These protests aren’t really about public health policy or the virus — they’re a display of white identity politics
The question isn’t whether white identity politics and racism are fueling the protests. The real question is why. Racism isn’t some kind of magical force that shields your body from the coronavirus. Even Donald “Inject Bleach” Trump hasn’t been fool enough to suggest you can defeat the virus by wrapping yourself in the Confederate flag. Yet there’s no denying that there’s a direct correlation between racist attitudes and the belief that the coronavirus is an overblown hoax and the lockdowns are the result of a widespread leftist conspiracy.
That isn’t just true of the protesters, either. The most prominent voices in media and politics who are egging them on and denouncing stay-at-home orders also happen to be the people who are doing their utmost to mainstream white nationalist ideology.