LETTERS: ‘Bold Look of Liberty’ greets Kohler’s vaccination mandate

To Ozaukee Press:

I had a good time in Kohler recently. No, I didn’t attend their annual wine and cheese festival. I attended the street protest following the Kohler Company’s demand that their employees choose between being vaccinated or fired.

I enjoyed the easy camaraderie with the hundreds of protesters waving clever signs like: “Welcome to Kohler-fornia—Papers Please,”  “My Body, My Choice,” and “I Call the Shots.”  Snarky signs like “Kiss My Brass ” and, my favorite, “Let’s Go, Herbert” added to the fun. Encouraging air horn blasts from passing trucks and enthusiastic beeps from tradesmen vans and pickups joined the amplified beat of rock and roll and country western from somebody’s anonymous sound system. A good time was had by all,  including many wine and cheese pedestrians who enjoyed the flavor of social justice protest with their wine.  

The cheerful gathering, however, seemed only to highlight the bitterness of signs like “Flushed After 34 years.”  

“I don’t work for Kohler, but I’m out here today because it’s coming for us next,” said one protester. A recent college grad who just had been fired from his first job with a small financial services company joined in, saying, “I told them I’ve got the antibodies, but they canned me anyway.”

There was much speculation about why companies would fire their most loyal employees during a labor shortage. Are these companies just afraid of the feds who always get their man and are notorious for extorting billion dollar fines from any business with deep pockets? Or are they just woke CEOs virtue-signaling to fellow Ivy League club members?  

But this protest and others springing up around the country are not just about a virus, but about who calls the shots in this country, individual citizens or this new alliance between big business, big tech, big unions and big government.  

I was inspired by the cheerful courage of these protesters. It was, as one sign proclaimed, “The Bold Look of Liberty.”

Art DeJong


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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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