Wearing A Mask


My face is too small for most “adult sized” masks. Given that I’ll be 40 this year that is insane, but there it is. Even the disposable “one size fits all” masks fall off my face. So I ordered a motorcycle “neck gaiter” and because I’m a bit dark it’s a skull. Given how crappy my immune system is, I really need to wear a mask when I’m out in public. I ordered it without thinking much about it… Then a friend posted on Facebook that she went into a store and they demanded she remove her mask. WTF?!

My first thought was, at a time when wearing a mask in public is highly recommended, especially since she has a small child at home and now COVID is killing kids why would a store demand she remove her mask? That makes no sense to me. And then she said something that blew my mind…

None of the people of color in this store were allowed to wear masks. First, I’d never go back to that store again. Second, people of color are being hit harder by COVID than white folks. And as I said, she has a young kid at home (a 5 year old). Where do I resign from the human race?

I’ve spent nearly three years struggling with a blog post about crime bias. We (society) expect people of color to commit more crime than whites. But it’s not true. The problem with jail and prison stats is that whites (with the exception of murder) get shorter jail and prison sentences for the same crimes as people of color, leaving more people of color in jails and prisons. A study out of St. Louis, Missouri some years ago found that crimes rates for white offenders and black offenders were actually about equal, but that a random study of traffic stops found that whites were more likely to be in possession of illegal drugs and weapons than blacks, yet whites are less likely to have their cars searched during a traffic stop.

This means a store clerk is just as likely to be robbed by a white person in a mask as a black person in one. Therefore, forcing a black couple to remove their masks to buy a couple of groceries makes my blood boil. I’m not even sure that covers the depths of my anger over this. It is such a blatantly racist and stupid thing to do during a pandemic.

I don’t know why in 2020 we still have this kind of bullshit. There are really only 2 types of people in the world; assholes and non-assholes. The person allowing this to happen at their store is obviously an asshole. Even black people should be allowed to protect themselves during a pandemic, even if it means wearing a mask. Interestingly, shortly after hearing my friend’s story, I was sent a news article by a different friend about a string of armed robberies on the east coast committed using the cover of a disposable mask and guess what… the robber was white.

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