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Those who protest lockdown deserve more empathy | READER COMMENTARY

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has said recent protests inside the Michigan state capitol depicted some of the “worst racism and awful parts” of U.S. history.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has said recent protests inside the Michigan state capitol depicted some of the “worst racism and awful parts” of U.S. history. (JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

Regarding the protesters, it has been a pattern in the media, including in The Baltimore Sun, to depict individuals protesting the social distancing sanctions and lockdowns as being selfish, ignorant yahoos who care little about their fellow citizens and, worse, advocate extreme and racist causes (“‘Feeding my kids is not selfish’: Dallas hair salon owner jailed for staying open despite coronavirus shutdown,” May 6).

It is probable that there are individuals who see an opportunity to exploit a tragic situation. There are, however, a substantial number of people for whom the coronavirus pandemic has been a true disaster. Many people living from hand-to-mouth now find themselves with empty hands. Small shopkeepers who invested everything into their business find themselves not only out of a job but their life savings as well. These people are the folks who previously helped the at-home laptoppers maintain their lifestyles.

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The ones who are condemned for protesting are the same people sitting in their cars at food banks. Condescending arrogance does nothing to solve their situation. Perhaps some empathy and effort for creative solutions to these legitimate problems will get us through hard times.

Robert C. Erlandson, Columbia

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