In what appears to be a new challenge-turned-fail, a number of Donald Trump voters are burning their face masks to try to own the libs. According to a report by Vice, MAGA fans have posted videos of themselves lighting the fabric on fire to Facebook, allegedly to protest their respective cities and states enforcing new COVID-19 protection orders.
It all began when Raleigh, North Carolina Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin announced that face coverings will be mandatory in public, at supermarkets, inside businesses, on sidewalks, on public transportation, and in parking lots starting this Friday. Numerous other cities and states have implemented similar rules — a fact-driven, science-backed decision to stop the spread of COVID-19 and the number of coronavirus-related deaths.
The members of Facebook group ReOpen NC weren’t too happy to hear the news. Without wasting a minute, the group’s co-founder, Ashley Smith, uploaded a video of herself lighting a mask on fire inside a cast-iron skillet while giving a diatribe. It’s like she knew that there’s no better way to prove you’re a selfish American than by refusing to help protect neighbors and essential workers during a global pandemic!
“As you know we’re a group that is completely against mandatory anything,” exclaimed said in the video. “We’re for personal liberty and the Constitution and personal freedom and I’m just here today to start what I hope is going to be a campaign of everybody participating. I’m standing up and I’m saying I will not comply… This does not prevent the spread of COVID. This is not a sign of your compassion, or how much you care for any other human being. This is a sign of control. This is a sign to tell them you’re going to comply.”
Smith closed out the video by urging others to buy a box of surgical masks and burn them. In a second clip, that is astoundingly not a parody, someone attempted to cook a hotdog over a barely burning mask while “The Star-Spangled Banner” spilled out from a tiny speaker off camera.
Oh yeah, wait, there’s more! In an attempt to make the challenge go viral, the ReOpen NC folks are encouraging their followers to use the hashtag “#IgniteFreedom” when sharing their own mask-burning videos. Clearly they didn’t check to see what’s been tagged with the hashtag prior: an anti-human trafficking campaign launched months ago under the same name. The other hashtag ReOpen NC is pushing, “#BurnYourMaskChallenge”, has no results on Twitter or TikTok either.
The common-sense suggestion of wearing a face mask to protect others seems too complicated for some Americans to understand, nevertheless follow. Before they rush to play “Born in the U.S.A.” at full volume, they should keep in mind that Bruce Springsteen himself said to “put on a fucking mask” already. There’s no contesting him. After all, he’s the boss.
If you would like to follow CDC guidelines and continue wearing a face mask, why not pick up a pack or two of custom designs from Consequence of Sound. A portion of the proceeds benefit MusiCares’ COVID-19 Artist Relief Fund.