Opposition to Proposed Unmasking Mobs and Criminals Bill
  1. United States
  2. N.C.
  3. Letter

Opposition to Proposed Unmasking Mobs and Criminals Bill

To: Rep. Jones, Sen. Chaudhuri, Gov. Cooper

From: A constituent in Raleigh, NC

May 15

I am writing to you today to express my extreme concern regarding the Unmasking Mobs and Criminals Bill that was proposed on Tuesday, May 7th, 2024. I am a constituent living in Raleigh, North Carolina. We are still living in a world where Covid is killing and disabling thousands of Americans. I rely on a high grade mask to keep myself safe when I leave my home. I am concerned about the extremely debilitating nature of COVID-19 and my ability to fully recover. If I am required to have repeated exposure to airborne illness my quality of life will decrease tremendously. And to avoid it, I will no longer be able to leave my home. While I know the focus of this bill is the use of masks during protests, I am concerned it could be used more broadly to punish those of us who must still mask for personal safety, health, and well-being. Beyond that, it denies protestors the right to protect themselves and others from the spread of airborne illness. Protesting is an American right, it is the literal foundation of our country. America was founded on the idea of liberty and justice for all, and denying immunocompromised people the ability to participate in society feels like a denial of both. The language of the bill is literally to "repeal health and safety exemptions," so I must ask, are you against the public health and safety of your people? Do you feel representatives should have the power to decide who deserves health and safety? This bill would effectively be reinstating the Ugly Laws of the 1800s and 1900s, wherein a disfigured or visibly disabled person can receive criminal charges for existing in public. I am disheartened to know that my elected officials would support such a bill. Beyond that, the bill being revised was originally passed in 1953 to ban the use of face masks associated with Ku Klux Klan activity. This would seemingly make it illegal for disabled/immunocompromised Americans to participate in public life such as the American civil right of protest. It would equate the use of protective medical grade face masks to that of masks worn by the KKK. While I have my oppositions to other aspects of this bill, I would at the very least strongly urge you to consider disabled and immunocompromised Americans and North Carolinians before you vote. Please allow for a continued exemption of medical masks to promote health and safety at protests and in general public life. Signed your constituent,

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