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May 6, 2021

Racist Vaccine Mandates?

Blacks are just as “vaccine hesitant” as their white peers, and Hispanics even more so. What next?

As per their inclination, progressives and their media lapdogs have created a new term to paper over a genuine problem, one that may prove to be quite deleterious for a Biden administration dedicated to the idea that America is a systemically racist nation requiring a wholesale overhaul — by any means necessary.

The term is “vaccine hesitation,” and it’s being used to play down the reality that “communities of color” are hesitant to get vaccinated.

Wait, what? The media have been quick to point out that Trump supporters, Republican men, white Americans with or without college degrees, evangelicals, rural Americans, and younger Americans are hesitant to get vaccinated, according to an NPR/PBS/Marist poll of 1,227 adults taken in March. Unfortunately for the narrative shapers, that same poll revealed that 25% of black Americans said they were not planning to be vaccinated, compared to 28% of white Americans. Even more inimical to that narrative, 37% of Latinos said they would not get vaccinated. Forbes Magazine columnist Nicholas Reimann laments the obvious: That number is “much higher than most other demographic groups included in the poll.”

Nonetheless, in another opportunity to single out those who don’t align themselves with progressive, bicoastal sensibilities, CNN’s Brianna Keilar insisted that while many Americans “have turned to family and to friends and to faith for comfort and answer” during the pandemic, “many evangelicals are getting the wrong message and, in some cases, lies from pastors they have entrusted with their faith and with their lives.”

In short, Keilar believes evangelicals are preacher-led automatons incapable of making up their own minds. What about the one-in-four black Americans and more than one-in-three Latinos who feel exactly the same way?

Perhaps all of them should listen to the “experts” from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) instead. Or perhaps not. On Monday, Americans found out that the American Federation of Teachers lobbied the CDC and apparently succeeded in getting the agency to change its guidance on in-person school reopenings. Emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the conservative watchdog group Americans for Public Trust revealed that AFT “suggestions” were used nearly word-for-word within the CDC’s guidelines.

Thus, Americans might be forgiven for being skeptical about an agency that claims to “follow the science” even as it appears just as willing to “follow the union.”

Yet the bigger picture is far more complicated. Vaccine hesitancy, regardless of demographic, is likely a series of snapshots in time. A person hesitant today may ultimately become convinced that vaccination is the way to go tomorrow, based on further information regarding vaccine effectiveness and safety. Most likely that’s because the vaccines have been distributed and delivered into the arms of the public under the auspices of an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the CDC.

That reality is not lost on the public. Thus, as health services professor Stefanie Friedhoff points out, being more informed “is the single most important concern expressed by those unsure about the Covid-19 vaccine, according to almost every poll that asks this question. This is true across the political spectrum.”

More to the point, what motivates many vaccine-hesitant minority Americans is history. “There’s a terrible history in this country, most notably the Tuskegee Study,” Pennsylvania Democrat Senator Bob Casey stated in April.

Casey is right. The Tuskegee Study was conducted by the U.S. Public Health Service and the CDC between 1932 and 1972. It focused on 600 black sharecroppers, 399 of whom had syphilis, and 201 who did not. The study was conducted without the benefit of patients’ informed consent, and though the federal government promised the participants healthcare, they never received it, even when penicillin became the drug of choice for syphilis in 1947. Nearly 130 participants died.

At the very best, skepticism among reasonable people of every color and ethnicity might be elicited by that history. At worst — and searingly ironic — an administration and its media cheerleaders, wholly dedicated to convincing Americans that they live in a systemically racist nation, could be exponentially exacerbating that skepticism.

Regardless, systemic racism remains the progressive mantra, and Ezemenari Obasi, director of the University of Houston’s HEALTH (Helping Everyone Achieve a Lifetime of Health) Research Institute (HRI), keeps the fire burning. He insists, “Systemic racism is real, medical mistrust by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) communities is earned, and the best way to accelerate scientific breakthroughs regarding SARS-CoV-2 vaccine uptake in BIPOC communities is to include them in the research process.”

Yet he cites the Tuskegee Study in reference to historic “oversimplification” of vaccine resistance.“We want to uncover whether it’s more nuanced than that,” Obasi adds, “and understand the role that recent mixed messaging from politicians has contributed to hesitancy.”

Mixed messaging? The Biden administration owns mixed messaging, and no one makes it clearer than a vaccinated president who not only continues to wear a mask even in totally unnecessary circumstances but declares it one’s patriotic duty to do so, despite CDC guidelines to the contrary.

Again, logical Americans of every color and ethnicity might be inclined to ask themselves why a host of restrictions still apply whether one is vaccinated or not, and if so, why one should get vaccinated. Even more important, if they have already had the coronavirus, they might be asking themselves why they need a vaccine at all. They might also wonder if pregnant women, or those who wish to get pregnant, should get the vaccine.

Thus, these are not unreasonable questions. Yet it won’t be long before those same Americans and many others begin asking why the Biden administration is attempting to make vaccinations effectively mandatory. According to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, the Biden administration “is not now nor will we be supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential.” She added, “There will be no federal vaccinations database, and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential.”

Of course not. Instead they will outsource their coercion to woke corporations and colleges, which will require those working at or attending their institutions to be vaccinated. And because these requirements are occurring in piecemeal fashion, what will effectively become a national mandate is being obscured.

Yet what will the Biden administration and its corporate collaborators do if minority Americans who don’t want to get vaccinated start accusing them of racism for forcing them to do so? For an administration dedicated to stoking the fires of racial division — from Jim Crow to Jim Eagle, as it were — such accusations may prove to be the ultimate irony, especially for an administration whose standard-bearer once asserted that if you didn’t know whether to vote for him or Donald Trump, “You ain’t black.”

And if one’s racial “legitimacy” now requires one to also be vaccinated? Perhaps we are nearing a moment when millions of black Americans will discover that the same Democrat Party that made them second-class citizens during the Jim Crow era is willing to do so again if they fail to get vaccinated.

In short, they may discover that “social justice” — delivered at rhetorical gunpoint — is no justice at all.

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