Dallas, Texas salon owner Shelley Luther has become the face of the movement to free the nation from the oppressive lockdowns imposed by despotic governors and mayors.
She is a modern-day Rosa Parks, but more on that in a moment.
An inspiration in these dark times to patriotic Americans who yearn to have their most basic constitutional rights respected, Luther was sentenced to seven days in jail on May 5 for daring to open her salon despite emergency decrees mandating the continued forced closure of businesses like hers that have arbitrarily been deemed non-essential.
But Luther was liberated May 7 after the Supreme Court of Texas ordered her released “pending final disposition of this case.” On May 8, Texas will allow hair salons to reopen with conditions.
The judicial process against Luther moved with the alarming speed of a drumhead court-martial.
According to a somewhat ungrammatical Judgment of Contempt and Order of Confinement signed May 5 by 14th Judicial District Court Judge Eric Moyé, Luther and her business, S&B Hot Mess Enterprises LLC, doing business as Salon A La Mode, violated a temporary restraining order dated April 28 that directed the salon to cease operating.
She bravely refused to shutter the salon, saying she (and her employees) needed to work to feed their families.
Luther was sentenced to seven days imprisonment for criminal contempt and seven days for civil contempt, with the sentences to run concurrently. Her business was ordered to pay $500 a day for criminal contempt for the 7 days as “they [sic] willfully violated the Order of this Court.” The business was also ordered to pay an additional $500 a day for civil contempt “for each day from this day forward during which the Salon remains in operation from the date of the Temporary Restraining Order until May 7, 2020.”
The order stated that “any time the Defendants should wish to purge themselves of their Contempt, they may petition this Court for release from confinement,” provided that they cease operating the salon and “publically [sic] express contrition.”
Luther had previously ripped up a citation at a rally, earning the ire of Judge Moyé.
“I’m not anyone special,” she reportedly said at the event. “I just know that I have rights. You have rights to feed your children and make income, and anyone that wants to take away those rights is wrong.”
Luther said she, along with several of her 19 stylists, had fallen behind on paying their mortgages. “It’s either come in and make money to be able to feed your family or stay home and freak out.”
From the bench, Judge Moyé, this soulless elected Democrat, who makes $158,000 a year in his supposedly essential job, told the cash-strapped Luther to pound sand in a vast run-on sentence.
“If you would like to take this opportunity now to acknowledge: that your actions were selfish, putting your own interests ahead of those in the community in which you live; that they disrespected the executive orders of the state, the orders of the county, and this city; that you now see the error of your ways and understand that the society cannot function when one’s own belief in the concept of liberty permits you to flaunt your disdain for the rulings of duly elected officials; that you owe an apology to the elected officials who you disrespected by flagrantly ignoring and, in one case, defiling their orders which you now know obviously regard to you; that you know the proper way in an ordered society to engage concerns you may have had is to hire a lawyer and advocate for change, an exception, or amendment to laws that you find offensive; that you publicly state that this is the way that citizens in the states should behave and that you represent to this court that you will today cease operation of your salon and not reopen until after further orders of the government permit you to do so; this court will consider the payment of a fine in lieu of the incarceration that you have demonstrated that you have so clearly earned.” [emphasis added]
Of course, Americans fought a long, bloody war against the British empire so they could flaunt their disdain for the rulings of government officials.
Luther was not intimidated by the thuggish judge. She replied:
“Judge, I would like to say that I have much respect for this court and laws, and that I’ve never been in this position before, and it’s not some place that I want to be, but I have to disagree with you, sir, when you say that I’m 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 getting fed, then, please, go ahead with your decision, but I’m not going to shut the salon.”
For defiantly speaking truth to power, Luther appears to have started a new civil rights movement, just as Rosa Parks did decades earlier in the Democrat-dominated Jim Crow South.
Parks refused to yield her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955. Three other black passengers had already complied with the driver’s direction to move. When he asked Parks, “Why don’t you stand up?” she answered, “I don’t think I should have to stand up.” She was arrested.
This righteous act of defiance by Parks against an unjust law was the catalyst for the Montgomery bus boycott, which breathed life into a nationwide push to end the racial segregation of public facilities.
Former Congressman Allen West, a Texas Republican, likened Luther to Rosa Parks.
“Shelley Luther is our modern-day Rosa Parks, and she has sparked a movement[,]” he wrote May 5 on Twitter. (So did Mark Levin on his radio program May 6.)
Comparing anyone –no matter how courageous— to Parks proved too much for angry left-wingers.
For example, talk show host Nicole Barrett, a black woman, bitterly denounced West, a black man, referring to him by the racist epithet “coon.”
“You Clown. What a disgraceful thing to stay. Bootlicking, Dishonorable, Coon[,]” Barrett tweeted. “If you want to sleep with her that bad just ask[,]” she added.
Even greater abuse was heaped on economist Stephen Moore, a member of the White House task force on reopening the economy, weeks ago when, before Luther had grabbed the national spotlight, he compared anti-lockdown protesters in general to Parks.
“This is a great time for civil disobedience. We need to be the Rosa Parks here and protest against these government injustices,” Moore said April 14 on the “Freedom on Tap” YouTube show.
On April 17, the Washington Post quoted Moore saying, “I think there’s a boiling point that has been reached and exceeded.”
“I call these people the modern-day Rosa Parks — they are protesting against injustice and a loss of liberties,” he said.
The over-the-top vitriol from verified frothing-at-the-mouth left-wingers came quickly on Twitter, the censorship-happy social media website that has cemented its position as the favorite venue of the angry mob.
The always-wrong failed magazine publisher Bill Kristol sarcastically congratulated Moore “on a comment at once strikingly stupid and deeply offensive.”
Pundit Tiffany Cross unloaded on Moore:
“Stephen Moore, please kindly [shut the f*** up]. Times are entirely too dangerous to politely disagree or offer filtered retorts. The #MAGA tribe is killing us. And I’d rather fight to the death before I lay down & die. They dropped civility a long time ago. Cool. [Because] I’ve got none for you.”
Perhaps the vilest, most un-American statement came from Ibram X. Kendi of American University’s Antiracist Research & Policy Center. He likened those protesting lockdowns to deadly pathogens.
“Stephen Moore calls them ‘modern-day Rosa Parks.’ But Parks desired different freedoms. These folk want the freedom to infect, like they have wanted the freedom to enslave, lynch, deport, exclude, rob. They have always protested the ‘loss of liberties.’”
Sadly, that’s what America has become in the COVID-19 era.
The Left, which includes the elitists in the mainstream media and academia, viciously slanders those who only want to earn a living as antisocial, rapacious vermin who should just shut up and stay home and starve to death – or become dependent on government handouts.
With heroic figures like Shelley Luther showing the way, it is time for patriotic Americans to throw off their chains and begin rebuilding the country.
(See my previous American Thinker columns on the ongoing COVID-19 debacle: March 27 American Thinker, “Dictatorship of the Immunocompromised?”; April 3 American Thinker, “New York City is lying about Chinese virus death rates”; April 9 American Thinker, “The CDC Confesses to Lying About COVID-19 Death Numbers”; April 15 American Thinker, “Liberate America by Turning the Political Pain up to 11”)
This article by Matthew Vadum appeared May 8, 2020, in American Thinker.