[Okay, bear with me now. This COTD by Steve Witherspoon was actually entered on this post, where the issue at hand was alluded to obliquely in the post, then expanded upon in a comment. But I went into far more detail regarding the issue in today’s Warm-Up, and there was even a poll on the issue, so I’m assigning the comment to that post, not the one that inspired it.]
I officially mark my immediate ethics conflict as solved. The poll results are moot regarding this specific episode but still valid regarding the general problem. So far, about half the voters said I had a duty to post the non-diverse idiot photos even if it did get me called a racist (Easy for them to say!). Fortunately, the option I favored (with three votes out of 24) was made accessible within minutes of the posting. I know have a fully diverse array of dufuses wearing their masks wrong, and hope to have more.
In addition to Rep. Lee, we have Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner:
Congressman Al Green (D-Tx):
And, best of all, taking us out of Houston and also into racially diverse territory, the very white Senate Minority Leader himself, New York Senator Chuck Schumer! (Pointer: Willem Reese):
No photos on Asian-Americans yet, but commenter Zoebrain found one of an Asian nose-breather, Korean cult leader Lee Man Hee:
A bit off topic: What about President’s Trump’s decision not to wear a mask at all? The verdict her is that it’s a legitimate, if risky leadership image choice with a very long pedigree. George Washington mad himself a sniper’s dream target when he habituatlly led his men into battle on a white charger, dressed in a gleaming white wig and his uniform. The idea is to show strength in the face of the opposition: if the leader shows he is stronger than the threat, it conveys optimism and confidence. Whether the tactic backfires or not is pure moral luck.
Here is Steve Witherspoon’s Comment of the Day on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 4/7/2020: Is It Just Me, Or Does Anyone Else Feel Like They Are In A “Twilight Zone” Episode? [Item #1]
“To clarify: If all the photos I had of elected officials wearing the mask wrong were of white officials, I would post them without blinking, and so would anyone else. But they happen to be black, so I can’t post them. That’s wrong and ridiculous.”
I’ve been pointedly talking about this phenomenon, a societal cancer, routinely and now it’s come to Ethics Alarms.
These are choices and these kinds of choices are being made for the same kinds of reasons every day all across the United States. It’s there in the news, it’s there in the newspapers, it’s there on the streets, it’s in the school systems, it’s in the police departments, it’s in the government, it’s in the businesses, it’s in the store fronts and it’s in the home – all you have to do is pay attention. The choice is a preemptive one to protect businesses and individuals from the irrational emotional perceptions of morally bankrupt stupid people that use their blind ignorance to destroy others and it matter not how illogical, irrational, emotional and morally bankrupt their justifications are; they have shown that it’s a power they will wield and our society is making decisions based on that fact. These “stupid people” know that there is no way to publicly defend against hordes of virtue signaling people screaming RACIST at the top of their lungs in the physical or virtual public square, even if they’re wrong you can’t prove you’re not a racist it’s trying to prove a negative.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, progressives and social justice warriors have already won the battle of the minds; either a vast majority of the population is willfully consumed by the social justice bull shit or they are in literal fear of it; therefore, our society is screwed. Progressives’ social justice intimidation tactics have won the day.
Post the photos you currently have regardless of their race – you’re posting facts, openly acknowledge that there are likely other photos out there and make it perfectly clear up front that if someone can find similar photos of public officials or prominent public personalities improperly wearing these kind of masks regardless of their race that you will add them to the photographic list. This really isn’t about showing photos of common citizens screwing up how they place their mask, this is about the people that we as a society consider “leaders” that are literally NOT presenting the proper example to the public. Unfortunately we know that there is a swath of people in our society that will follow the lead of poor example public figures no matter how inappropriate they are.
25 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day AND Mask Photo Dilemma Update: “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 4/7/2020: Is It Just Me, Or Does Anyone Else Feel Like They Are In A “Twilight Zone” Episode? [Item #1]”
Thank you for the comment of the day.
A piece of information that some readers may not know about the photo of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is that it is “cherry picked”, and rightfully so, out of this video where for the most part of the video his mask was properly covering his nose too.
I thought this fact was fair to share.
Doesn’t matter if it is cherry-picked or not, all it takes is one moment of exposure to droplets in the air to make you sick. Once the mask goes on, it stays on until you are sure the area is safe, period.
Am I the only person who continues to be absolutely amazed that the TV show “The First 48” is allowed to continue to be in production and air? It follows police departments as their homicide departments attempt to solve murders. The VAST majority of victims and perpetrators are of color. (And by the way, a not insubstantial number of the police detectives are of color!) I’m amazed BLM or the NAACP or Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton or Van Jones or Jamille Hill haven’t had the show shut down. Maybe hardly anyone watches it.
Hey! What’s Chuck doing OUTSIDE? Is he doing anything essential? Arrest that man!
I consider voting as my civic duty regardless of the risk to me.
