The New Yorker August 24, 2020 pp32-45 | LETTER FROM MICHIGAN | “NOTHING TO LOSE BUT YOUR MASKS“| “Groups protesting lockdown measures see the pandemic as a pretext for tyranny-and as an opportunity for spreading rage” By Luke Mogelson.
Michigan Militia in the Michigan State Capitol. Photo Credit theguardian.com
Various reportedly grassroot militia organizations declined dramatically after Tim McVeigh but grew rapidly from fifty to more than two hundred after the election of Obama in 2016. Another resurgence stems from Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s lockdown in Michigan that essentially eliminated the virus of course at the expense of jobs, small businesses and some temporary but small restrictions on personal liberties. Militias from all over Michigan came to the aide of Karl Manke, a barber in Owosso that refused to shut his barber shop. Some say “He’s a national hero” as eventually the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in his favor.
These militias, some with hundreds of thousand Facebook Members, see themselves as “impartial guardians” of the American constitution. Often dressed in camouflage fatigues and visibly armed with hand guns and rifles some feel “This has nothing to do with the virus. This has to do with power. They want to take power away from the people.” According to Roger Ball, “We’re a trigger pull away. We’re getting to the point where people have had enough.” A point made by those known as "3 Percenters" is a belief that only three percent of American colonists fought the British and it follows from there that these groups could have impact.
It seems that this movement quickly spread to thirty other states with many of the groups partly funded or partly directed by Republican associated groups. In rejecting Federal or State directives, some point to Posse Comitatus, or Power of the County, resurrected in the mid-1950s but stemming from an 1878 law “which prevented federal troops from insuring the rights of emancipated slaves.” Some believe “that county sheriff’s retain supreme authority to interpret the law with the primary role to defend the constitution from governmental overreach.”
Not surprisingly, from these beliefs and militias arises a pandora’s box of conspiracy theories; mass scanning, the Plandemic-“Bill Gates wishes to depopulate the world by 15%”-using a vaccine, disease is caused by interference with natural vibrational frequencies and that pandemic controls will have American “creeping [into] authoritarianism that gradually engulf Germany in the 1930s.”
Since March, YOY American gun sales have increased by 3,000,000. African American groups are now participating as well. Michael Lynn formed a FB group Black and Brown 2a Advocate, “to help enlarge and expand minority gun ownership…we need to protect our own.” The National African American Gun Association promotes “The usage of the second amendment to protect our community when all other methods fail”. Lynn was saddened about the fact that “no bystander intervened” on behalf of George Floyd.
POTUS at Mount Rushmore on July 4th warned of “a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase out values, and indoctrinate our children.” Those behind this are “agents of ‘far-left fascism’, determined ‘to overthrow the American Revolution…we will not be tyrannized-we will not be demeaned, and we will not be intimidated by bad, evil people.”