People of Color Aren’t Willing to Wear Masks During the Pandemic
One of the top debates surrounding the coronavirus pandemic as of late entails the use of face masks. People have been encouraged to wear masks in various outdoor settings, especially if they are going to public spots. Not all countries have been adhering to this point. United States President Donald Trump stated that while his is supportive of the concept, he does not plan on wearing one of these masks himself.
But there are some people out there who are not willing to wear these masks. Specifically, people of color are not willing to wear them. They are afraid of what might happen if they are seen wearing these in public, especially as they are often symbols of gang culture and violence.
The United States Centers For Disease Control and Prevention recommend that Americans were face masks or coverings. These include homemade coverings for safety use. Traditional masks that are used by nurses and doctors are not to be worn by the public, as these masks are intended for use by those who are in direct interaction with those who have the coronavirus.
Social Media Outrage
People of color have been flocking to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media outlets to express their outrage over the idea of wearing masks in public. People are concerned that they could be seen as criminals if they wear masks.
There have been issues in the black community over how there is a disproportionately greater number of black criminals versus white ones. Facial coverings are often associated with black people as things they wear when committing crimes.
The situation has also been a concern with the Latino community. There are fears that people could be profiled, especially with the belief that Latinos who are in the United States illegally are often stereotypically seen as wearing masks.
There are also concerns that black and Latino people could be at risk of profiling if they wear facial coverings. They could be incorrectly interpreted as criminals or other dangerous figures. There is also a worry that police officers and other officials might profile them and treat them differently from white people.
The fear has already been realized by some people. Two black men who were wearing facial coverings in a Walmart in Illinois were escorted out by police. The event was in spite of those men not trying to do anything and simply trying to shop.
The General Concept
Facial coverings have long been associated with gang and thug culture. The point can be seen in Los Angeles, as people in violent street gangs often wear these coverings. They do so to identify where they stand among other gangs. They may be friendly or unfriendly, depending on orientation or the people they reach.
Such coverings have been frowned upon by minorities, especially as the number of high-profile shootings of minorities grows. The Stanford Open Policing Project also states that of about 100 million traffic and pedestrian stops recorded between 2011 and 2017, black people are stopped more often than whites.