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Thomas Lecaque is an associate professor of history at Grand View. He has an expletive-filled Twitter feed with plenty of interesting comments.

He declared that the reason Ankeny is the epicenter for the mask debate is that “too many overprivileged white people with too much time online in a single town” exist.

“Ankeny is overwhelmingly white. I live here. I know this. The anti-maskers are almost exclusively white, which I know because again, I live here and I see them,” he wrote. “That’s not racism, that’s observation.”

And why are they “overprivileged?”

“Ankeny is a conservative wealthy white suburb that works hard to keep itself that way, and the people here by and large do not experience many societal shifts that do not work aggressively in their favor. By design and control of institutions.

“The past 18 months, and really stretching back the last five years, people have been aggressively online, especially on social media, building communities, largely around political divides. But the conservative online communities are constantly being exposed to conspiracies and far=right ideas by their elected politicians, people running for office, their main media figures, etc., pushing them into ever more marginal and dangerous places.

“So an overwhelmingly white population who have been overprivileged and spent too much time online.

“Enter the pandemic, where suddenly their societal dominance means nothing because COVID does not give a (expletive) that you live in a nice four-bedroom in a quiet neighborhood in a rich white suburb when you refuse to modify behavior or take precautions.

“So put this group, with this mentality, and this information ecosystem, in this situation, and then provide the powder keg of neighborhood moms with the governor’s backing telling them they don’t have to sacrifice anything, everything’s fine, it’s just those damn libs?

“You get Ankeny’s current situation. Racism is not the only problem when we are talking about white people, but it’s not not part of the problem here.”

Author: Jacob Hall