I’m in Wisconsin and I went to vote in our primary and spring election this morning wearing the face mask my wife made for me correctly, and one of the poll workers outside the polling place directing people where to go (wearing glasses) had their face mask pulled below their nose, I kindly pointed out the error by indicating that the mask should be pulled over their nose and that poll worker immediately pulled the mask over their nose – not a word was spoken. It’s not very uncomfortable when you wear a mask with glasses on plus breathing can fog up glasses if the mask doesn’t fit really snug across the nose and upper cheeks but seriously folks if you’re going to wear the mask at all wear it correctly because it becomes useless to you and those around you and can give a false sense of security if you need to get closer to someone else.
By the way; inside the polling place they had solid Plexiglas barriers between poll workers and voters, all the poll workers were wearing masks and gloves, and there were others wiping down each voting booth and machine that the paper ballots were being placed into immediately after absolutely ever single voter finished voting. It was a superbly well oiled polling place machine and it seemed to be as safe as reasonably possible and got the job done quickly. I thanked every poll worker that I spoke with for their presence and diligence.
I ♥ Anglo-Saxons! 🙂
Under no circumstances will I ever criticize Schumer for covering his mouth.
Got a big Chuck-le out of me.
Daniel Abrams wrote, “Under no circumstances will I ever criticize Schumer for covering his mouth.”
Now that right there is some hilarious political humor delivered straight up!
Glad I wasn’t drinking hot coffee when I read it. 🙂
I am not sure I follow Steve’s point. I confess that I may be misreading what he posted but I am not clear who the morally bankrupt stupid people are? The citizens or the supposed leaders of our society? If it is the former (citizens?), then I think Steve is too harsh – the “average” voter/citizen is carrying an incredible burden just trying to make ends meet – terrified that their jobs have just evaporated in a poof of government fiat, and don’t know if they will have them when the economy reopens again and, if not, how they are going to pay their bills. There are limited resources and attention that can only be spread so thin before the fabric tears. Rationalizations? No, just reality.
If, however, it is the latter (leaders and power brokers), then my question is this: Why do they keep getting put in places of power that can wreak havoc on our lives? For instance, Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee is just one of 435 representatives in Congress. What real damage can that buffoon do to us, right? Yet, she has been in Congress for almost 30 years, and sits on some pretty important committees and pontificates on things she doesn’t comprehend or is too damn lazy to learn before she shoots of her mouth. Yet, that dumb-as-a-bag-of-hammers keeps getting re-elected, usually by ‘UGE margins. Every challenger she has gets obliterated. If you look at her district, it runs from the southeast part of Houston, through the Houston Medical Center, through parts of downtown, Midtown, and River Oaks (think landed gentry and old Houston banking and oil money). Whose business interest does she serve? I ask because if she really fucked things up for those interest holders, she would be run out of town on a rail.
In your poll, I voted that you should have posted the photos anyway, supposed criticism be damned. These cynical fools should suffer the consequences of their actions. And they should be shown the door in the most unceremoniously, humiliating way possible. Houston, and Harris County, are the third largest city and county in the nation. Yet, it is run by fools like Turner (the current mayor – who froze police and firefighter salaries only then to hire “an advisor” with deep connections to him [quite possibly a “special friend”] to head a committee at George Bush International Airport at the starting salary of $95k a year with no experience whatsoever) and Lina Hidalgo (the county judge, who is a 28 year old recent law school graduate with no background in running anything, who thinks that the “judge” title means that she is a real judge; it’s not: the county judge is just a name for the county mayor, but she issued an edict last week to empty the county jails for coronavirus when she had absolutely no state constitutional or legislative authority to do so). We also have the shame of the likes of Jackson-Lee and Rep. Al Green (whom I know personally and is a really nice fellow but a committed social justice warrior*) running things at the federal level.
Turning then to the masks: Since the beginning of March we have heard the Surgeon General and CDC, as well as the WHO, telling us that masks were either (1) no help because it won’t stop the virus, (2) ineffective against the virus because we don’t know how to use masks, and/or (3) we need to let healthcare workers and first responders use them because they need them more than we do. Yet, photos coming out of China, Italy, Spain, the Koreans, and Japan showed everybody wearing them. Then, just this passed weekend, the Surgeon General, prompted by the Trump Administration, recommended everybody use some kind of facial covering, whether a bandana, a mask, a painter’s face cover, or some do-it-yourself concoction. We dutiful citizens do our parts to slow the curve and take care of our fellow brothers and sisters. We modest men and women from Mandrake, travel masked to the city to keep the economy going, doing what we can**. We have stayed away from work and the things we like (whether parks, movies, concerts, malls, swimming pools). We have done our part.
And how are we repaid for our sacrifices? By blithering idiots who are too stupid to use the masks properly. Sheila Jackson-Lee is an especially egregious example of the cynicism because she is supposedly the Chair of the corona-virus not-Wuhan Flu Congressional committee spearheading the recovery. If that clown doesn’t know how to use the bloody masks, then what hope do we have? Well, we, the Illiterati, look at her, dismiss her as a buffoon, and go on with our lives, such as they are.
