If you know anything about Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, it’s likely that she’s about as tyrannical as they come. When the pandemic hit last year, she wasted little time if issuing severe lockdowns on her entire state, forbidding people to go to the hardware store, banning the sale of garden plants, and even issuing tickets to people who dared to walk across the street to their neighbors’ house for a cup of sugar.
Of course, she banned the opening of nearly all businesses as well.
Thankfully, it also didn’t take long for people to get tired of her constantly changing rules and realize that they were utterly unconstitutional.
And so people protested or defied her orders by opening up shop anyway if only to keep food on the table and the lights on.
Karl Manke, a hairstylist, was one such individual. And like any draconian leader, Whitmer punished him severely.
But that only brought more rage from her citizens. In fact, in May, hairstylists and beauticians from all over the state rallied in front of the state Capitol to cut hair and “protest” Whitmer’s rules, as well as stand up for Manke.
Of course, Whitmer didn’t learn her lesson the first time, and so she had police issue charges of disorderly conduct to most stylists in attendance.
But these men and women did back down either. And so they went to court.
The case was ruled on Monday, District Court Judge Kristen Simmons, a judge who Whitmer had appointed herself.
Now, usually, given today’s world of politics, you might this means Whitmer won. But Simmons, thankfully, takes her job rather seriously.
On Monday, she dismissed Whitmer’s charges against six hairstylists. According to The Detroit News, the six stylists with their attorney, David Kallman, filed a motion to dismiss the case. After not hearing a word from the state’s attorney general’s office on the matter or anyone from the office appearing in court, Judge Simmons ruled in the stylists’ favor.
Kallman told “Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy on Wednesday that he admired the stylists for standing up the way they that they had, referring to them as patriots “exercising their right to free speech.” he added, “People need to understand they should not be scared or intimidated. We have our constitutional right to speak out in opposition.”
And if more of us used that right, we could make a hell of a difference.
Thanks to these stylists and others like them who stood up to Whitmer in the early days of the pandemic, it was brought to the nation’s attention that what she was doing was not only a disservice to her entire state but also unconstitutional.
Angela Rigas, a hairstylist who attended the protest in May known as “Operation Haircut,” told Doocy, “We were certain at the time that her orders were unconstitutional, which we know later were ruled as such, as all her emergency orders after April 30 were thrown out.” Rigas said, “She needed approval. She didn’t get it. She acted alone, as usual… We had had enough.”
And she wasn’t alone. Suzanne Dodoro attended Operation Haircut “for my fellow hairdressers, to support Karl – the one man that did stand up – and all the other businesses as well, all the entrepreneurs out there, everybody that just wanted to get back to work.”
Manke says that he felt incredibly honored by his fellow hairstylists’ action and is grateful for what they did for him. However, he said he didn’t feel like his own actions were all that special. He didn’t feel courageous or brave doing it. In fact, he admits that standing up to Whitmer’s rules was scary, “but I knew it was the right thing to do.”
And for him, that’s what courage is all about – doing something not because you feel brave enough to do it but because it’s right.
Now, if only those like Whitmer and her Democratic cohorts would learn some of that, doing what’s right instead of what is comfortable and gains them political points.