Minnesota’s political establishment and mainstream media mocked and condemned the pro-Trump protesters who gathered outside the Governor’s Residence Friday, but were silent just two days later when hundreds gathered for a demonstration in Minneapolis.
According to the St. Paul Police Department, an estimated 800 people were in attendance at Friday’s “Liberate Minnesota” protest, which called for an end to Gov. Tim Walz’s stay-at-home order issued in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Gov. Walz condemned the Friday protest and said it was “putting you and your family at risk,” The Minnesota Sun reported.
Attorney General Keith Ellison called the protest “irresponsible” and “dangerous.” He then went on MSNBC’s “Morning Joy” Saturday and warned that the protesters would “pay an awful price.”
“It’s disturbing. It’s sad. I pray for those people, because even though I disagree absolutely with these protests as completely and entirely inappropriate, I know they and their loved ones will pay an awful price,” he said.
Minnesota DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin also called the Friday protest “sad” and criticized the demonstrators for willfully ignoring “the shelter-in-place order today.”
“I pray that none of them get sick because guess who is not going to help when they do – Donald Trump,” he wrote on Twitter.
How sad, over 800 Minnesotans willfully ignored the shelter-in-place order today, putting their health and the health of their friends, neighbors, and loved ones at risk. I pray that none of them get sick because guess who is not going to help when they do- @realDonaldTrump. pic.twitter.com/6JcIEpLaeM
— Ken Martin (@kenmartin73) April 17, 2020
House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (DFL-Golden Valley) said the “reckless and dangerous actions by a few don’t represent the large majority of Minnesotans who are following guidelines and care about each other’s health.”
“I hope their foolishness doesn’t cost lives,” he added.
These reckless and dangerous actions by a few don’t represent the large majority of Minnesotans who are following guidelines and care about each other’s health. I hope their foolishness doesn’t cost lives. https://t.co/9WAynvUDKP
— Ryan Winkler (@_RyanWinkler) April 17, 2020
Jennifer Brooks, a columnist for The Star Tribune, mocked the demonstrators and said they would be “the people arguing to leave the barricaded shopping mall” if this “were a zombie movie.”
If this were a zombie movie, these would be the people arguing to leave the barricaded shopping mall, because the zombies don’t look *that* hungry and they’ve barely eaten any of us today. https://t.co/cSh1RExsby
— Jennifer Brooks (@stribrooks) April 17, 2020
Former Minnesota-based Associated Press reporter Kyle Potter cut to the chase and called the protesters “f–king morons.”
It's their right as Americans to protest.
It's my right as an American to call them fucking morons. https://t.co/XFZ6GjSucD
— Kyle Potter (@kpottermn) April 17, 2020
Others called them “idiots,” “astoundingly dumb,” “Minnesota know-nothings,” dummies “with a red hat,” and predicted they would “cause an outbreak.” When President Donald Trump tweeted his support for the protesters, City Pages, which is owned by The Star Tribune, told him to “shut the f–k up.”
— City Pages (@citypages) April 17, 2020
Dear National Media Suddenly Paying Attention to Minnesota: Please look at the stats for covid in Minnesota, read up on the amazing work the U of Minn has done on ventilators and testing, as well as the Mayo Clinic. Understand these idiots today ARE THE EXCEPTION. https://t.co/2nrjaLssdf
— J-Mo. 🇵🇷🏳️🌈 (@javimorillo) April 17, 2020
— J-Mo. 🇵🇷🏳️🌈 (@javimorillo) April 17, 2020
Minnesota has been sheltered-in-place for 3 weeks and SEVENTEEN people died between yesterday and today. This demonstration against public health measures is going to cause an outbreak. I'm FURIOUS. https://t.co/unbAaUSR6k
— Erin Maye Quade (@ErinMayeQuade) April 17, 2020
In St. Paul every dummy with a red hat is heading over to the Governor's mansion.
This gathering is a great place for funeral directors to round up business.
Coronavirus In Minnesota: Protesters Again Call On Gov. Walz To End Stay-At-Home Order https://t.co/lfuqqObg0S
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) April 17, 2020
If any of your friends attended today's #LiberateMinnesota rally, I hope you stay the hell away from them for at least two weeks.
I also hope you make new friends.
— hodel in the streets, chava in the sheets (@mrotzie) April 17, 2020
There’s a lot more 2 loving America than a drive by at the Governor's Mansion, waving a flag + lecturing the rest of us about liberty.
Please respect the sacrifice of healthcare workers who are risking their lives 2 save others. Be smart. Stay strong. Practice social distancing.
— Representative Pat Garofalo (@PatGarofalo) April 20, 2020
Just two days later, however, the same pundits were silent when the coronavirus social-distancing guidelines were broken during a gun-violence demonstration in Minneapolis. Hundreds of people were reportedly in attendance. Video of the event shows that many attendees were wearing masks, but were clearly gathered in groups of more than 10 and within six-feet of one another.
The Sunday demonstration was held for 27-year-old Kevin Beasley, who was shot to death at a house party early Saturday in Near North Minneapolis.
K.G. Wilson, with a parting word: “We’ll see you at the crossroads.” pic.twitter.com/GdMhSDQyOd
— Libor Jany (@StribJany) April 19, 2020
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Image “Two Protests” by Libor Jany (right) and Theo Keight (left).