Because New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's idea to get New Yorkers to fink out their neighbors who fail to practice proper social distancing wasn't bad enough, the mayor of nearby Providence, Rhode Island, Jorge Elorza, has come up with an even dumber idea.

You may recall that De Blasio asked New Yorkers to take pictures of their neighbors who were not adhering to the social distancing mandates and text them to city hall with a location so that police could immediately respond and disband the pandemic scofflaws. That didn't work out very well for Mayor Bill, who wound up getting more pictures of porn than of social distancing renegades.

Mayor Elorza wants folks in Providence to mask up and has little regard for those who refuse – so little regard that he is calling on Providencians to "socially shame" those who fail to wear a mask or face covering. The Providence Journal says Elorza offered the suggestion while appearing on local radio station WPRO.

“You should socially shame them, so they fall in line,” he said. The paper reports the radio host advised Elorza that public shaming might not be the best approach.

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimundo has signed an executive order making the wearing of masks or face coverings mandatory beginning today.

I respect anyone's right to wear a mask. If you want to wear a mask, knock yourself out. The masks and face coverings you see on most folks, however, are largely useless and provide the wearer with a false sense of security. I choose not to wear a mask unless I am entering a store or a doctor's office that requires me to so please respect my right as well.

Elorza's idea of shaming people who don't wear masks wouldn't work on me because frankly I just don't care what he or anyone else thinks about me exercising my right to go maskless in public.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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