I was born in the Great Lakes State and I intend to die in the Great Lakes State. I live for those drives up M-22 to my friends' lake houses. All I want to do is be on a boat right now. I love everything that Michigan has to offer, and I wouldn't want to spend my days anywhere else (despite the fact that I go to school in Ohio).
That being said, I'm embarrassed.
If you've seen the news, hundreds of gun-toting, Confederate-flag-waving dickheads stormed the Michigan capitol to protest Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's extension of her "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive order.
My question is: why?
Do they think I want to stay home all day? Do they think I enjoy the economic collapse of my home state? Do they think I want to be unemployed, broke, and lonely?
What are they trying to prove? What does it say about them that they felt the need to, one, bring guns and, two, wave around Confederate flags as if Michigan wasn't one of the most northern states in the contiguous U.S.?
It makes Michigan look like a state of idiots.
It makes me embarrassed to have to go back to school in Ohio in the fall and tell people I'm from Michigan. I fear that I'll be judged for sharing a home state with a minority of people that believe that their barbecues and parties are more important than the lives of everyone else.
Not only that, but most of my immediate family works in the medical field. My mother is a nurse, both of my sisters are currently in medical school, and my brother is a doctor at Henry Ford Hospital in the heart of Detroit — which happens to also be the heart of Michigan's coronavirus pandemic.
And when people feel the need to bring not only their inconsiderate ideologies but also their guns and racism to the capitol, I can't help but feel them spitting in my brother's face. The same man who's working countless hours saving lives in one of America's hardest-hit cities. The same man who studied for years, accumulating hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, just so he could take on the duty to keep Michiganders alive. The same man that helped shape me into the goofy, hard-working person I am today.
And what does he get in return? He gets to see white trash racists on the news, effectively telling him that the risk he takes each day just by going to work is all a hoax.
I take it personally — each protester, each gun, each Confederate flag.
Because each time another Michigan protest is on the news, a little bit of pride for my state dies. But the death of my pride pales in comparison to the actual deaths of the people that call Michigan home.
So if any protester happens to be reading this: go ahead and kill that pride for yourself, too. You're no Michigander to me.
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