A county in Oregon has taken double standards to a new level with a recent health & safety order mandating the wearing of masks in public.
Posted last week by Lincoln County health officials, the order mandates the wearing of a mask in public settings where one may come within six feet of another individual who is not from the same household.
The catch? The strict mandate only applies if you’re white.
Citing concerns from that minorities wearing masks increases the chances of racial profiling, the order exempts the enforcement of the order, effectively rendering the order useless.
“No person shall intimidate or harass people who do not comply,” the order read.
According to the New York Post, director of the ACLU Racial Justice Program Director ReNika Moore claimed that wearing masks puts them at risk for being in a “life-threatening” encounter, while not wearing a mask threatens their lives by exposing them to disease.
“For many black people, deciding whether or not to wear a bandanna in public to protect themselves and others from contracting coronavirus is a lose-lose situation that can result in life-threatening consequences either way,” she said.
Outbreak studies have shown that the black community has proven to be particularly vulnerable to coronavirus, particularly in relation to pre-existing health conditions that can make contracting the virus deadly.
Despite this, some feel that wearing a mask simply puts them at risk.
“This is in the larger context of black men fitting the description of a suspect who has a hood on, who has a face covering on,” said Trevon Logan, an economics professor at Ohio State University. “It looks like almost every criminal sketch of any garden-variety black suspect.”
It is unknown if the order will be taken seriously by the public, though the lack of enforcement will likely play a factor.
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