically holding two opposing views. Either public health is in grave danger when people gather in large numbers, or it is not. If a person takes to the streets, shoulder to shoulder with hundreds or even thousands of protesters, to register his or her righteous fury over Floyd’s death, then that person is callously and selfishly disregarding other people’s safety, or not. It cannot be both.
Trying to Explain the Inexplicable
Politico, one of the more serious and objective of the left-leaning news outlets, tried to explain away the hypocrisy of it all. The attempt was a failure, of course, because there is no rationalizing what’s going on. Kudos to those good folks at Politico for trying, though.
In an article published on June 6, Politico argued that the Floyd demonstrations have come at a time when states are lifting restrictions and reopening, with many of those states seeing a slowing of infection and death rates linked to Coronavirus. Meanwhile, conservatives are supposedly the hypocrites, because it is they who largely opposed the lockdowns but now feign concern that the protesters will spread the virus.
The problem with this argument is twofold. First, the demonstrations and riots would have taken place six weeks ago – during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States – if Floyd had been killed six weeks ago. Would the protesters have said: “Hold on there, folks! We can’t demonstrate until it’s safe to gather in large numbers. Let’s wait a few weeks”? No, of course not. They would have completely disregarded all the restrictions – and rightly so. Neither Politico nor any other left-leaning news outlet would have chided them for it, either.
The second flaw in Politico’s argument is that conservatives are not decrying the protests out of concern for public health, as the site claims. In fact, most conservatives have no objection whatsoever to the demonstrations. Instead, it is the vandalism, looting, and burning to which they object.
So, the glaring hypocrisy of the left remains. When conservatives protested the shutdown orders, they were vilified by the left as selfish, uncaring louts who utterly disregarded public safety. Some left-wingers even took to the streets themselves to protest the protesters. Ironically, it is almost certain that those very same people – the ones who were so outraged by the shutdown protests – quickly joined the large crowds of mostly unmasked and not socially distanced demonstrators demanding justice for Floyd.
“There are now two entirely different versions of reality playing out before our very eyes.”
Search online for the term “social distancing,” and you will find no shortage of articles – published since the Floyd demonstrations began – pushing the need for continued restrictions on human activity and interaction. The media outlets publishing these articles are exercising an ability of which even North Korean or Chinese state propaganda machines would be jealous. They are, quite literally, still warning us that resuming our previously normal social activities will result in catastrophe while refusing to acknowledge that if this is indeed the case, then the protesters are hastening the deaths of thousands more Americans.
Then there’s this headline from psychology blog PsyPost.org, published June 7: Psychopathic traits linked to non-compliance with social distancing guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic. Yes, that’s right. If you are not inclined to comply with social-distancing rules, you’re a psychopath. What does that say about the Floyd protesters? This isn’t just some nonsense that PsyPost.org made up, either: It is based upon a peer-reviewed study to be published in Social Psychological and Personality Science.
Meanwhile, parks in Chicago will be patrolled by 100 “social distancing ambassadors” who will “manage the flow of patrons in these parks.” You read that right. If you’re taking a stroll in the park, some self-important twerp is going to stalk you and tell you when you are too close to other people.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (D) not only refuses to allow bars in his state to reopen but also will not even provide a time frame for reopening. As a result, he is being sued by the North Carolina Bar and Tavern Association.
The madness goes on and on. A thousand people could march arm-in-arm through the streets of Raleigh to register their anger at Floyd’s death – and Gov. Cooper would give them his blessing. Still, none of the bars on any of those streets are allowed to open, even with limited capacity, because that could cause people to spread Coronavirus. Cooper, like most Democrat politicians, has confiscated senses from other people and then taken leave of them.
There are now two entirely different versions of reality playing out before our very eyes. That state and local officials across the country haven’t yet been dragged out of their offices and informed, in no uncertain terms, that they are no longer calling the shots is a testament to the remarkable restraint of ordinary Americans. One wonders how long it can continue.
Read more from Graham J. Noble.