So many surreal, terrifying images have come out of the Capitol over the past week. On Wednesday, Republican congresswoman and QAnon supporter Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia provided yet another one when she wore a face mask with the word “CENSORED” written across it, while speaking into a literal microphone during the House vote to impeach President Trump, her words broadcast far and wide.
Both Republicans and Democrats have used face masks to express themselves during the pandemic. But Greene has made a point to use the protective covering — or lack thereof — specifically to spread conspiracy theories, false information, and threats. She’s broadcast her beliefs with masks reading “TRUMP WON” and “STOP THE STEAL.” On Tuesday, she wore a mask that said “MOLON LABE,” a Greek phrase of defiance that’s been co-opted as a gun-rights slogan. It translates to “come and take [them].”
In general, though, Greene finds face masks “oppressive,” and has openly refused to wear them at the Capitol, including during last Wednesday’s insurrection. (More than one representative has tested positive for the coronavirus since.) After testing negative on January 4, Greene told Fox News that “healthy people do not spread COVID.” She said she finds it “insane” that Republicans are being blamed for spreading the virus, and is now baselessly insisting that the infections are somehow House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s fault.
Clearly, Greene is not being censored. Her message was meant to be in support of President Trump, who has been barred from using social-media platforms like Twitter in the last week, on the grounds that he has been using the platform to incite violence and unrest. But the juxtaposition of Greene’s face mask with the microphone on Wednesday was a disorienting image, nonetheless. It’s a fitting encapsulation of the MAGA crowd’s beliefs — that Trump is faultless for helping to incite a riot, and that the prospect of facing consequences is an affront to their liberty.