Olathe resident and business owner Emily Coleman has been under fire recently by the KC Star for her public anti-mask and anti-lockdown positions. Ms. Coleman has spoken at Johnson County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meetings several times in past months to voice her strong opposition to mask mandates, lockdown protocol, and other city & county efforts she believes are an overstep in government control.  Emily’s activism has resonated with liberty advocates in the greater KC area who share her concern for increasing state tyranny. In a time when the common narrative is saturated with fear of COVID-19 and the acceptance of permissive authoritarian measures, she demonstrates a bold strategy of resistance. 

Libertarian Party of Kansas Communications Director Allison Ross connected with Ms. Coleman for the following interview Nov. 24th. For questions, please contact Allison at allison.ross@lpks.org.  

Libertarian Party of KS: How long have you been attending the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners’ (BOCC) meetings, and what issues do you typically voice? 

Emily Coleman: I began attending the board meetings sporadically in the summer when they first began discussing contact tracing. I attended the emergency meeting called by Mike Brown just prior to the affirmation of Governor Kelly’s Mask Mandate. After that I began attending the meetings more consistently and now I plan my schedule around them. I use that platform to speak to the citizens who are beginning to become aware of the bigger picture. I want them to know that there are people out there who are also aware and to empower them with information and the confidence to speak out.

LPKS: I can’t imagine the response from the BOCC is positive. Have you ever been asked to leave a meeting, or encountered resistance otherwise? 

EC: Becky Fast is the only board member who is consistently rude to public commenters. Janeé Hanzlick is the only one that consistently replies to my emails, typically rebutting assertions I make. Ed Eilert does seem to relish limiting the amount of time people have to speak and telling them their time is up. I have never been asked to leave or barred from entering the building for not wearing a mask. I have been shushed by the Sheriff’s Deputies for engaging with pro mandate supporters.

LPKS: It shows a true community focus, that you show up to these meetings and fight at the local level. Do you believe that is where you are most effective, or do you ever get involved with larger areas as well? 

EC: I honestly don’t know. I started going initially because I wanted to do something, anything, to express my opposition to the county’s mandates. I only started getting politically active this past year when I joined Kansans for Health Freedom (KSHF). I’ve spoken publicly against health policies implemented by Dr. Norman and went with KSHF to Topeka on Capitol Day to meet with state legislators. The county commission meetings have been a great rally point for bringing objectors and constitutionalists together. My community grows with each meeting and that is ultimately what the commissioners are hoping to silence.

LPKS: It seems that where you really got in hot water was with your Facebook posts. One called for people to join you at a “super-spreader event,” ostensibly referring to the next public Board meeting. To me, that seems entirely tongue-in-cheek; is that how you intended it? 

EC: They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity. I wish I could boast original content but most of what I share on social media is borrowed from other sources. That particular term, ‘super spreader’, was mentioned in a local mainstream media article that, if I remember correctly, referenced a statement made by a local health official characterizing any large gathering as a ‘super spreader’ event. So it is definitely tongue in cheek in that regard. Also, there is some merit in devaluing the opposition’s terminology by adopting it as our own. To paraphrase a comment on one of my posts, we are super spreading freedom!

LPKS: And now, the BOCC has decided to eliminate spoken comments starting on December 3rd. What’s your response to that? 

EC: It was bound to happen eventually, this is how tyranny works. Eilert says it’s because they are expecting an upsurge in cases following the holiday but we know it’s because they’re tired of sitting there for hours listening to their constituents. They can only take our voices if we let them. If the treasury building itself is open, there’s no reason why the meeting can’t be held in person. This is a perfect example of mommy government doing its darnedest to treat citizens like we are, as Laura Kelly called us, ‘Petulant Children.’ I’ve also adopted that insult as my moniker on Parler. Find me @petulantchild!

Just remember, if what we say didn’t matter they wouldn’t work so hard to silence us. There are so many great ways to get the message out to others. But look specifically at how hard they are working to suppress public gatherings. That alone tells us that maintaining face to face interaction is the most important thing we can do to combat government overreach.

