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US Town Reverses Rule Exempting People of Colour from Wearing Masks After Racist Backlash

An Oregon county office reversed its exception for people of colour from wearing mandatory face mask | Image credit: Reuters (Representational)

An Oregon county office reversed its exception for people of colour from wearing mandatory face mask | Image credit: Reuters (Representational)

Concerns against racial profiling had previously led officials at Oregon County, US, to make an exception for persons of colour from wearing mandatory face masks.

Buzz Staff
  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: June 25, 2020, 5:55 PM IST
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An exception from wearing masks that had been given to people of colour in Oregon County due to concerns against racial profiling has been reversed after several officials received severe racial vitriol for the rule.

In wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, several states and counties in the US including Oregon have put in place rules for use of mandatory face masks in public.

Concerns against racial profiling had previously led officials at United State's Oregon County to make an exception for persons of colour who would not be mandated to wear face masks in case they fear discrimination.

The exception to the rule has come in opposition to Oregon's Governor Kate Brown's guidelines for mask-wearing. But as per a report in CNN, the move had to be reversed after County officials received horrifically racist backlash from residents. The racist outrage prompted concerns against the counterproductive effect of the exception to the mask rule which was meant to protect persons of colour from racist discrimination in the first place.

Mandatory wearing of face masks, though beneficial in terms of containing the spread of cOVID-19, has been a point of contention among people of colour living in the United States, especially African Americans who feel facial masks and coverings, especially those made at home, increase the "presumed criminality" of persons of colour, especially black males.

The issue became hotly debated in the wake of intense protests that followed the custodial police killing of 46-year-old African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Meanwhile, the United States has recorded 2.43 million confirmed COVID-19 cases with President Donald Trump drawing severe criticism his handling of the pandemic.

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