That didn’t take long.
As Americans begin to rise up against states governments demanding they stay in their homes, the cry of “racism” is echoing across the nation.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat reportedly on the short list to be Joe Biden’s running mate, jumped into the game on Sunday. On CNN’s “State of the Union,” she said that the protesters surrounding the state capitol daily are carrying “swastikas and Confederate flags and nooses.”
“There were swastikas and Confederate flags and nooses and people with assault rifles,” Whitmer said. “Some of the outrageousnesses of what happened at our capitol depicted some of the worst racism and awful parts of our history in this country.”
“Holding American flags and handmade signs – and with some carrying firearms — the demonstrators in Lansing first congregated shoulder-to-shoulder on Thursday outside before demanding to be let inside the building as lawmakers were poised to debate an extension of an emergency and disaster declaration,” Fox News reported. “Some chanted ‘Let us in,’ The Detroit News reported.”
President Trump has come out in support of protesters in Michigan, calling them “very good people” in a tweet on Friday.
“The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire. These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, The New York Times wrote that anti-government elements “are attempting to turn the coronavirus pandemic into a potent recruiting tool.”
Although the protests that have broken out across the country have drawn out a wide variety of people pressing to lift stay-at-home orders, the presence of extremists cannot be missed, with their anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic signs and coded messages aimed at inspiring the faithful, say those who track such movements.
April is typically a busy month for white supremacists. There is Hitler’s birthday, which they contort into a celebration. There is the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, the domestic attack 25 years ago that killed 168 people and still serves as a rallying call for new extremist recruits.
(By the way, you can go to the above Times link, but you won’t see any pictures of offensive signs.)
The Times also said “white supremacists have encouraged followers to conduct attacks during the crisis to incite fear and target ethnic minorities and immigrants.”
On CNN, Whitmer said: “Whether you agree with me or not, I’m working to protect your life if you live in the state of Michigan.”
And if you don’t agree with her methods, the Democratic governor’s framing of the situation implies, you’re a racist.
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