Just a handful of weeks ago, the governor of Michigan unilaterally stripped a 77-year-old barber of his business license because it was dangerous for him to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic. But now, with little social distancing, Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, is marching alongside hundreds of protesters as they take to the streets following the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man killed at the knee of a white, former police officer.
Whitmer, on Thursday, skirted her own the requirements, the rules that shuttered Karl Manke’s barbershop. The damage done by those restrictions, he said, is “the worst depression I’ve lived under.”
According to a report from The Detroit News, Whitmer has, for her very clear hypocrisy, faced unreserved criticism.
“Social distancing is critical to stop the spread of COVID-19 — unless you have a great photo op,” said state Rep. Lynn Afenoudlis (R).
A spokesperson for the governor, Tiffany Brown, claimed — despite clear evidence to the contrary — her boss did not violate the health guidelines she put in place. Despite Whitmer being shoulder-to-shoulder with protesters, she issued an executive order Monday mandating citizens continue to remain at least six feet apart from one another.
Contrary to the governor’s very clear guidance, Brown said Whitmer, essentially, found a loophole for following the rules because, “Nothing in this order shall be taken to abridge protections guaranteed by the state or federal Constitution.”
“That includes the right to peaceful protest,” she added.
There has been no such loophole for Manke.
He has, nevertheless, continued with his work. Four days after Whitmer’s administration ordered Manke he cease all operations and lock to doors to his shop, the barber was continuing to operate his business, according to The Detroit News.
“It’s a bunch of crap,” Manke said of the restrictions, calling them unconstitutional. “Really, it is.”
“Like all governments,” he added, “they’ll do something knowing that it’s probably illegal but if they tie it up in the court system, then they can drag it on and do what they want to do.”