Shelley Luther owns a hair salon in Dallas, Texas. She opened her business back up, in violation of lockdown rules. A judge sentenced her to seven days in jail, unless she wanted to apologize for her “selfishness.” If she would just apologize, she would only be hit with a fine. Shelley Luther told the judge she will not apologize, and she will open her salon. She’s now in jail.
You can click here for the details, the comments from Judge Eric Moye and Luther’s response.
It’s obvious that there are Two Americas. It just moves from story to story: Attack Justice Brett Kavanaugh, or not. Believe Russian collusion, or not. Stay shutdown, or not. Americans don’t dig deep on whether the attacks on Justice Kavanaugh were warranted; whether they were based on facts, whether Dr. Christine Blasey Ford could remember any salient details of the alleged assault (she didn’t.) Rather, it’s a cacophony of catchphrases and hashtags, of #BelieveAllWomen and #MeToo and diatribes of patriarchy and privilege.
President Trump was guilty of colluding with the Russians to win the 2016 election because social media said so, and cable news outlets parroted their tweets as, “people say.” Members of Congress said Trump was guilty, with Rep. Adam Schiff not only leading the charge, but claiming proof that he never revealed.
Some Americans agreed with Schiff, wrongly, saying the proof was clear. Other Americans said, rightly, there was no proof. And when Robert Mueller’s report concluded that no collusion took place, the Two Americas didn’t come together; some being proven right and some admitting they were wrong, then everyone going out for ice cream and moving on with their lives. The Two Americas ran further apart, with many from the wrong team doubling down on their insistence that Trump is guilty, moving the goal posts completely to impeachment over a daft phone call between Trump and the president of Ukraine.
Coronavirus has done the same. It’s not a conversation of science nor of economics, of damage done by coronavirus and damage done by the nation staying closed. It’s become a conversation of Liberty vs. “You Want To Kill My Grandpa! You’re All About Money! You’re a Greedy Bastard! You Should Get Coronavirus and Die!!”
Shelley Luther’s story is the codifying of Two Americas. One America believes Luther should be allowed to open her business, to care for her family and allow her employees to care for their families. That she should be respected for fighting for her rights. The other America believes that government will decide and you will comply, that elected officials must be listened to above reason and that your suffering is acceptable…and should be done in silence.
I find it near impossible to believe that Luther is the selfish party if the issue is the survival of her and her family. I find it near impossible to believe that laws should be complied with if they prevent life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The other America can’t believe that Luther was so greedy that she couldn’t wait another week. The other America believes that Luther’s pursuit of happiness will kill others (again, with no science to back it up.)
I also find it sickening that the judge would dangle a reduced sentence for an apology. Forced apologies are the stunts of an Orwell novel, not a rational Republic. And who believes an apology is owed for wanting to feed your family, and doing so by offering up a service that others agree to contract for without any government coercion? No one was forced to be a customer of Luther’s salon. They came of their own free will, with complete knowledge of coronavirus, and what may come.
My desire, which is my vocation, is to bring about understanding through discussion and debate. But those discussions are met with screams of greed. Those debates met with calls for more government and less liberty, because, pandemic! There is no end to this disconnect, and there is no end yet in sight to these Two Americas.