Concern surrounding masks and negative stereotypes

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation to wear homemade face masks has sparked fears of racial profiling among black Americans.

The CDC said the recommendation is there to protect against the coronavirus but Trevon Logan, an economics professor at The Ohio State University, believes it will make African Americans targets for negative stereotypes.

“Police are called on African Americans for barbecuing or trying to go into their own apartments or entering their own homes,” Logan said. “Then we add to that activities that some would say is suspicious. To simply cover your face with a cloth or t-shirt; this now fits the description of someone who’s up to some criminal activity. A suspect in a crime.”

He believes scientists failed to take into account the social implications that could occur with African Americans wearing makeshift masks.  

“There is the societal issue where we have people who wear the mask that have been stigmatized and stereotyped as being criminal who are now being encouraged to cover large portions of their face,” Logan said. “That can give rise to a lot of negative social reactions.”

Logan added he understands the importance of wearing masks but instead of wearing one himself, he’s just staying inside.

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