Democrat Washington state representative, Cindy Ryu, has introduced a bill that would force state residents to wear flotation devices on the water, all residents, except for one group — Native Americans. Ryu believes that Native Americans should be exempt from flotation mandates because they have “eons” of experience with water.
Per the CDC: drowning death rates for American Indian or Alaska Native people ages 29 and younger are two times higher than the rate for white people. For those ages 25-29, the disparity is actually 3.5 times.
Cindy, Chelsea, and Marilyn says: Caucus for Hillary on Saturday! pic.twitter.com/0h0UAPZ7YK
— Cindy Ryu (@RepCindyRyu) March 24, 2016
Ryu’s bill would mandate that people wear a personal floating device while on kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards, and those in violation of the law would be subject to citation.
But not Native Americans, who apparently have “eons” of experience.
“The few exemptions you see, including the tribal members — federally recognized tribal members exemptions — are based on responses from the community,” Ryu said via a remote hearing. “These are situations where they have either extensive training or [are] traditionally very used to our cold waters for eons, essentially, or are very closely supervised.”
Ryu’s bill has actually passed with Democratic support, and 770KTTH Radio reported that the bill will now head to the floor for a vote.
Native Americans and their eons of experience will apparently sink or swim based on the result of the pending vote. Meanwhile, the rest of us will just drown in the ridiculousness of it.
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF