Mayors and governors were quick to shut down their cities and states in the wake of the coronavirus. But some of those same officials seem just as eager to encourage citizens to go out, break social distancing guidelines and protest.
Americans certainly have the right to protest the brutal Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, who went motionless as officer Derek Chauvin kept his knee on his neck for several minutes. But riots are not the answer. And it can be argued that large scale protests run the risk of spreading COVID-19, right when it seemed the number of cases was starting to decline.
Mayor de Blasio is encouraging New Yorkers to peacefully protest, which made some reporters wonder why religious New Yorkers couldn't exercise their First Amendment rights as well.
Hamodia reporter asks why protest is allowed when prayer services aren’t.@NYCMayor @BilldeBlasio: “400 years of American racism, I’m sorry, that is not the same question as the understandably aggrieved store owner or the devout religious person who wants to go back to services”— Matthew Chayes (@chayesmatthew) June 2, 2020
Spectators were understandably confused by the mayor's logic, with more than a few noting that Jews have dealt with a fair amount of discrimination themselves.
Now do the Jewish Orthodox community who just wanted to pay the last respect to a beloved leader— Ruben_NYC (@RubenAvxhiu) June 2, 2020
The Jewish people have been dealing with anti-semitism for over 2,000 years and going to services is exactly how we did it.— Punked Fakert (@PunkedFakert) June 2, 2020
There was never any religious persecution in the past. Interesting— Troy M (@reuterrat) June 2, 2020
For some reason, De Blasio has consistently singled out the Jewish community when he's lectured New Yorkers about COVID-19 restrictions.
"My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed," he tweeted in April. "I have instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups. This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period."
Then, last month, he (again publicly) issued a cease and desist order after the NYPD shut down a Yeshiva conducting classes with as many as 70 children.
The mayor's behavior sadly makes the following satire entirely plausible.
Clever Churchgoers Avoid Arrest By Disguising Themselves As Rioters https://t.co/RbWWrWRV4j— The Babylon Bee (@TheBabylonBee) June 1, 2020
New York continues to be a disturbing epicenter of violent riots. On Monday, multiple police officers were run over by protesters. Even Gov. Andrew Cuomo charged that the mayor just isn't doing his job and that last night was a "disgrace."