Slotkin Statement on Today’s Protests in Lansing

May 1, 2020
Press Release

HOLLY, MI –– U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) released the following statement regarding today’s protests at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, within Slotkin’s district:

"Americans have the right to protest. Americans have the right to make unfounded claims about the virus and dispute the death toll of 3,600 Michiganders recorded by our health care professionals, as many speakers did today. Americans have the right to carry signs with hateful slogans and swastikas, to wave Confederate flags, and to transform what could have been a protest about public health restrictions into a rally that promoted violence and hate, as many did today. Michiganders can even brandish semi-automatic weapons inside our State Capitol and hurl insults, despite the inherent threat those actions can pose. The right to free speech is so fundamental that the protesters today were able to exercise their rights at the expense of the health of the police, sergeant at arms officers, staff and elected leaders who they yelled at, at close range, without face masks. But we also have the right to speak out against that behavior, and honor the vast majority of our fellow citizens who choose a different path.  

"The majority of Michiganders are suffering significant loss of income and profound changes to their everyday lives. They are trying to figure out when we can work again and where, how to save our businesses, and how to pay bills without a paycheck. But the majority of Michiganders also realize that our country is going through a once-in-a-generation crisis. Just as our parents and grandparents were called to serve and endure, we are now called to serve and endure. As they rose to the challenges of their era, so shall we. And they did that by realizing that in a community we all have responsibilities to each other, especially during a crisis. Michiganders are doing just that every day, so I was disappointed to see that many of those protesting today took the opposite approach, putting their own interests ahead of the health and safety of their fellow citizens.

"The decision to transition back to work and school should be based on science and facts. We should get back to work in a safe and responsible way, as soon as we can. We should not go back if it risks a second, deadly wave of COVID, nor should we stay home any longer than necessary. Angry slogans and threatening signs won’t get us there any faster. Working together will. The vast majority of Michiganders recognize that, and it is their determination and spirit that will see us through."