*Ed. Note: By way of background, Rep. Green used to be a Harris County justice of the peace and he would beat the livin’ snot out of me on my eviction cases. To be fair, I represented a landowner who sold houses to poor people on contracts for deed. If you know anything about Texas contracts for deed, you know that they are simply awful for the purchasers. They are glorified leases with a right to acquire title to the property at the end. Most sellers are unscrupulous, taking large down payments, charging high monthly payments, and waiting until the buyer misses a a payment and they evict the tenants only to turn around and do all over again to some other poor, unsuspecting soul. The Texas Legislature has effectively shit-canned the contracts, imposing serious punishment on sellers for non-compliance, so nobody sells on those contracts any more. (My roll with my client was to convert the contracts for deed portfolio into proper seller-owned financing arrangements where everybody was better off but there were contracts that needed to prosecuted before we could do that. My client was actually pretty good at record keeping and we saw the Legislature was about to gut the contracts so it was in everyone’s best interests to get real contracts with real mortgages in place – once homeowners learned that seller financing was better for them, most jumped at the chance to refinance their contracts; a few, though, weren’t so willing to refinance, distrusting a former Ohioan practicing law in Houston, Rush fan be damned.) So, when Rep. Green was on the bench, he made it known to all that he would hold sellers to their ridiculously high obligations and rarely granted evictions. He would take special glee in ruling against me. I took it personally until I met up with him at a fund-raiser and he told me why he did it. The next time I had a case in his court, he reluctantly ruled in my favor, which physically hurt him, but he acknowledged that I had done the case properly and left him with no choice. He would make me crazy but as a judge he was usually fair and cognizant of lawyers’ times and litigants’ rights.
**Ed. Note: Yes. That is a thinly veiled riff on Rush’s “Cinderella Man.” I don’t regret it.
Maybe you’re not fully realizing that my comment wasn’t about the masks and how they were being worn, instead it was about the side effects of intentional societal intimidation by social justice warriors across the United States and how that intimidation is actively changing the decisions we make.
johnburger2013 wrote, “I confess that I may be misreading what he posted but I am not clear who the morally bankrupt stupid people are? The citizens or the supposed leaders of our society?”
Since the places I used the phrase “morally bankrupt” were all in a single run-on sentence I thought I was pretty clear who I think the morally bankrupt people are, they are the “stupid people that use their blind ignorance to destroy others and it matter[s] not how illogical, irrational, emotional and morally bankrupt their justifications are”.
I hope that clears it up.
Excellent comment Steve.
While I acknowledge that the SJW crowd has effectively weaponized the claim of racism the only way that they win the battle of the minds is if we surrender the hallowed ground of truth. That we must never do.
Since Schumer is the MINORITY leader, is your photo dilemma really completely solved? 😉
It stands to reason that since the virus can travel via microscopic water and vapor droplets, and those are transmitted through breath, that wearing any sort of mask that traps any portion of one’s exiting breath is a helpful step to take.
Is over-hydration in this time of crisis potentially unethical?
Schumer is Jewish you anti-Semite. Diversity Is Our Strength means you don’t talk about anybody.
Anti-Maskite. I’m also Anti-Mesquite, but that’s something different entirely.
Maybe these politicians should just buy some elastic bandage and wrap as much of their heads mummy style being certain to cover their mouths completely. A fringe benefit would be that they could actually get some work done instead of bad mouthing Trump.
To be fair to Chuck, he may have pulled it down while he was outdoors and away from people.
Everyone else is indoors and around others, but Schumer is by himself in an unposed candid.
Yeah, I have a cloth mask and it gets unbearable after a few minutes and I just have to lower it and expose my nose for a minute. I just try to do that when no one’s in my immediate area. It could potentially be unfair to photograph people in those moments.
” So far, about half the voters said I had a duty to post the non-diverse idiot photos even if it did get me called a racist (Easy for them to say!). ”
While I missed the poll, it was indeed easy for me to quote the Duke of Wellington, and say “Publish and be damned”. For that is what I would have done, regardless of the consequences.
It was also incumbent on me to try to mitigate the avalanche of unfair critique you would have suffered. I tried to, and had the Schumer picture been available when I posted, I would have included it.
In some ways I’m an insufferable prig. Marinating in my own self-righteousness. It’s just that while I hold others to high standards, I try to hold myself to even higher ones. Being human, I fail of course.
I also have an ego bigger than all outdoors. That means that unless critique comes from someone I respect, I honestly do not care what others say. Oh, it loses me business? Costs me money? And? Is that supposed to make the unjust and unwarranted just and warranted?
Now critique from those I respect, that is more valuable than gold. My ego may be huge, but not so huge I don’t realise I screw up sometimes, without knowing it. I rely on good friends to tell me when I’m full of it again.
For the rest.. I may not respect the critics, but they too are human, so letting them know just how little I regard their opinions might be unjustly hurtful. I can’t just dismiss them with a “whatever…” even though that’s what I genuinely feel. Why? Because I try to hold myself to higher standards. I screw up often enough without realising it to do it deliberately in addition.
I remember your reference to the Duke. It was a bit diabolical: the Duke was going to be the target of the publication, not the publisher, and so was the equivalent of the Congresswoman and colleagues, not me.
It’s a poor atom blaster that won’t point both ways – Asimov.