A mask-exempt teen was put at the back of a Thorpe Park ride – now some are comparing it to Rosa Parks

Members of the public enjoy the Swarm rollercoaster ride - a silver coaster with the track at the top - at Thorpe Park.
AFP via Getty Images

Swapping Thorpe Park for Rosa Parks, some furious people have made an “embarrassing” and “mind-blowing” comparison after an 18-year-old was reportedly made to sit at the back of the rides at a theme park because she was ‘mask-exempt’.

The child’s mother, known only as Natasha, tweeted on Friday: “WHAT YOU THINK OF THIS. My 18-year-old at Thorpe Park today, mask exempt – had to ride at the back of the rides! Didn’t something similar happen years back on buses?!

“Segregation of non-masked at Thorpe Park disgusting SHAME ON YOU,” she added in a follow-up tweet.

The initial post appears to reference Rosa Parks, the American civil rights activist who refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in Montgomery in 1955 – in a challenge to racial segregation at the time.

The Surrey theme park later responded to Natasha and said: “In line with our ride restrictions, all our guests who are mask exempt are required to sit in the row farthest to the back to reduce the risk of air transmission aboard our attractions.”

The park’s decision didn’t please some people, who no doubt thought it was unfair rather than funfair, and urged a boycott of the park.

One tweeted: “I remember learning about people being made to sit at the back of the bus because of the colour of their skin.”

“This is shocking @ThorpePark you are discriminating which is totally against The Equalities Act medical apartheid. You can expect sit-ins on your rides if this continues,” raged another.

Another added: “Reminds me of 1950’s America… back of the bus.”

Needless to say that racism and safety measures enforced to protect people during a deadly pandemic are pretty incomparable, and thankfully, many Twitter users were on hand to mock and shut down the nonsense.

At least queue times on the Nemesis Inferno should be a little shorter now. Buzzing.

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