Pleasant Tennessee Anti-Maskers Vow To Hunt Down Medical Experts Trying To Keep Kids Alive
The board of education in Williamson County, Tennessee, voted Tuesday to require masks for students, staff and visitors inside elementary school buildings and buses. This is sensible. Tennessee's COVID-19 cases are high and its vaccination rate is low. I'm not an immunologist, but I think that's the exact opposite of what you want.
Williamson County, which includes some of the ritziest Nashville suburbs, specifically has experienced a 98 percent increase in COVID-19 hospitalization, and children under 12 — you know, the ones who attend elementary school — aren't able to receive vaccinations. Masks will protect them. But on the other hand, masks might deny them the freedom of dying from COVID-19. That's why what should have been an obvious vote came after a fractious four-hour meeting. At least they weren't arguing about critical race theory. This is actually a real issue.
Parents with a solid connection to reality begged the board to listen to what healthcare professionals and scientists had to say. The anti-mask crowd showed up with homemade signs and billboards declaring “NO: Masks, Contact Tracing, Quarantining" and “YES: Freedom." Sweet Christ.
Conservative commentator Clay Travis was present among the boobus Americanus, and the anti-maskers directed much of their ire at board member Brad Fiscus. His wife, Dr. Michelle Fiscus, was the state's top vaccination official before she was fired because she promoted vaccinations.
Williamson County Schools Superintendent Jason Golden revealed that 25 elementary school students have tested positive for COVID-19 since school started last Friday. Still, parent Tessa Certa from Spring Hill, Tennessee, opposes mask mandates, even though neither she nor her kids are vaccinated. They all had COVID-19 last year, but the virus isn't a trip to Disney World. You shouldn't want to make it an annual thing.
Board chair Nancy Garrett shared during the meeting that she'd personally received 781 emails from parents who want a mask requirement in schools compared to 348 emails from parents with limited regard for their children's safety. However, the anti-mask contingent is more vocal and arguably deranged.
The parking lot after a school board meeting last night in Franklin, the wealthiest place in Tennessee. Parents har… https://t.co/vhTPw3IXPN— Natalie Allison (@Natalie Allison)1628688604.0
According to Tennessean reporter Natalie Allison, anti-mask parents “harassed medical professionals who had spoken in favor of masks in schools." They waited in the parking lot after the meeting so they could shout crazy mixed with COVID-19 at them: “WILL NOT COMPLY! WILL NOT COMPLY!" These are probably the same assholes who say whenever a cop kills a Black person that “they should've complied."
Some loon even used their phone to film doctors entering their cars while someone shouted, “There's a bad place in hell! Everybody's taking notes, buddy."
The cops in attendance, however, were not taking notes. If Black Lives Matter protesters said anything remotely this contentious to them, they'd whip out the billy clubs and sue for emotional distress.
What's telling is when another parent advised a disturbed individual to “calm down" because the cops “are on our side." He's probably right because the cops just stood there when he pointed out some poor doctor in their car and said with eerie calmness: "We know who you are. You can leave freely, but we will find you and we know you are." Another guy warned, “You will never be allowed in public again."
This is what I struggle to understand about law enforcement. Cops will cuff and detain Black house hunters but will passively observe white guys threatening a doctor's life. “We will find you" doesn't mean they're stopping by with a bundt cake.
The mob swarmed the doctor's car, which, again, if it was a police vehicle at a protest, everyone involved would've been arrested. Instead, they were just sort of gently shooed away. It's amazing what the police are capable of de-escalating if they feel like it.
Let's just hope they sent some officers to the homes of doctors who dared speak the heresy of masks. However, given how confident the mob was that the cops were “on their side," maybe the doctors are better off contacting Rep. Cori Bush and getting some recommendations for private security.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."