The United States won its independence from tyranny centuries ago, and that same spirit is alive today in the story of Karl Manke, a Michigan barber who is taking his stand simply by choosing to open his shop.
“I’ll be open until Jesus walks in or until they arrest me,” the owner of Karl Manke’s Barbershop told MLive.
Manke’s Owosso, Michigan, shop has been in business since 1961 but has been closed since just before Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive stay-at-home order on March 23 to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Although it was originally a temporary measure, the Democratic governor has extended the order until May 28 with some exceptions, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Most recently, Michigan’s GOP controlled house and senate filed a lawsuit claiming that the governor unlawfully extended the executive orders without the approval of the state legislature, the Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday.
“We’ve attempted to partner with our governor, but she’s rejected,” Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives Lee Chatfield tweeted.
“We offered cooperation, but instead she chose court. This was avoidable, but today we filed a lawsuit in our state to challenge her unconstitutional actions.”
“The law in Michigan is clear, and nobody is above it,” Chatfield wrote.
We’ve attempted to partner with our governor, but she’s rejected. We offered cooperation, but instead she chose court. This was avoidable, but today we filed a lawsuit in our state to challenge her unconstitutional actions. The law in Michigan is clear, and nobody is above it.
— Lee Chatfield (@LeeChatfield) May 6, 2020
A group of Michigan churches had also previously filed suit claiming the governor’s order to prevent worship was unconstitutional. An amendment to the order later exempted houses of worship from the closures, prompting them to withdraw the complaint.
But none of that is what drove Manke. He simply decided to do what’s best for him and his business.
“I don’t need the governor to be my mother,” Manke said of his decision to open May 4 against the governor’s orders. “I can take care of myself and run my own business the way I feel that I need to run it,” he told MLive.
Manke initially complied with Whitmer’s orders, but as the governor kept pushing back the reopening date, the financial impact became too much for the 77-year-old barber.
“When it became the 28th of May, it just killed me,” he said. “I just went to my knees. I collapsed. I just couldn’t do it. I cannot go without income that period of time.”
Although he was afraid of the consequences, Manke felt he had to open his shop, and police subsequently slapped him with two citations for which he must appear in court next month, according to an update from MLive.
A representative from the office of the state attorney general deferred to law enforcement in a statement to MLive, but was “confident those agencies will use their discretion and authority appropriately in enforcing the Governor’s orders.”
For his part, Manke was frustrated that business owners were being used as “pawns” as they are told to wait until the coronavirus fades away.
“That could be when Jesus comes,” he said. “It’s something that’s going to be with us for a while.”
Manke has the support of his family, as well as the people who sit in his chair for the simplicity of a shave and a haircut from a professional who is taking proper safety measures.
Nobody wants people sick or dying because of COVID-19, but when the alternative is abject poverty and a half a century’s work destroyed by out-of-control government officials, folks like Manke eventually decide to stand up for themselves.
“I’m not a scofflaw. I don’t want to appear like I’m this rebel lawbreaker,” he said. “It was something that I have to do.”
With opportunistic politicians such as Whitmer using this emergency for a power grab, we must all be ready to fight against tyranny for the soul of America.
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