Skip to main content
Tags: masks | palestinian | covid

In Some States, Masks Going From Mandated to Criminalized

By    |   Monday, 24 June 2024 05:19 PM EDT

Coronavirus-cautious Americans are worried as state legislators are reinstating dormant laws that criminalize mask-wearing to penalize pro-Palestinian demonstrators who conceal their faces, The Washington Post reported on Monday.

GOP lawmakers in North Carolina are set to overturn Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's recent veto of legislation to criminalize masking. In New York, Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul stated earlier this month that she backs attempts to ban masks on the subway, citing an incident where masked demonstrators on a train shouted, "Raise your hands if you're a Zionist. This is your chance to get out."

Longstanding laws against masking, often in response to the hooded terror of the Ku Klux Klan, are on the books in at least 18 states, with legislatures in some areas having passed bills to create health exemptions during the pandemic, according to The Washington Post.

Although legislators who want to reinstate mask restrictions say laws would not target the medically vulnerable and others attempting to avoid respiratory viruses, critics say such an approach would be impractical and sets mask wearers up for additional ostracization and harassment by police and fellow citizens.

Opponents of mask restrictions question how a health exception could work if protesters wearing medical grade masks say they're trying to stay healthy in a crowd.

"I don't understand when there's a political protest exactly how the authorities plan to sort out those who are wearing masks for health purposes versus those who are wearing masks to protect their identity," said Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union. "It really sets up a situation where we are likely to see selective enforcement against protesters that the authorities don't like."

Citing another point, Harlem resident Logan Grendel credits regular masking on the subway for avoiding any respiratory illness since the pandemic, stating "the fact I ever didn't wear a mask on the subway is wild to me."

GOP lawmakers have called such concerns overblown because of the bill's health exception, and Republicans in the North Carolina Legislature have enough votes in their majority to overturn Cooper's veto.

"Bad actors have been using masks to conceal their identity when they commit crimes and intimidate the innocent," state Republican Sen. Danny Earl Britt, Jr., one of the bill's sponsors, said in a statement. "Instead of helping put an end to this threatening behavior, the governor wants to continue encouraging these thugs by giving them more time to hide from the consequences of their actions.

"I look forward to casting a vote to override this veto and allowing those with actual health concerns to protect themselves and others."

Brian Freeman

Brian Freeman, a Newsmax writer based in Israel, has more than three decades writing and editing about culture and politics for newspapers, online and television.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


US
Coronavirus-cautious Americans are worried as state legislators are reinstating dormant laws that criminalize mask-wearing to penalize pro-Palestinian demonstrators who conceal their faces, The Washington Post reported on Monday. GOP lawmakers in North Carolina are set to...
masks, palestinian, covid
433
2024-19-24
Monday, 24 June 2024 05:19 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
 
TOP

Interest-Based Advertising | Do not sell or share my personal information

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Download the NewsmaxTV App
Get the NewsmaxTV App for iOS Get the NewsmaxTV App for Android Scan QR code to get the NewsmaxTV App
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved