Michigan Governor Claims Anti-Lockdown Protests Are 'Racist and Misogynistic'


Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer claimed that the protests against her coronavirus lockdown orders are “racist and misogynistic.”

“These have been really political rallies where people come with Confederate flags and Nazi symbolism and calling for violence,” the Democratic governor told the hosts of ABC’s “The View” on Wednesday.

“This is not appropriate in a global pandemic, but it is certainly not an exercise of democratic principles, where we have free speech,” she said. “This is calls to violence. This is racist and misogynistic.”

Do you think the Michigan protests are 'racist and misogynistic'?

Thousands of protesters gathered in Lansing on April 15 to oppose Whitmer’s extended stay-at-home order.

Biden Gets Desperate, Will Use Capitol Police Against Trump in New Campaign Strategy

Although the “Operation Gridlock” Facebook event told people to stay in their cars and protest with signs, many people gathered on the steps of the state Capitol.

Whitmer told “The View” that such protests make it likelier that the state will have to remain in a “stay-at-home posture.”

“These protests, they do undermine the effort, and it’s very clearly a political statement that is playing out where people are coming together from across the state, they are congregating, they are not wearing masks, they are not staying six feet apart, and then they go back home into communities and the risk of perpetuating the spread of COVID-19 is real,” she said.

“While I respect people’s right to dissent, they need to do it in a way that is responsible and does not put others at risk,” the governor said.

Whitmer added that “everyone who has a platform” needs to stop encouraging these demonstrations because they make it that much more difficult to “re-engage our economy.”

Whitmer’s claim about “Nazi symbolism” at the protests could be based on a picture of someone holding a “Trump/Pence” sign with a swastika on it that circled the internet after Operation Gridlock.

Snopes, however, reported that the image was taken at a March rally for Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders at a park in Boise, Idaho.

Still, one woman at the Michigan protest displayed a sign with a backwards swastika on it, seemingly attempting to compare the governor’s orders to Nazi Germany.

Whitmer asked Vice President Mike Pence earlier this week to discourage the Michigan protests and tell people to take COVID-19 seriously, WXYZ-TV reported.

Pence didn’t address the protests but said the Trump administration will “continue to emphasize to people the safe and responsible practices while we’ll move toward reopening.”

Another protest outside the Michigan Capitol has been planned for Thursday, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , , , , ,
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith