On Monday, The View’s Sunny Hostin confronted Shelley Luther with blame.
But it didn’t stick.
Many of you are surely familiar with the Texas salon owner and her opening in defiance of the state’s orders. That resulted in her being fined $7,000 and tossed into the Clink.
RedState’s been all over the story, from the Shelley’s courtroom refusal to avoid jail time by apologizing, to Dan Crenshaw’s thoughts on her imprisonment, to a fundraiser to assist her (amount raised at present time: 500,060 smackeroos), to her breaking down in tears when the Texas Supreme Court ordered her release.
“I have to disagree with you, sir, when you say that I am selfish. Because feeding my kids is not selfish. I have hair stylists that are going hungry because they’d rather feed their kids. So, sir, if you think the law is more important than kids being fed, then please go ahead with your decision. But I’m not going to shut the salon.”
Comebacks suit her; the same held true on The View.
Sunny didn’t understand why Shelley would stay open — after all, it threatens public safety.
Host Hostin chambered some hefty blame, flicked off the safety, and aimed to put it to the proprietor somethin’ fierce:
“Shelley, coronavirus cases are already rising in Texas and across the country where restrictions have been lifted. And you worried about your staff and your customers — I mean, I would assume you’re worried about your staff and your customers getting sick, since there’s now an uptick because of people not following the rules — like yourself.”
Shelley laid out a fact that, perhaps, many are missing: A reported “rise in cases” isn’t necessarily that; it’s a rise in testing, which results in a rise in detected cases.
Hit it, Luther:
“Well, I think that there’s a rise in the COVID cases because there’s more testing available, and that has been discussed before. So we expected a rise in the cases.”
She focused the conversation and dropped some science:
“What we need to look at is the number of deaths — if that is plateauing at all, and to make sure that we have room in our hospital beds. And Texas has plenty of room in their beds and are able to care for the people that need to come in at this time. As a matter of fact, there’s doctors and nurses getting furloughed because there’s not enough work.”
Sunny didn’t reply.
Co-host Whoopi closed with this, which wasn’t a siding with Shelley but, to me, appeared affably intended:
“I would like to hear you put some of that fury and that passion towards the governments that didn’t take care of the people, because that’s what they’re supposed to do. So I want you to get out there and fight for all those folks who are not getting what they’re supposed to be getting, and not getting the information that they need, and then I think I’ll feel better about watching you tell people, ‘I’m feeding my people.’”
Of course, there’s great disagreement over when things should open and whether and how they should ever have been closed. But ultimately, we face the same philosophical question now as ever before: The world is full of danger; if we embark on any life within it, we risk great harm. What things are worth the risk?
To what degree can those who can’t otherwise feed their families stay home to be safer? How do they continue in that home if they can no longer pay for it? It seems to me it’s easy for someone who owns their property and has plenty of cash to champion safety over all things, but that isn’t the case for most Americans.
And what of freedom? Personally, I believe the country pressing Pause so medical facilities could get ahead of the virus was a reasonable action. But no such stopping of America can go on indefinitely. If Shelley wants to take risks to work, and her customers feel the same, should the government still have the right to stop them?
Whatever you may think of social distancing at this point, Shelley’s stance certainly brought attention to the issue. And that absolutely helped others who may follow:
Throwing Texans in jail whose biz's shut down through no fault of their own is wrong.
I am eliminating jail for violating an order, retroactive to April 2, superseding local orders.
Criminals shouldn’t be released to prevent COVID-19 just to put business owners in their place.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 7, 2020
For her willingness to stand up for what she believed — if I may side with those who contend gender is a social construct — I’d like to offer this to Shelley Luther, from a fan in the back row:
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