Barber Stays Open Amid Stay-Home Order: 'I Don't Need Another Mother'

June 30, 2020

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has said it again and again ... and again: Stay home.

What does barber Karl Manke, 77, say to that? Whitmer isn't his Mama.

Manke is keeping his business open during the coronavirus pandemic, which can spread rapidly among people in closed spaces, and he's not apologizing for it. And the stance seems to be working for him: MLive reported that there was a line of people waiting outside Manke's barbershop in Owosso to get in as he violated Whitmer's stay home, stay safe order to keep his business open.

“I don’t need the governor to be my mother," he told MLive. “I have one. God bless her, she’s gone now. I don’t need another mother. I can make these adult decisions myself.”

People ranging in age from 19 to 90 sat in his chair this week, some driving many miles to get there.

On one hand, Manke says the governor shouldn't be able to mandate that he close the business he's worked for decades to build up. On the other, he says he's scared of what happens if he shuts down and the bills pile up. He's had issues with the unemployment system and he's maxed out his credit.

“I’ll be open until Jesus walks in or until they arrest me,” Manke said.

Violations of the stay home, stay safe order are a possible 90-day misdemeanor that can bring fines of up to $500.

MLive reports that police are aware of the situation.

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