Setting The Record Right With Facts by Robert Socha
A lifelong friend posted a scathing criticism of a post on my social media account. Since he publicly rebuked me, I took the opportunity to conduct some web searches and collect some updated (as of May 20th, 2020) information and respond. I’ve published my original social media post, which shared a video of a young woman’s arrest in New York City, for incorrectly wearing a mask while exiting the subway. My friend’s reply follows in italics and quotes, and my responses immediately follow each section.
As my friend [name omitted] said when he posted this, I unequivocally denounce this abuse of power and share his sentiment; if you think this is okay, we have an irreconcilable different view of FREEDOM.
My friend’s reply:
“Where was this rage against police for #EricGarnerand any other N.Y. police abuse that was not pandemic related? I don’t remember seeing you post about that…”
It is true. I did not post any thoughts on #EricGarner or any other arrest that has created a media frenzy and stoked the population’s passions. It is apparent to me that our current national conscience manipulates seasoned emotions at the onset of an event that fits specific predetermined criteria. In the case of Mr. Garner, it was an unarmed black man killed while in police custody by a white officer. His homicide was avoidably tragic and unnecessary, but the facts of the case don’t support the narrative of the arrest being racially motivated and police brutality. Remember, I believe his arrest and death to be unjustified, and I think the officers’ response was excessive to the crime. As I understand the facts of the case, the officers were enforcing a law against selling untaxed cigarettes, which the city’s top cop, Philip Banks, issued an order to crack down on days before his arrest. To compare the enforcement of a law to the requirement of an executive order is disingenuous at best and meant to malign my character at worst.
“CV19 cases are still on the rise. The United States leads THE WORLD in CV19 cases and deaths. #1. New York is the epicenter of this breakout.
Over 28,000 people have died in New York due to CV19 cases since the outbreak, far surpassing any other natural or unnatural cause of death since in N.Y.”
Yes, New York City has seen a terrible toll due to the outbreak. Unfortunately, this is unavoidable when a virus is rampant. I checked both the CDC website and the NYC Covid-19 data page, and the numbers are significantly less than what you printed: CDC posted 16,342 deaths in NYC; NYC posted 16,059 confirmed deaths and 4,828 probable deaths as of May 19th at 2:15 PM (see link below). The deaths due to the virus are a horrific consequence of the viral outbreak, but they do not surpass any other natural or unnatural cause of death in the city. Based on my research, between 24,000 and 32,000 babies have been aborted in NYC since the United States banned travel from China in response to this coronavirus outbreak. Take into account the possible unintended deaths due to ‘non-essential’ surgeries not being performed and the uptick in domestic violence and suicide rates since the lockdown and the economic crash, and the numbers become staggering.
“If you think police officers, hospital staff aren’t on edge because of this, you’re wrong.”
I do not doubt the stress level local law enforcement feels is tremendous. They must uphold the rights of every citizen in submission to the U.S. Constitution first and foremost! The right of people to be secure in their persons, not denied or disparaged, and provided due process of law is above a gubernatorial proclamation.
“People who don’t follow protocol contribute to the disease. It’s a FACT.”
This statement is not a fact. It is an opinion.
“The police are protecting the public from someone who is failing to comply to an order by its leading official. The police are simply carrying out their orders and doing their job.”
The police are not required to obey unlawful orders, and common sense would indicate a young woman walking up the stairs with her daughter poses no immediate threat. A gentle reminder of the requirement and request to submit is all that was necessary. Please remember, the German SS were following orders by their leading official to herd and exterminate the Jews during WWII. It is a dangerous assertion where the police should arbitrarily enforce all orders simply because they exist.
“This woman is a danger to her community, her child and to herself by not wanting to help heal her community by doing her part.”
