What do COVID deniers and protesters of police brutality have in common?
The first group tends to be older, whiter, and more conservative. The more militant ones confront those wearing masks in public, but most simply choose not to wear masks themselves, despite the clear evidence that these slow the pandemic’s growth. They also crowd together in public spaces — in some cases a deliberate snub to public-health authorities. What preventative steps they do take appear completely ineffective, like stocking up on guns and ammunition.
The second group has also been crowding together in public spaces lately, though many wear masks. Memorials honoring police brutality victim George Floyd have turned into raucous, nationwide protests that sometimes spill over into rioting. These have raged for days in Kansas City. Smaller actions are occurring in other area communities, including Lawrence and Topeka. President Trump and others respond with a call for “law and order,” inviting comparisons to President Nixon’s election in 1968.