Unmasking Prejudice? Professor Denounces Maskless People as “Racist, Ableist, and Classist.”

George Washington University (where I teach) this week became one of the last major universities to drop its mask mandate. Many students had long declined to follow the mandate, but the decision was met with relief by many at the school. Yet, some are vivid about the lifting of such mandates in various schools. One is a professor at the University of British Columbia who has participated in roundtable discussions as an expert with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.  Dr. Amy Tan is a Clinical Associate Professor in Palliative Care and Family Practice at UBC’s Faculty of Medicine and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Calgary. She recently issued a blistering attack on those going maskless as being “racist, ableist, and classist.” The comments raise long-standing concerns that masks have become a vehicle for social and political rather than medical agendas.

According to media reports, Tan responded to a user who defended labeling non-maskers as “racist.” The user denounced dropping the mandates and added:

“once again and always – white people, you do not get to say what is or isn’t racist. stop speaking for and over BIPOC.

learn your place, sit down, shut up, and listen to us. your white saviorism is killing us. whiteness is a problem. oof.

(read & listen to James Baldwin! <3)”

Tan appeared to agree and added that “not masking is racist, ableist & classist.” Notably, some experts believe that the mandatory mandates are alarmist. Recent studies have cast doubts on the efficacy of masks and revealed that even the CDC long harbored doubts on the question. Others continue to challenge those contrary findings as incomplete.

Notably, Tan is not attempting to engage skeptics on the science. Instead she (and others) are attempting to cut off debate by labeling opposing views as revealing a myriad of prejudices. These attacks have largely worked to intimidate many in government, business, media, and academia. Mask efficacy is a debate long suppressed by social media companies and disfavored by many universities. Experts were banned for raising such questions and others labeled conspiracy theorists.

Figures like Tan continue to argue that questioning mask efficacy is to self-identify as a racist, ableist and classist. That is a lot of “ists” for anyone and most academics do not want to risk becoming a target of such attacks. The problem is that the students and the public at large no longer appear to be buying into the mask mandates.

Hopefully, we can still have this long delayed debate at universities without the type of personal, vituperative attacks employed by figures like Tan. If one truly cares about public health, there is nothing to fear from hearing opposing views on the underlying science. People of good faith should be able to disagree on these studies without being allegedly “unmasked” as the Bull Connors of medicine.

Her bio on UBC’s website highlights her work as “an advocate for health equity and an anti-racism educator and consultant” with expertise on “culturally-safe and anti-oppressive care with patients and families.” She has been a continuing advocate for masks where both inside and outside buildings.

Screenshot of a tweet by Dr. Amy Tan published from Feb. 18 2023.


120 thoughts on “Unmasking Prejudice? Professor Denounces Maskless People as “Racist, Ableist, and Classist.””

  1. The Daily Mail is reporting today on the subject of academic censorship: “Research by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), a free speech group, found that 52 percent of professors said they worried about losing their jobs or reputations because of being misunderstood or taken out of context. Those on the right feel it the most — 72 percent of conservative respondents feared being canned for their views, compared to 56 percent of moderates and 40 percent of liberals.” https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11803257/Its-worse-McCarthy-era-3-4-conservative-academics-fear-sacked-views.html

  2. Sorry, but this doesn’t pass the stink test —- she needs to provide a DNA analyses verifying ancestry — her UBC staff photo shows a Euro–Canadian?!?!

  3. I have been a tenured First Nations professor at UBC for 27 years. UBC has a racism problem, but it is not about covid. UBC has a long history of racism, personal and systemic, from its deep relationship with the Indian Residential School System to its utter failure to bring about any real structural change in terms its own elitist, corrupt, corporate, woke culture. Tan is a perfect example of the “new” left: self-interested hypocrisy and detachment from reality. UBC loves to distract the public from its own heinous culture by means of this constant fear mongering.

    1. “I have been a tenured First Nations professor at UBC for 27 years.”

      It shows All that rhetorical artillery you are firing proves it, the use of “structure” being the clincher. When civil engineers use the word ‘structure’ it has some meaning.

      1. Is there any doubt at all that the Federal government handling of “native americans” has been abysmal ?

        Does it matter who says that ?

    2. She’s nothing more than a narcissistic victim. You see, we’ve institutionalized narcissism, reward victimization and use moral relativism as a guiding light. What could possibly go wrong in that paradigm?

  4. Based on the latest international study on masks, they were and are worthless, even the N95, which we knew from the beginning were worthless considering how many front line workers caught covid while wearing masks, including face shields, rubber gloves and protective smocks. Jeez!

  5. If she were in China she’d be in the Red Guard. BTW, the Wuhan Plague was lab-created so spare us the sanctimony.

  6. Spewing this nonsense and then seeing her coke-bottle glasses logically leads me to believe she’s got some sort of brain injury or damage. That’s a shame.

    1. Reminds me of shrillary and her prism glasses while she was screaming, “what difference, at this point, does it MAKE?!”

    2. If her face wasn’t covered, you would assume she was Anglo–Saxon?!?!

      I would have to see a DNA analysis — her UBC photo shows a Euro–Canadian?!

      Maybe her parents eimigrated from Hong Kong and had a Chinese ancestor named Tan somewhere in their family tree, but she looks Euro????

      So definitely brain damaged?!?!

  7. I said here, roughly 2 years ago, that masks were ineffective. I said they were like trying to hold back mosquitoes with a chain link fence, a comparison I saw picked up and repeated on other sites. ATS among others argued vehemently to the contrary so I am enjoying my ‘told ya so’ moment.

    1. They’re still mandated in health care facilities (by the facilities, not any government mandate) and virtually all doctors’ offices here in Northern Virginia.


  9. Mr. Turley, I note that you may have meant to use a different word in the first paragraph
    “Yet, some are vivid about the lifting of such mandates…”
    I think you meant livid?
    I scrolled through the comments and did not see that anyone pointed that out. If I am wrong, I apologize.
    I’m new to your blog and appreciate everything you do to inform –


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