Fighting to Re-Open Louisiana too Soon is Callous and Beyond Stupid

This is going to be a brief one, guys. There’s just not much we can say because two things are clear. You can’t fix stupid. And you can’t fix callous, either.

We must go record with the fact that we fully support Gov. John Bel Edwards’ extension of the state’s stay-at-home order until May 15. But earlier this week some GOP lawmakers in the state started a movement to challenge the Gov. Edwards’ new order.

The Governor responded by declaring that “silly” was not the right word to describe the effort. And he is right–silly doesn’t begin to describe what these lawmakers are doing. The effort is stupid, callous, egregious and deadly. Everyone is being impact by COVID-19. But this virus and its impacts, both health and economic, are hitting our communities even harder. As such, we take particular offense when so-called leaders suggest that we need to rush back into the line of fire. 

Black Louisianans are now roughly 60 percent of all COVID deaths in the state, though we are only roughly 33 percent of the population. Black workers are over-represented among those low-wage earners working at fast food restaurants and grocery stores–the jobs that are now some how considered essential though not essential enough for a living wage in Louisiana, it seems. So we already know that the folks ready to get back to business as usual don’t really care about us. We get it.

We’re not surprised by their petitions and recall efforts. Yes, some of those who support the moves of the state GOP lawmakers have also started an effort to recall the Governor. Louisiana has the sixth in the nation for COVID-19 cases per capita, and these fools are fighting for what? To open, casinos, bars, restaurants and concert venues?

We stand with Gov. Edwards and we encourage him to allow the the data to drive the decision as to when Louisiana should begin to reopen the economy. 

The state legislature resumes next week. And there are some concerns that protesters will head to the capital to rally against the extended stay-at-home order. As Gov. Edwards noted today (May 1) in his daily briefing, it’s their right to raise their voices and have them heard.

The rest of us have rights too. We have the right to live and to stay healthy. 

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