SOLIDARITY: Jailed Texas Salon Owner Goes to Michigan to Support Barber Operating Against State Edicts
Heroic Texas salon owner Shelley Luther traveled thousands of miles to Owosso, Mich. on Monday to show solidarity with Karl Manke, the barber who defied orders from Governor Gretchen Whitmer and opened up despite his business being deemed non-essential.
They appeared at a press conference outside of Manke’s barber shop with the organizing front Stand Up Michigan, which is encouraging businesses throughout the state to refuse Whitmer’s orders and resume operations.
“I had 20 hair stylists working in my place. I was already a month behind on my mortgage. They were behind on their mortgage. They couldn’t feed their kids,” Luther said to explain the rationale behind her decision to open up her Dallas salon against state-level edicts.
“In order to get a barber or hair-stylist license, you have 200 hours of sanitation training. 200 hours. So, those people that you are bumping into at Walmart and are all over the place, nowhere near as clean as a salon would be. Salons should be the first things to open up after hospitals,” she continued.
Luther said that the government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers and the entire economy should open up immediately.
“Why does your governor think that it’s okay to open up for marijuana, liquor sales. Can’t you get an abortion?” she asked.
“You’re very reactive and not proactive like a governor should be,” Luther added to continue her pointed critique of Whitmer. “How did you help your nursing homes? What PPE did they get? None, not the caretakers, not the people, they got nothing. This blood is on your hands.”
Luther noted that the people have the power and can put Whitmer in her place by opening up regardless of whether or not she allows it.
“Gretchen, the state of Michigan will vote you out!” she said to capstone her speech to thunderous applause.
Manke closed by highlighting the psychological ramifications that the shutdown is having on people across Michigan and throughout the country.
“Our governor was concerned more with the physical health. She is so shallow that it is totally completely out of her range of thinking that there is a mental and spiritual aspect of the human being besides the physical,” Manke said.
“We have a bunch of empty shells who are in their homes that are healthy from the coronavirus that are mentally and spiritually starved. We need to bring this type of awareness to each other. We are a community. We are meant to live in a community. So shake hands with people, address people, talk to people. This continual hiding, riding around in our cars with masks on with the windows rolled up, is not healthy!” he said to end the press conference.
To intensify the push back against Whitmer’s edicts, the Michigan Conservative Coalition (MCC) is holding an “Operation Haircut” protest where haircuts will be given away to attendees for free.
“Operation Haircut is designed to demonstrate the insanity still rampant in Lansing,” said Marian Sheridan, a MCC organizer who helped organize the wildly successful “Operation Gridlock” protests. “Michigan needs to be reopened now to end the reign of Michigan’s power hungry bureaucrats.”
Barbers will be at the protest from noon to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 20. Volunteers will be equipped with chairs and safe equipment for haircuts. It will take place outside of the Michigan Capitol Building, which is located at 100 N. Capitol Avenue, Lansing, MI 48933.