photo courtesy necn.com
A peaceful Black Lives Matters protest drew a crowd of thousands to the Rhode Island State House on Friday evening. We even had a special cameo by Governor Gina Raimondo herself and after addressing the protesters, she then proceeded to hold hands with them and pray.
The protest ended and dispersed shortly after the mandated curfew time of 9pm but some of the protesters then proceeded to lead a peaceful march to the west end of Providence and ending back in the city at Kennedy Plaza.
While the protest was peaceful, I could already see the outrage that was to follow and it was confirmed by not just the posts on social media but by the number of text messages and email I received on Saturday morning.
People were angry and rightfully so and it has nothing to do with the death of George Floyd or any of the peaceful protests that have taken place.
After months of being repeatedly lectured by Governor Gina Raimondo on how important it is to obey social distancing rules or how important it is to wear your mandated face covering, she sashays down the R.I. State House steps sans mandated face covering, holds hands with protesters and begins to pray.
How big is yesterday’s entry in her contact tracing notebook? Did her CrushCOVIDRI app meltdown?
On Saturday Governor Raimondo apologized for not wearing a mask saying,
“The late hours in front of the State House last night were tense and hectic, and in that moment I neglected to put on a mask. That was wrong, it was counter to our public health guidance, and I apologize. I have worked today to track down the names of those I was in contact with so that they can be added to my contact tracing notebook.”
Give me a break. Raimondo has threatened to pull funeral homes’ licenses if they have more than 15 mourners in attendance yet a crowd of thousands is somehow not “counter to our public health guidance.” Just stop it already.
Services at houses of worship can only take place with reduced capacity where hymnals and offering the sign of peace is a no-no but holding hands and praying with a crowd of thousands is perfectly fine.
Obviously, limitations on crowd size is subjective to the rule of Governor Raimondo. If you think about it, it really is classic Gina. It’s only what Gina thinks is important, vital or essential that matters. It only makes sense that after deeming what businesses are essential, she would also be able to deem what is important as well.
Governor Raimondo forced businesses to close, many of which will never reopen, and thousands of Rhode Islanders are now unemployed. All of it to keep as many people at home as possible in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus and not overwhelm our healthcare system. We had to flatten the curve. Remember that?
People aren’t just angry, they’re furious and it has nothing to do with the peaceful protests. This is a whole new angry and it’s in addition to the death of George Floyd.
One last question? Why go through the trouble of issuing a 9pm curfew for the city of Providence if you’re not going to enforce it?
Everyone agrees and supports the right to peacefully protest but we also have laws that must be followed by everyone but what happens when you refuse to enforce those laws equally?
I don’t have to wonder what kind of message it sends when you pick and choose which laws are enforced and who’s must comply. I’ve been there. I’m part of a marginalized community and now, so are you.
So, what are you going to do about it?
Allan Giberti is the host of RI Red Radio on 990WBOB.com. You can listen to Allan live on Mondays and Tuesdays at 7pm Eastern.
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