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Anonymous Mailbag

It’s Tuesday and the anonymous mailbag is here to rescue you from your work or school doldrums by giving you the best possible advice on the planet.

As always you can email me at claytravis@gmail.com, anonymity guaranteed.

Okay, here we go with your anonymous mailbag questions:

“My cousin is getting married in October in her backyard. Problem is it’s in Nashville (Davidson County) so they can technically only have 50 people per Mayor Cooper. They live maybe a couple hundred yards north of the county line. If they were south of it they would be in Williamson county and could have “50% capacity.” They’ve talked to people in the mayor’s office and friends who are attorneys and they suggest to move it to somewhere in Williamson County. Part of them wants to just say screw it, it’s our freaking backyard we can do what we want, but they don’t want some coronabro calling the cops for all the people and them showing up.

Any advice on the ramifications of having it or would you say just move it to Williamson County somewhere. Or cut the list to 50ish people?”

I went to a wedding this past weekend just outside Nashville/Davidson County. There were probably 100 people there and it felt completely normal.

We all had a great time.

I don’t want to give legal advice because I’m not an expert on coronavirus law in Nashville — or any other location for that matter — but I think the question becomes — how big is the wedding? I doubt the police are going to show up and start counting heads in a backyard wedding. Which is why the size of the wedding matters. So are we talking 100 people or are we talking 250 people? In other words, how many more people are showing up than the “allowed” number?

I think the easiest way to avoid this being an issue is to ask everyone to Uber to the wedding and not have anyone parking in the neighborhood. That way it would be hard for the neighbors to know exactly how many people show up for the wedding. If there are dozens of cars, however, it’s easy to see there’s a party going on at the house in a way that Uber arrivals wouldn’t demonstrate.

Personally, I’d keep the location in the backyard and gamble the 50 person restrictions will be lifted by then because Nashville’s coronavirus numbers are declining rapidly and I think there will be crowds for Titan games in October. If there are crowds for Titan games, I don’t know how the police are going to justify showing up to break up a wedding party.

Finally, let’s say the police do come, it’s not like they are going to arrest people in a paddy wagon and take them to jail. They are most likely just going to ask them to leave and, worst case scenario, issue a citation with a minimal fine amount.

Again, I think it comes down to the number of guests — if you’re trying to put 250 or more people at the wedding that sounds like a pretty monster wedding for a backyard in the first place — but I’d probably risk this if I were throwing the wedding and it was a number somewhere close to 100. (By the way, I cannot imagine being the dad in this spot right now. You know he has absolutely no say in any of the wedding details except for this one. Odds are this wedding has been moved around a ton over the past several months and the dad probably said, “SCREW IT THEN. WE’LL JUST DO IT AT THE HOUSE!” because he was so tired of all the wedding talk. Ever since then his wife and daughter have planned everything, but they are 100% going to blame him if anything at all goes wrong with the legal issues because I bet that’s the one issue they’ve asked him to weigh in on a great deal.

If I were the dad here I might well pay to move it just so I didn’t have to hear from my wife about the police showing up at the wedding for the rest of my life. Seriously, I can guarantee you if this were my house I’d be saying we can have the wedding with as many people possible present and my wife would be like, “I don’t know about that, what if the police come?” And I’d say, “What are they going to do, arrest everyone?” And then next thing you know the wedding would get broken up and we’d all be in the back of a paddy wagon and my wife would be looking at me saying, in her mock version of what my voice sounds like, “What are they going to do arrest everyone? Boy, you really nailed this one.”

And my life would essentially be over.

So, basically, I feel sorry for this dad already and I have no idea who he is.)

“With virtual learning kicking off for the back to school season in our part of the country, many of my friends have started “pods” where they hire a tutor to teach their kid and 3-4 other neighbor kids. So far, our friends that are doing this are all Democrats, this will matter later.

All of these parents voted against sending their kids to school and instead have a tutor, being paid around $2500 per week total who comes in from 9a-noon and tutors the kids. They rotate houses. Everyone is masked up. Kids range from 1st to 4th grade.

These same friends are the ones who have been posting about how everyone needs to read “white fragility” and how America is the most divided it has ever been (guess they forgot about the civil war) and how white privilege is real and we must stop it.

Yet, all of them are white, and all of them are paying someone to come teach their kids; and not inviting a single black or Hispanic kid to participate. Are they not, in fact, taking affirmative steps to widen inequalities in education between minorities and whites? I can’t recall a bigger example of hypocrisy lately. Is this just another example of the left blaming the right for everything yet not looking in the mirror?”

First, any parent who advocates against schools opening is not looking at data. There is no legitimate argument against schools being open. None. That’s why 67,000 pediatricians have endorsed it and why the CDC has as well.

Yesterday was the first day my three kids have all been back at in person school since March. It was a great day. I fully expected to come downstairs from work and see my wife on her third bottle of wine at lunch.

Having said all this, I don’t blame people for wanting the best for their kids and getting tutors if schools were closed. But you’ve nailed it this is great example of limousine liberalism. These parents claim to want what’s best for everyone in public, but deep down they were comfortable voting against schools opening back up because they knew they had the resources to make it so that their own children weren’t disadvantaged by their choice. It’s easy to be in favor of shutdowns when you can work from home and make your full salary. In fact, many high paid white collar professionals, truth be told, are fine with the coronavirus shutdown because the shutdown has actually made their lives better.

