Mask Mayhem | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Mask Mayhem 

History Lessons, Civilized 'History'

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Mask Mayhem
One wonders who Gov. Gary Herbert had in mind when he talks about "divisive enforcement issues" that mask-wearing could create. Maybe that a mask mandate would pit the cops against the populace in yet another no-win confrontation? But alas, the fear of divisiveness is probably anything but that. Herbert, it appears, is fearful of the right-wing freedom-lovers who doubtless would rise up and spit in the direction of any masked citizen. Finally, the governor relented to allow those liberal bastions of Salt Lake County to mandate mask-wearing. But this comes on the heels of Capitol protests proclaiming "liberty," Trumpist gubernatorial candidate Greg Hughes saying Herbert's "trampling constitutional rights," and convicted Rep. Phil Lyman misrepresenting Nazi insignia.

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History Lessons
There's good news for Lyman and Paiute County Commission Darin Bushman. It's not too late to learn. Just Google "best books to teach Holocaust," and there are hundreds of books—many for children with pictures—that depict the atrocities of that period and why Hitler should be invoked only in the most horrific of circumstances. Bushman, in a buried Salt Lake Tribune story, sort of apologized for comparing Gov. Herbert and his face-mask mandate to Hitler. "Sorry if you found my tweet offensive," Bushman said, with Lyman saying that wearing masks is a first step toward murderous dictatorship, like Hitler saying to just wear the "dam" armband. In fact, Hitler imposed Star of David badges or armbands on the Jews, not everyone, to identify and harass them, according to Holocaust.org—not save them from disease. These Republicans may want to politicize masks, but the governor is asking everyone—even Lyman and Bushman—to wear one to save them, not kill them.

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Civilized 'History'
Sen. Mike Lee is one of those partisans who sticks out even among partisans. This time, it's all about statues, or, as Lee "explained" to Fox 13 News, representative government and private property rights. Don't pull down those statues, he says—it leads to violence. And we have to be "informed of the past," as if statues were the way to do it. He's also encouraged the president to un-Twitter and go for Parler because Twitter is being mean. In his weeklong rant to the Deseret News, Lee also blamed the liberal media for just about everything, mostly "an all-out war" on the founding of the United States. He didn't like The New York Times Magazine's 1619 Project which focuses on the consequences of slavery. We just need to be civil, Lee says—like the KKK?

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About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

Bio:
A City Weekly contributor since 1992, Biele is the informed voice behind our Hits & Misses and Citizen Revolt columns. When not writing, you can catch her working to empower voters and defend democracy alongside the League of Women Voters.

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