Anti-mask I.E. politician compares herself to Rosa Parks, sparking controversy and drawing Stephen Colbert’s attention

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Jessica Alexander is seen in a photo on the city of Temecula's website.

Jessica Alexander is seen in a photo on the city of Temecula’s website.

A Temecula City Council member who compared her fight against face mask mandates to Rosa Parks’ bus demonstration for civil rights has touched off a weeks-long controversy in the majority-white Riverside County city where residents are sharply divided over the comments and Black community members have expressed anger over the remarks.

The council member, Jessica Alexander, a staunch anti-mask Republican, has not addressed the issue since an April 13 council meeting when she brought up the civil rights icon while expressing opposition to masks at in-person council meetings.

“Look at Rosa Parks. She was accommodated to the back of the bus, but she finally took a stand and moved to the front because she knew that that wasn’t lawful. It wasn’t truth. So she took a stand. At what point in time do we?” Alexander said. “I’m getting to the point where I’m getting accommodated in my office. I feel like I’m getting pushed to the back of the bus.”

The controversy, which festered for weeks and was used as fodder on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” Tuesday night, intensified after the latest council meeting.

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