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  • “How will the rap scene recover?”: Philadelphia City Council passing a bill to ban ski masks in public places sparks wild reactions online
Philly ski mask ban triggers wild online reactions (Photo by Jonathan Cooper on Unsplash)

“How will the rap scene recover?”: Philadelphia City Council passing a bill to ban ski masks in public places sparks wild reactions online

On Thursday, November 30, the Philadelphia City Council passed a bill that made it illegal to wear ski masks in public. According to the new law, which was successfully voted with a 13-2 majority, people who wear masks in public places will now fined $250. If the mask was worn while committing a crime, an additional $1750 would be levied, bumping up the fine to $2000.

The law was passed in the interest of public safety. Philly's passing of the new law went viral, inciting a barrage of trolling. People made fun of how the law might affect Philly rappers and teenagers.

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Netizens trolled the new law (Image via X/@DailyLoud)

Netizens troll Philadelphia teens affected by the ski mask ban

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Netizens had a lot to say about the Philly ski mask ban. People relentlessly trolled the rappers, 13-year-olds, and "wannabe gangsters" who, they said, would be affected by the ban. Some people reacted positively to the ban and stated that it was "not normal" to walk around in public with your face completely covered.

Others were concerned about the practical side of the equation, including what happens when temperatures are extremely cold and why the mask ban came before any sort of initiative regarding guns and drugs. Here are a few X (formerly Twitter) reactions to the ban:

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Netizens trolled Philly teenagers and rappers affected by the ban (Image via X/@DailyLoud)
Netizens trolled Philly teenagers and rappers affected by the ban (Image via X/@DailyLoud)
Netizens trolled Philly teenagers and rappers affected by the ban (Image via X/@DailyLoud)
Netizens trolled Philly teenagers and rappers affected by the ban (Image via X/@DailyLoud)
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Netizens trolled Philly teenagers and rappers affected by the ban (Image via X/@DailyLoud)
A few netizens supported the ban (Image via X/@DailyLoud)
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Many people were concerned about the practicality of the ban (Image via X/@DailyLoud)
Many people were concerned about the effectiveness of the ban (Image via X/@DailyLoud)
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Many people were concerned about the effectiveness of the ban (Image via X/@DailyLoud)

Police "can’t tell who’s a criminal" due to ski masks

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According to the new law, Philadelphia banned ski masks in all public spaces, including government buildings, public transit, city spaces, schools, daycares, recreation centers, and parks. Council member Anthony Phillips, who drafted the bill, said it will be signed into law by Mayor Jim Kenney by next week. :

"The City of Philadelphia has been under siege with individuals who use ski masks to commit crimes. It’s caught onto not just young people, but young adults who have made this a particular thing to do," Phillips said in an interview with CNN.
"The Philadelphia Police Department can’t tell who’s a criminal and not a criminal, which makes it difficult for crimes to be solved in Philadelphia," he added.

In a committee hearing in November 2023, Philadelphia Police Department Deputy Commissioner Francis Healy said that the pandemic had changed the "mindset" of people towards masks in general. Despite the masks not being mandatory anymore, many continued to wear them, allowing them to conceal their identities while committing a crime.

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"Criminals have continued using masks to avoid capture and it remains problematic, so the department fully supports the intent and rationale behind this ordinance," Healy said.
Council members who voted against the bill explained their decision on X (Image via X)
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Council members who voted against the bill claimed that the law would unfairly "criminalize" and marginalize black and brown people as ski masks were much more prevalent in those circles. Council members Kendra Brooks and Jamie Gauthier voted against the bill.


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Edited by
Shreya Das
 
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