On Sunday, leftist journalists appearing on MSNBC’s “AM Joy” vilified Americans across the nation who have gathered to call for opening the country from stay-at-home orders and lockdowns. Comments ranged from “They don’t care about America. What they care about is Donald Trump” to they “don’t care about these black and brown people who are dying” to “they are the Fox News, Nazi, Confederate death-cult rump of the Republican party.”
Dave Zirin of The Nation ranted:
They’ve gone from all lives matter to no lives matter. These folks are — let’s be honest about what they are — they are the Fox News, Nazi, confederate death cult rump of the Republican party and their very existence is a slap in the face not only to the health care workers on the front lines risking their lives every single day, but it’s also a slap in the face to the people who are actually dying from this virus in disproportionate numbers, black and brown people.
These aren’t economically disenfranchised folks; these are small business owners; these are retirees; these are people who want their workers to be sent back to work, not themselves. It’s a complete and utter farce. It’s an Astroturf farce. And also, I think it needs to be said it’s unrepresentative of the Republican party as a whole. I just saw a poll that said 70% of Republicans want a national stay-at-home order. So this represents nothing except the narrow Astroturf interests and the hard-racist interests that combine and form the modern-day Republican party.
Boston Globe opinion columnist Renee Graham pontificated:
One thing I think is really interesting is how these protests have started after all the headlines the last week or so about the disproportionate effect the virus is having in communities of color. And so when I look at these protests, what I see are a bunch of white people essentially saying, “Oh, it’s affecting those people so why do I have to change my life for them?” So that’s what this is coming down to. In Boston, the numbers are the same as they are nationally. One of the public hospitals, Boston Medical Center, 82% of the corvid-19 cases are either black or Latino.
These numbers are real and I think what you’re seeing out there in the protesters, who by the way are overwhelmingly white, which people aren’t really talking about, though it’s quite noticeable, is that they don’t care. You know, this isn’t about, you know they’re out there waving American flags. They don’t care about America. What they care about is Donald Trump and what Donald Trump has created. They don’t care about the people risking their lives to keep this country moving; they don’t care about empty, dangerous rebellion. All they want is another battle waged for their lost cause. This isn’t a protest. This is a temper tantrum.
Michael Harriot of The Root chimed in: “Again, I disagree with the notion that we shouldn’t be covering this because I think it is more than just, ‘I don’t care about these black and brown people who are dying.’ I think what they’re saying quite clearly when you see the numbers, when you see the statistics, when you see the CDC data, is, ‘I want more black and brown people to die.’ If you want the government to open up, then you want more black and brown people to die. We see it happening in real time; we see it in Donald Trump’s tweets; we see it in the data; there can be no other outcome if you open up what they call their society or their business or the country…”
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) April 19, 2020