Pro-Freedom, Aggressively Anti-Vaxx/Mask

Keith Boykin

If you’ve been on the internet in the last few weeks, you have certainly heard of the restaurant in California that posted this notice on their door-

 

“NOTICE

PROOF OF BEING

UNVACCINATED

REQUIRED”

 

That’s right, you read it correctly. The owner, Tony Roman, is requiring patrons to be unmasked and to provide proof that they are unvaccinated. I decided to hear him out, and caught a clip of him on CNN, being interviewed by Chris Cuomo. Even in this short 30-second clip, he’s got me wondering– did he actually say “I’m so in favor of the freedom from being forced to wear a mask that I will literally not allow you to wear one”? Well, no, of course he didn’t, but he really may as well have.

First of all, I’m not really sure how one can provide proof that a vaccination did not occur, but that’s what restaurant owner Tony Roman seems to want. Or does he? It’s unclear whether this is a strongly-held political belief, a big self-aware joke, or something else entirely. I’m not even sure that Tony Roman knows whether he is kidding or not.

“You sound like an idiot,” Chris Cuomo says, with a tone that suggests that he is not trying to be insulting, but genuinely cannot understand the stand that the other man is taking. “And so do you,” Roman replies, with all of the eloquence of a toddler on the playground. Honestly, he lost my attention the moment he tried to pull the governor into a conversation that had nothing to do with him, slyly working in that maybe he should be having this conversation with Chris’ brother Andrew. Chris doesn’t play into this nonsense, though, and concedes that he might be an idiot, if only because, “My only mistake was having you on the show. I can’t say that I disagree.

Sometimes we benefit from hearing out the other side of an argument- don’t ever let it be said that their beliefs are not gaining traction because they are being silenced- let it be clear that it is because their beliefs are absurd. In today’s day and age, though, where folks happily share news without a second thought and most never bother to circle back and fact-check, giving voice to dangerous opinions may just be doing more harm. Of course, it doesn’t help that we live in such wild times that pretty much everything sounds believable if you say it convincingly enough.

What’s your take on this? Is it a good thing to bring in the other side of a debate and give them a platform? Was it a good choice here? And finally, most importantly, we want to know – do you think Roman is kidding or making a big political statement? Does it matter? Let us know!