A leader of the Michigan GOP Party decided her anti-mask rhetoric would hit a little differently if she invoked the racist trope of the scary Black man. Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, II Michigan GOP Party Co-Chair Meshawn Maddock quote tweeted a video Gilchrist made saying, “Show this video to a babies and watch them cry. Scary masked man should #StayHome.”
There’s nothing scary about a Black man simply doing his job unless you’re a Republican who has to hate monger to stay in the club. Maddock’s response to Gilchrist posting about engaging Michigan communities, a unifying position, speaks volumes about her inability to connect with a broad section of the state.
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Reports indicate Gilchrist was diagnosed with COVID-19 in early January. Also, pretty sure the father of three doesn’t appreciate being used as a boogeyman to scare children.
Leading by example, Gilchrist made a video wearing a mask and updating on how he was doing after his positive covid-19 diagnosis. He walked through the protocol he followed and updated how he was doing and connecting with local communities.
Heaven forbid the man do his job and stay safe in the process. Gilchrist has taken his leadership role in the state seriously during the pandemic. Early in the pandemic, Gilchrist took the lead on the state’s covid-19 racial disparities task force.
Besides pushing the notion that a Black man simply existing is somehow scary and going to traumatize children, Maddock is attacking a state leader for taking safety precautions in the middle of an ongoing pandemic.
She is more than just your average racist social media troll. Maddock is also on the advisory board for Women for Trump and the wife of a state representative. Maddock definitely knows better but chose ignorance and violence.
Besides, wearing a mask isn’t scary. It’s a way to keep people safe. Do you know what is scary? The possibility of getting immunocompromised family members or young kids who can’t be vaccinated sick. That’s scary.
And Gilchrist isn’t scary by wearing an N95 or KN95 mask. It’s not like he posted a picture looking like the bad guy of an 80s horror film.
Maddock can ignore the facts and reality of covid-19 all she wants to, but somebody has to lead and take action. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, hospitalizations of unvaccinated adults 18+ were 16x the rate of those who were fully vaccinated in December.
Being in an opposing party doesn’t mean Maddock has to undermine an effort by the number two statewide elected official in the middle of a global pandemic. Disagreeing doesn’t mean one has to be racist. And yet Maddock couldn’t resist.
It’s also the type of behavior one might expect from someone who was involved in trying to pass off fake electors after Trump lost the 2020 election. The Detroit Free Press reported that in audio obtained by CNN, Maddock could be clearly heard saying the Trump campaign directed the Michigan Republican Party to fake electoral college delegates.
According to USA Today, those who submitted fake electoral college certificates to the National Archives could face charges. The DOJ is currently investigating. People trying to tamper with elections and undermine validly cast votes is scary.
The intersection between fear-mongering and harassment around wearing masks and racist attacks levied at Black elected officials is widespread and not limited to Michigan. Black school board members, in particular, have had to deal with wild claims regarding the false controversy over critical race theory and mask mandates. Often the same groups of people are undermining community well-being on both issues.