Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Arkansas is one of the worst places to be LGBTQ+ in America. The Natural State is ranked last for LGBTQ+ equality and is one of states leading the nation in antigay legislation.

All put together, these troubling statistics are grounds for an emergency. There’s also the fact that Arkansas is consistently voted one of the worst states to live in, and ranks in the bottom 10 for kids’ wellbeing.

But Sarah Huckabee Sanders is unconcerned with the plight of her constituents. The Arkansas governor did recently declare a state of emergency, but not for a myriad of worthwhile reasons.

Arkansas is under a state of emergency due to… the solar eclipse that happened earlier today.


That’s right! With as many as 1.5 million visitors expected Monday, Arkansas is welcoming more tourists than ever before. Much of the state is in the path of totality, meaning many parts of Arkansas were in darkness during the four-minute event.

To ensure the sustained flow of goods during this exciting time, Sanders declared a state of emergency. And what does that mean, exactly?

For the working people of Arkansas, nothing good!

The executive order temporarily removed regulations on drivers of delivery vehicles, such as how many hours they can work in a day. The state of emergency lasts until Wednesday, and the relaxed regulations could remain in place… for 14 days?!

Ordering an eclipse-induced emergency is the latest shameless publicity stunt for Sanders. This year alone, the political nepo baby has used her position to chastise the Pentagon over reproductive rights, feud with her state’s Board of Corrections and fire missives at the Biden Administration.

She also managed to carve out some time for a luxurious, VIP experience at the Super Bowl, complete with on-field access and admission to the Chiefs’ victory party.

We still don’t know who paid the bill for that lavish getaway. Sanders’ official salary as governor is $158,749…

Much like Ron “Don’t Say Gay” DeSantis in Florida, Sanders has tried to turn her state into a laboratory for extreme right-wing policy. She’s championed an array of discriminatory messages directed towards the LGBTQ+ community, such as banning gender-affirming care for minors, barring teachers from using students’ preferred pronouns and limiting drag performances.

The homophobic governor has also banned so-called “indoctrination” in public schools, though that edict is now being challenged in court.

Last month, a high school teacher in Little Rock, along with three students and their parents, sued Arkansas over the draconian policy. “It absolutely chills free speech” and “discriminates on the basis of race,” the suit says.

Like other GOP-led states, Arkansas passed a law last year banning critical race theory, a framework that argues racism is an institutionalized part of the U.S. Though the theory isn’t taught in public schools, Republicans have sought to bar it, anyway. 

Sanders included Arkansas’ ban of the nonexistent practice in the LEARNS Act, her signature education overhaul. Devised with Education Secretary Jacob Oliva, the architect of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, the bill also prohibits the discussion on sexual orientation and gender identity (sound familiar)?

But Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law was recently curtailed, along some of DeSantis’ other anti-LGBTQ+ initiatives. A federal judge also reversed one of Sanders’ signature anti-LGBTQ+ policies: the aforementioned ban on gender-affirming care.

As one can see, there are plenty of reasons for LGBTQ+ folx to sound the alarm in Arkansas. That’s the real emergency, not the solar eclipse’s supposed impact on interstate commerce.

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