LPKS: Thoughts on a coronavirus vaccine?

EC: I have many thoughts. Having been an advocate for health freedom for many years I find it absolutely absurd that anyone would inject themselves with the very thing that scares them. As if bypassing the body’s natural filtration process and activating the immune systems with carcinogens and neurotoxins would ever culminate in good health. I do respect that it’s hard to shake off the programming and that if people haven’t started to question the propaganda yet, they probably aren’t going to. Regardless, a vaccine is just one rung on the ladder on the road to globalization.

LPKS: Do you catch flak from family or friends over your contrarian stance(s)? 

EC: From my family, not so much. I’ve always been contrarian by nature and we’ve weathered many storms throughout the years. We just avoid controversial subjects at family events. I’ve definitely had people ‘unfriend’ me on facebook but I would assert that they were never truly friends. If anything I have made far more friends due to my outspoken stance than I could ever lose which continuously bolsters my confidence to keep speaking out. There are a few acquaintances who will pop up occasionally just to object to what I’m saying but I generally ignore them.

LPKS: How have increasingly-restrictive policies affected your immediate family? Your business?

EC: I pulled my daughter out of her jiu-jitsu classes and cancelled my membership to a gym where I’d trained for over 13 years because of their mask and temperature taking policies. When her dance studio and cooking classes closed I found a place for her to take horseback riding lessons instead, mask free. I won’t subject any of my children to forced masking so we just don’t patronize businesses with those kinds of policies. My own business is definitely down primarily because boarding has been nonexistent since few people are traveling. For the most part the clients I do have seem to really appreciate that when they walk in my doors they retain their right to self-determination.

LPKS: What direction do you see this trajectory moving? Any predictions for how protocol will look a month, six months, one year from now? 

EC: That’s easy, the governor will do her best to keep tightening restrictions at which point a vaccine, or the microchip, or whatever, will  be presented as the way to get ‘back to normal.’ People will flock to these intrusive measures because they’re tired of the restrictions. I only hope that our Republican Kansas Legislature will use their supermajority to significantly restrict the governor and health official’s abilities to hinder the economy.

LPKS: How would you encourage other defenders of liberty who want to make their voices heard, or make a difference in a tangible way?

EC: Start talking to people! Refine your arguments through conversation. Read, A LOT! Or listen to audiobooks like I do. Empower yourself with knowledge that you’d never find in a public school so you can see through the propaganda smokescreen and articulate your thoughts clearly and without insult. There are many great groups in the area that are organizing to push back against government overreach. We are working to empower these groups to get messaging regarding individual rights out quickly and mobilize when necessary. If you’re a business owner just know that if you take an outspoken stance there is a community who will actively support you and your business!

LPKS: Okay, a bookworm question. You recently quoted Hayek, Spooner, and Bastiat in your address to the Board – love that. What’s your go-to suggestion for someone who’s new to ideas of freedom and wants to dive into writing from classic thinkers?

EC: It’s all new to me, too! So much of what I’ve learned has come from two main sources. One is the CorbettReport.com and the other is the Tuttle Twins book series. The Corbett Report is open source investigative journalism and will call into question everything you’ve ever believed. That’s where I learned about Spooner and La Boétie. The Tuttle Twins Series is a great resource for fighting the indoctrination targeted at our children. That’s where I first encountered Hayek and Bastiat.

LPKS: Anything else you’d like people to know? 

EC: There are so many cliché quips I could finish with. You are not a selfish grandma killer if you believe that our natural and constitutional rights supersede any government mandate! Robert F Kennedy said that, “Each time a man stands up for an idea, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” I can’t control what other people do, I can only control what I do. I know that if I don’t stand up, that’s one less body pushing back.

Learn more about Emily’s business “Canine Solutions DogSchool” at olatheksdogtraining.com

See her posts and join her efforts in the “Unmask JOCO KS” Facebook group.

Find more important resources at Kansans for Health Freedom  

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