You have made an abject judgment based on incomplete information. Remember, this woman had a mask on; her child was wearing a mask. It appears to me she was trying to do her part. There is no scientific study that proves wearing masks is sufficient; in fact, there are many studies to suggest the opposite (please visit the links below). For example, the Annuals of Internal Medicine, April 2020, “neither surgical nor cotton masks effectively filtered SARS-CoV-2 during coughs by affected people.” Other studies are stating that wearing a mask for extended periods may be unsafe because rebreathing carbon dioxide can cause CO2 poisoning. In fact, on May 6th, 2020, the New York Post reported two boys’ deaths while wearing a face mask during gym class.
“She is also resisting and becoming violent.”
Yes, she resisted the bullying of 1/2 dozen (or more) armed uniformed police officers yelling, crowding, corralling, and reaching for her. Her response is a natural defensive reaction when someone is trying to grab you that you don’t want to. The police were excessive in their enforcement of an unproven and unconstitutional order (not a law). I cannot believe that you would have readily consented to orders police were giving you that you found unreasonable.
“Your freedom is your greatest power.”
“With great power comes great responsibility.”
“That responsibility is to watch out for your community while obeying the law.”
I ardently beg to differ. The responsibility I carry is to exercise my rights while not infringing on the rights of others. Remember, the police were not enforcing the law in this instance.
“If you are irresponsible, you get your powers taken away.”
I agree with this at a certain level. For example, my driving habits were unhealthy during our high school years. I broke traffic laws, received tickets and fines, and ultimately had my license revoked for 180 days. These penalties were just consequences of my dangerous actions.
In this particular instance, however, the woman was doing her best to comply with the edict. She had a mask on; it had only slipped from her face. There was no reason for her right to be secure in her person violated.
“What is so hard to understand?
We are in a [email protected] PANDEMIC!!”
This version of the coronavirus is a pandemic in the sense that it affects a wide geographic area and vast people. You asked me at the beginning why I didn’t respond with outrage to other instances of police abuse, which leads me to deduct you also see their treatment of this woman as abusive. I ask you now, why this type of response to this virus? In 2009 over 60 million Americans contracted the H1N1 swine flu, of which over 12,000 died. The death toll to the Covid-19 is significantly higher, but the number of infected Americans, as of this writing, is considerably lower—too many questions here to cover adequately. Until I was doing some research on Covid-19, I had forgotten about the pandemic of 2009.
“Set aside your privilege and feelings of being inconvenienced and pay attention to those areas that are faced with the most serious facets of this outbreak and learn from it. Adapt to it. Do your part to help conquer it – not prolong it.”
This statement exposes a fundamental disagreement in our worldview. I believe that God grants our fundamental rights, and they are to be secured by the government. I think the United States Constitution restricts our government’s power and empowers citizens to live responsible and prosperous lives. With trustworthy information, I know the people of our great nation can decide what is in their best interest. In this case, if the facts for wearing a mask are available, pros and cons, then we the people can decide for ourselves if we should or should not wear one. The challenge to this statement is the abject untrustworthiness of our elected officials, leaving us to filter vast amounts of information and come to a reasonable conclusion. The ability to do so is complicated and time-consuming, which foments intense disagreements such as ours.
All this said, I value your friendship and hope that if time and location allow us, we can see each other again.
NYC Covid Data Page:
NYC Abortion numbers:
United States Constitution:
Studies on the effectiveness of masks:
New York Post article:
H1N1 swine flu pandemic:
About the Author
Robert Socha, BIO Robert Socha (so-ha), was born in southern California. He served 5 years 3 months active duty in the United States Air Force; honorably. After his service he took an Associate’s Degree in Practical Theology, where, through his studies, developed a deep love of God and Country and sincere appreciation of the value of Liberty. Robert and his beloved wife of 21-plus years are raising 4 beautiful Texan children. They moved to Hillsdale, Michigan, in 2013, to put their children in Hillsdale Academy. Robert is a sales professional. He and his wife consider Michigan a hidden gem, and absolutely love this city and state (current political environment notwithstanding) they’ve adopted.