Some see a racist double standard in GOP's embrace of truckers

Trump used to call Black Lives Matter protesters "thugs and anarchists" but he said that there was "a lot respect" for the majority of white truckers who blocked the streets in Ottawa and closed border crossings with the U.S. because they opposed COVID-19 restrictions.

Some see a racist double standard in GOP's embrace of truckers

Some see a racist double standard in GOP's embrace of truckers

Trump used to call Black Lives Matter protesters "thugs and anarchists" but he said that there was "a lot respect" for the majority of white truckers who blocked the streets in Ottawa and closed border crossings with the U.S. because they opposed COVID-19 restrictions.

Ted Cruz, Republican Senator, said that truckers who drove bumper to bumper were "heroes" supporting a righteous cause. Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity offered "solidarity and love and support" for the truckers. He also ignored court orders and defied police orders to clear Ottawa's streets. GOP Senator Rand Paul encouraged them south to "clog" the streets in the U.S.

Karen Pita Loor, a Boston University professor of law, said that "this again shows that there just an unequal right of expression dissent in America." She described conservatives' support as "two-faced", stating that while they appear to support a conservative movement for rights, they support a white, conservative movement. However, "when you see Black Lives Matter protesters in the streets that are 'thugs', they scare you."

Conservatives argue that there is a double standard -- that liberals support protesting until they disagree with the cause.

The Freedom Convoy, a Canadian demonstration, was declared a national emergency. It also constitutes illegal occupation of the capital. The drivers blocked the streets for weeks to protest vaccine mandates in Canada for truckers and other restrictions related to pandemics. They also blocked U.S. border crossings, causing economic damage to both countries. On Thursday, hundreds of truckers stood their ground while police stormed the scene, threatening violence. To stop outsiders from reaching the protesters' aid, workers put up additional fences around government buildings.

Conservatives claim there is a clear line between Canadian protests, and incidents of violence during protests over George Floyd's death by a white officer at Minneapolis. This includes buildings being set on fire in Portland, Oregon, and in Minneapolis.

All Americans have the right peacefully to protest. Paul stated that there is a stark contrast between civil defiance, which has been a long-standing tradition in this country, and burning down buildings and looting businesses and violently attacking actual peaceful protestors and innocent bystanders. In 2020, the Republican from Kentucky was confronted by protestors of Breonna Taylor's death. Taylor was a Black woman who was shot and killed by police.

Cruz spokeswoman said that Cruz had been "very clear" about nonviolent protest rights. "What people don’t have the right not to do is attack another person, loot or firebomb buildings -- these actions are not exercising any constitutional right regardless of the circumstances."

Hannity stated this week that there is a difference between Black Lives Matter protests, and truckers. The Canadian demonstrations have been peaceful.

Police arrested 13 people at the Alberta border town Coutts and confiscated guns and ammunition earlier in this week. Four other men are facing conspiracy charges alleging they plotted the murder of Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers.

It is not just politicians who receive support from conservatives in America. Right-wing activists opposing pandemic mandates as well as Canada's Liberal Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau have donated money to the demonstrations in the hope that they will motivate American voters ahead this year's midterm election.

Mario Morrow is a Black political consultant and has represented both GOP governors and Democratic governors in Michigan. He called Republicans' support of the Canadian protests "hypocrisy on its highest levels."

Protests also included the blocking of the Ambassador Bridge which connects Detroit with Windsor, Canada. This bridge is 25% of all trade between these two countries. A Canadian Ford plant was also shut down last week due to the protests. General Motors had to cancel a shift at its midsize-SUV plant near Lansing, Michigan due to shortages because of the blockade.

Last weekend, police broke the blockade at Bridge -- border's busiest crossing -- and arrested dozens of protestors.

Morrow stated that "there is no way that supporters, especially Republicans can justify the funding support. The moral support. and the political statements made by supporting these tactics." Morrow also stated that protesters wouldn't get the same support from supporters if they were not conservative white people.

He said, "They would be locked up -- from day one."

Cruz last week praised truckers who stood up to liberals who imposed mandates that they "have no rights to impose." He stated that the protesters spoke for both Canadians and Americans.

He said, "I believe it is powerful to observe."

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