Most people, truth be told, without a boss looking over their shoulder all day long every day, could probably do their jobs in half the hours they spend in the office. So if you’re at home suddenly you’re able to be more productive and watch sports in the middle of the afternoon.

It’s a great life if you have a job that allows remote work.

But, unfortunately, that’s not an option for the majority of workers in this country. Most people need to be at a particular location to work.

And most kids need to be at school too.

The biggest losers from schools being shut down are poor and minority communities. Why? Because these communities can’t afford tutors and they also can’t afford babysitters or nannies to come watch their kids while they work. What’s more, they often don’t have access to reliable wifi or computers so it’s impossible for many of these kids to even participate in distance learning.

When schools shut down we aren’t just depriving many young people of their ability to get an education, we’re also depriving many of these same families of making a living too. Shutting down schools is a double barreled economic and educational shot across the bow directed right at the people who can afford it the least.

It’s mind blowing to me that the same people who preach equality in public are totally fine with making decisions that lead to rampant inequality.

Again, I don’t blame parents for spending money to give their kids educational advantages. (One of my kids is now in private school, the other two are in public school, but we are spending money to give my oldest the best advantage we can). But the fact that you could be lecturing other people about white privilege and then undertaking one of the most white privileged moves possible to advantage your own children — while poor kids are suffering as a result of your actions — is mind blowing hypocrisy.

Am I surprised that the most outspoken people you know about social justice issues are also the most likely to be creating their own all white and all privileged educational pods?

Of course not.

I suspect hypocrisy has always been rampant in this country, but social media just crystallizes it for all to see.

“Can we start a movement to have an emergency end to daylight savings before we fall back? This will allow more daylight for outdoor activities instead of cramming more people inside this fall and winter. The blue checkmarks can’t possibly argue with this.”

This is genius.

Absolute genius.

I’m going to start this argument on my radio show tomorrow.

“You make the good argument for having 20% capacity at games (ability to spread out). I disagree with your stance because I love the energy of a packed house and want many more people to be able to attend games, but your point is sound nonetheless.

However, from a purely economic/political standpoint, it really bothers me that football games are not going to be allowed 100% capacity. Like how you astutely noted about Kaepernick’s kneeling; to validate his stance, Kaep would have needed to state a defined, achievable goal of his protest (which he did not do). In a similar vein, what is the metric we must reach for stadiums to be allowed to reach full capacity? If Covid started out at its level of current hospitalizations and recent deaths, life would be business as usual. Stadiums would be full.

Thus, if stadiums aren’t full in September 2020, when will they be? It is still economically disastrous for huge football stadiums to be required to be 80% empty for a full season. The “80% empty” hurts the local economies much more than the “20% full” helps it, and for what purpose are we keeping 4/5 of stadiums empty? You are praising the premise now, but, had someone told you in February that the 2020 pro and college football seasons would have crowds at 20% capacity, would you have received the news as well as you are now receiving it?”

First, I’ve been fine with having no crowds as long as the games are available on television. I’ve been making that argument since the shutdown began back in March. But I also think it’s important to set the precedent that fans in stadiums are possible because it’s easier to grow from some fans to more fans than it is to leap from no fans to some fans.

I think if stadiums are open in September and there are no major outbreak issues that ensue they will continue to expand capacity in October and November.

Once the election is over I suspect much of the coronavirus hysteria will rapidly recede no matter which side wins.

If this outbreak had happened in 2017 or 2021 instead of 2020, that is, as far from a presidential election year as possible, then I think the response would have been vastly different.

The simple truth is everything is politicized now, including this virus.

If you look at the rapidly declining numbers of new infections in the South in particular I think we are headed for something approaching normalcy by the fall. And as normalcy spreads I suspect the number of people allowed in stadiums will grow.

The big question no one can answer for me is this: if masks work so well, why can’t we do everything we normally do as long as everyone wears masks? I mean, we’ve been seeing hundreds of thousands of masked protesters in our cities for months. If those masked protests are allowed, why can’t stadiums be full? I understand the argument that the protests are more important than the games, but those arguments don’t work against a virus. It’s not like the virus chooses to spread or not based on the reason people are coming together in groups. Either large gatherings of masked people are safe or they aren’t.

And if wearing a team-sponsored mask is the price I have to pay to be able to attend a game, I’m willing to do that.

But in the meantime, I’m kind of looking forward to socially distanced stadiums. I’d rather have the ability to spread out and watch a game than be wedged in so tight into an SEC stadium that I can barely move.

Thanks for reading the anonymous mailbag.

Send your questions to claytravis@gmail.com, anonymity guaranteed.

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is an author, radio show host, lawyer, TV analyst, and the founder of OutKick (formerly known as Outkick the Coverage).
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One Comment

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  1. The daylight savings time idea is brilliant. Use the coronabros leverage against them to finally get rid of something we all hate.
    Can you get Trump back on the phone to ask him to help us all out on this one?

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