Illinois Professor Says Not Wearing a Mask in Class is Racist

·2 min read
Photo:  Ground Picture (Shutterstock)
Photo: Ground Picture (Shutterstock)

A physics professor at Northern Illinois University warned students on day one that if their masks weren’t on in that classroom, they got to GO. According to a tip submitted to Young America’s Foundation (YAF), the professor said refusing to wear a mask is a “manifestation of ableism and racism.”

According to YAF, the school dropped its mask mandate over six months ago. However, local reports noted that just a few days ago, the school reported its first monkeypox virus (MPV) case. Professor Jahred Adelman was not playing around when the semester started.

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Read more from his syllabus from YAF:

“Masks are required AT ALL times in PHYS 253. Here and in your labs. It is not pleasant, but it is for your health and safety, my health and safety, and the health and safety of your friends and colleagues. If you do not follow this requirement, you will be asked to leave,” Adelman wrote in the course syllabus, of which YAF obtained a copy.

The next several pages of the syllabus feature photoshopped images of historical scientists wearing various types of face coverings.

Adelman has taught at Northern Illinois University since 2014, and has been serving as Director of Graduate Studies in the Physics Department for the past two years.

Throughout the past two years, Adelman has frequently tweeted his mask-related frustrations and bragged about filing reports against unmasked individuals on the train–sometimes, even claiming to have confronted them.

As you can expect, every anti-masker rallied behind the students who objected to Adelman’s rules. However, ignoring the disparities of how infectious diseases are dealt with in America is foolish. Wearing a mask is about protecting the people around you: the Black, brown and disabled people who are most vulnerable to catching COVID-19 or MPV.

Unfortunately, the people who believed Trump when he said COVID-19 isn’t a big deal completely disregarded how the virus ransacked our communities. They coughed on us, mocked us for wearing masks, threw tantrums on airplanes, and the internet has receipts of all their childish behavior.

Given the school’s policy is updated, students should have a choice whether to wear a mask or not. Professor Adelman, however, ain’t budging. “I have no comment for you. My syllabus stands on its own,” said Adelman to YAF in an email.