Lincoln County, Oregon health officials issued a mandatory mask directive last week that exempts non-white people from wearing face coverings in an effort to avoid racial profiling. The mandate exempts certain people and groups including “people of color who have heightened concerns about racial profiling and harassment.”
Other exemptions applied to people with pre-existing health conditions that may be bothered by a mask, children under the age of 12, and people with disabilities directly related to wearing a mask. The directive only required voluntary compliance. “No person shall intimidate or harass people who do not comply,” health officials said. “This Directive is intended to induce voluntary compliance and compliment education and encouragement of use of face coverings to protect ourselves and our community.”
“Despite their fears of infection, and statistics showing Black communities are among the hardest hit, many Black men feel wearing a mask is a bigger threat than the coronavirus. Just as they are more likely than white people to be stopped and frisked, to be pulled over for traffic violations, and to be charged with drug crimes, Black individuals also appear more likely to be targeted by police for simply wearing masks. In a heartbreaking calculus, many are choosing not to wear them at all”. (statnews)
Lincoln County is reportedly 90% white..
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) June 23, 2020