Michigan Democrats Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Rep. Debbie Dingell are trying to portray demonstrators who attended the state’s Operation Gridlock protest on Wednesday as neo-Nazis.
During an interview on SiriusXM’s “The Dean Obeidallah Show” on Thursday, Gov. Whitmer attacked the activists by claiming they’d “take COVID-19 with them” when they return to rural parts of Michigan.
Next, she pivoted to the narrative that the protesters are racist, saying, “I’ve not often seen a Confederate flag at the state capitol—and there were a few of them. There was someone who had signs that had a swastika on it. It was really a very political demonstration and rally.”
Speaking with MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle on Thursday, Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell echoed the governor’s statement, saying, “What happened yesterday was inexcusable. People did not have masks. They didn’t have gloves. They did not distance themselves. They had Confederate flags, swastikas. They blocked an ambulance trying to get to a hospital.”
The comments are purposefully misleading because both politicians know the swastika signs were actually directed towards Democrats and were not showing support for Nazi ideology.
As seen in the images below, one sign was calling Whitmer herself a Nazi, reading, “Heil Whitmer,” and another sign showed a Democrat Donkey with a swastika over in the background, insinuating the left are the real Nazis.
It was not the only swastika in Lansing today.
(photo credit to Ana Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance) pic.twitter.com/pFtsvlmjVI
— Steven C. Liedel (@SCLiedel) April 16, 2020
Another image being spread online, claiming to be from the Michigan protest, shows a man standing with a swastika flag along with the names “Trump” and “Pence.”
However, it’s not proven to have come from the protest and even if the photo was taken there, who’s to say it’s not an image of an agent provocateur or a leftist protester calling Trump a Nazi.
And apparently this too from the crazy rally in Michigan yesterday. Why just the Confederate flag, hell let’s get the Nazis into the action too. First they should just stop flying the American flag, a cease and desist order to all neo Confederates and neo Nazis #michiganshutdown pic.twitter.com/fysvBJoCnG
— Manisha Sinha (@ProfMSinha) April 16, 2020