The right to peacefully assemble and protest has been an integral part of the American story. From the Revolution to the Civil Rights movement, Americans have used protesting as a non-violent way to push for social and political change.
But 2020 has been a year where most of the civil rights Americans hold dear have been thrown completely out the window. Until, apparently, those rights came roaring back because the media and politicians found a useful purpose for them: the BLM/anti-racism riots. Let's examine how the media uses their influence to denigrate or to prop up the rights of different groups, depending solely on whether or not the media agrees with their cause.
The Media’s Double Standard between the Anti-Lockdown Protests and the BLM Protests
Remember how the anti-lockdown protesters were scorned and treated like pariahs in the media as they were mocked for “needing a haircut”? We were told about how irresponsible, selfish, and dangerous the anti-lockdown protesters were for breaking the lockdown and gathering in a large group in order to voice their grievances. Their cause was dismissed as petty, or worse, dangerous to public health. It was popular to ridicule and shame anyone who attended such a rally.
And yet, when tens of thousands more people took to the streets just weeks later to protest for Black Lives Matter, no such condemnation appeared. You’ll even find how the same people who claimed that the anti-lockdown rallies would cause a spike in COVID-19 cases immediately turned around and showed their support for the mass protests of Black Lives Matter.
While they tell us that we’ll kill the elderly if we don’t abide by the lockdown measures, they will, at the same time, tell us that the Black Lives Matter protesters gathering in close quarters didn’t spread COVID-19. In fact, just a month before the nationwide BLM protests, the media was hysterical at protesters calling for the reopening of America.
According to the media, the virus will only spread at certain kinds of gatherings and protests.
According to the media, the virus will spread at a gathering where protesters demand to restore the economy, but the virus won't spread at a gathering where protesters demand to defund the police. Unless this is the smartest virus in the world, it seems unlikely that it cares what type of protest is occurring when it spreads. But now that the media agrees with the point of the protests (social justice and defunding the police), they're finding every way possible to explain the rise in COVID-19 cases without blaming the protests and riots.
An NPR article claims that the spike in cases came from people gathering for parties. Public health officials in New York blamed the spike on crowded outdoor bars. There's also no discussion of rampant testing errors, such as the labs in Florida that were only reporting positive cases. Some labs were showing a positivity rate of 98%. There has also been a massive push nationwide to expand testing so people are free to return to work. So while the media is laser-focused on the increasing cases, there has actually been a steady decline for over two months in the daily death rate.
Only Certain Types of Protests Are Safe
So, if, in fact, the protests are not causing the virus to spread, why would protests for re-opening America cause a spike of COVID-19 infections, but the Black Lives Matter protests won’t? As a matter of scientific fact, either a gathering of protesters would cause a spike in coronavirus cases, or it won’t. It can’t be both at the same time. It makes no sense that only certain gatherings will spread the virus, based on what’s being protested against.
Either a gathering of protesters would cause a spike in coronavirus cases, or it won’t.
If the hypocritical double standard wasn't bad enough, the brazen avoidance of holding the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests responsible for the increased rate of COVID-19 infection is even worse. We’re seeing a massive spike of cases among 18-34 year olds, and it’s easy to infer that this is the demographic that was the most actively involved in the nationwide riots and protests. Instead, the blame goes to people who held graduation parties.
Instead, the blame goes to people who held graduation parties.
Cases Went Down Where There Were No Protests
We can infer, through using common sense, that the nationwide protests caused the surge in coronavirus cases. Let’s examine a country that didn’t engage in in-person gatherings to protest for Black Lives Matter. In the case of Thailand, the BLM protest was held online through Zoom meetings. Thanks to their cautious and considerate approach to protesting in the time of a global pandemic, Thailand succeeded in stemming the unnecessary spread of COVID-19 infections.
So successful was their rational approach that Thailand saw zero new coronavirus cases for over 35 days. Keep in mind too that Thailand has been re-opened locally since May 3 and had resumed normalcy on June 15. Now just imagine how much lower the infection rate would be in America had the mass protests and rioting not occurred.
Thailand saw zero new coronavirus cases for over 35 days.
Will the media tell you this? Probably not. Instead, they'll tell you that eating at restaurants because of the re-opening is the cause behind the increase of COVID-19 infections.
Why All the Denial?
We already know that the American media is overwhelmingly partisan and politically motivated. We know that their reporting on the coronavirus outbreak has been less than honest or accurate. So it shouldn't come as any surprise that their coverage of two sets of protests looked very different, according to whose politics they agreed with. But the important question to ask yourself is: How much power are we willing to give the media to control our lives?
So many of the severe actions taken during the shutdown were a result of hysteria created by the media. On the other hand, many violent and despicable actions perpetrated during the riots were largely ignored by politicians, the police, and the media because they were done in the name of racial justice. Clearly, the media's influence extends far beyond the TV sets and smartphones upon which their programming is viewed.
It's time we took a hard look at how much influence we're willing to give a partisan media in our country. They're not elected officials and don't have any special knowledge that the rest of the country doesn't have. They're not experts in any subject. And yet, the American public and politicians alike take their words at face value, no matter the destruction and chaos they sow upon the country. Time to wake up, America.
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