A Northern California man went viral on social media this week after he issued a stark warning to local government officials who continue to make life difficult for citizens amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Open up the county, stop holding small businesses hostage and let people make their own decisions, Carlos Zapata told the Board of Supervisors of Shasta County, California, during a community meeting Aug. 11 in the mostly conservative city of Redding.
Press California reported Zapata is a retired Marine combat veteran who owns a now-struggling martial arts studio.
“At first we sat as concerned citizens, and we all wanted to best figure out how to navigate our way through this whole COVID thing,” Zapata, with a signature NorCal accent, said in the meeting. “As we realized that it’s not quite as dangerous as we thought it would be, I was absolutely appalled at the cowardice.”
“I don’t blame you for wearing masks, because I’d be hiding my face too if I was you for what you’re doing,” Zapata, who opposes mandatory masks, told the board members. “This is absolutely horrendous what you’re doing to these people.
“I’m a business owner, and I’m telling you, our families are starving.
“You guys can sit here with your jobs, you can sit and you’re going to get paid, you can fall asleep in your chair like that gentleman’s doing behind his mask right there.”
While Zapata said he would like a peaceful end to what he views as government overreach that is harming him and other citizens, he hinted that there exists an incalculable number of armed citizens who are willing to put politeness on the shelf to find a resolution more acceptable for them than financial ruin.
“Right now, we’re being peaceful, and you better be happy that we’re good citizens, that we’re peaceful citizens. But it’s not going to be peaceful much longer. And this isn’t a threat — I’m not a criminal, I’ve never been a criminal. But I’m telling you, good citizens are going to turn into real concerned and revolutionary citizens real soon,” he warned.
Zapata, who said he knows six military veterans who have taken their own lives since losing their livelihoods amid the pandemic and government shutdowns, said he and others are “organizing” and are willing to “work with law enforcement or without law enforcement.”
But, he cautioned, “you won’t stop us when the time comes, because our families are starving. And if you don’t hear the seriousness in my voice, I hope you open your ears and you absolutely listen to what I’m saying.
“This is a warning for what’s coming. It’s not gonna be peaceful much longer. It’s not going to be rah-rah, it’s not gonna be speeches. … It’s gonna be real.”
“I went to war for this country. … I’ve been in combat and I never want to go back again, but I’m telling you what, I will to save this country. If it has to be against our own citizens, it will happen. And there’s a million people like me, and you won’t stop us,” Zapata said.
“Open the county, let our citizens do what they need to do, let owners of businesses do what they need to do to feed their families, take the masks off,” he said. “Quit masking and muzzling your children. The psychological damage that you’re doing to them is horrible.”
“In Shasta County,” he said. “We’re supposed to be red country up here, not blue country. We’re red country up here. You guys know that. You claim to be conservatives. Maybe you’re not, maybe you’re liberals, I don’t know. But by God, we’re Americans, and remember that.”
Of course, no matter what conservative Californians up north desire, Gov. Gavin Newsom is still the state’s head honcho.
Newsom, a very liberal Democrat, has given no indication he intends to apply his public health directives proportionately, even if it means the state’s citizens far away from California’s major pollution centers are suffering.
That is perhaps why Zapata’s anger is so resonant with so many who have shared his speech online.
He is being hailed a hero by countless individuals on social media who are also running out of patience with government overreach.
As uncomfortable as the subject might be, many Americans simply will not accept poverty and a suspension of constitutional liberties to appease Democrats in faraway big cities — even in California.
Zapata’s speech is a reminder that Democrats, who are arguably playing politics with commerce and health mandates in many areas of the country, might force some people to eventually challenge what they see as tyranny.
The traditional American response to such poor governance is to throw out elected officials at the polls.
But what recourse do people in mostly rural Northern California have when their votes are outweighed by big-city elites and other Democrats?
The American left has dragged out lockdowns and taxpaying citizens are paying for it, but the situation could come to a head if those people’s voices continue to be ignored.
Law-abiding citizens have been pushed into a corner all across the country since March, only to see draconian health policies ignored to appease, if not endorse, leftist rioters and other demonstrators.
Those health policies, of course, still apply to people like Zapata, so long as he is legally operating a business and not toppling statues or burning down retail buildings.
Perhaps Zapata’s impassioned speech can serve as a wakeup call to power-drunk Democrats that not everyone is willing to cower behind the walls of their homes until the danger passes or until those in government decide that some aspects of their coronavirus response are no longer politically expedient.
The Declaration of Independence states, in part, “all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
The precedent was set long ago for desperate and oppressed citizens to take the matters that affect their lives into their own hands.
For the good of continued peace, prosperity and goodwill between citizens and government, perhaps California’s leadership will listen to warnings from their state’s forgotten citizens and revert back to talking about banning plastic straws and regulating water usage — sooner rather than later — so they might avert a possible confrontation.
Zapata, and others like him, would certainly prefer such an outcome.
The man, who is now somewhat of a burgeoning social media star, signaled that much on his Twitter account Wednesday when he asked citizens to get involved.
— Carlos Zapata (@Carlos_Zapata_1) August 19, 2020
“Go to your county supervisors meetings, go to city council meetings and put some pressure on them and keep the pressure on them,” he said. “Keep pushing them until they tip.”
“Right now they’re feeling it,” Zapata added. “They know there’s a movement coming. They know there’s people like us who are willing to fight. We’re not going to lay down anymore.”
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