Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Color Blind Coddling

It's time for us liberals/progressives to be honest. It shouldn't be too painful, though as Democrats it will hurt a little.

Eric Boehlert recently wrote

National Public Radio relayed more shocking Covid news on Monday: “In 2020, for the first time in recorded history, more people died in Alabama than were born in the state.” The pandemic has shrunk the red state. Yet local Republican leaders still oppose mask and vaccine mandates, leaving the Trump outpost exposed to more fatalities.

But like so many news outlets, NPR missed the real story. The pile of Alabama deaths continue to mount not simply because of Covid. But because so many people in the Trump-friendly state have been brainwashed by bad-faith partisan actors and they refuse to get inoculated. Anti-science Republicans seem determined to spread the virus among their own voters, which seems inconceivable.

Millions of conservative Americans are being brainwashed about the pandemic, and thousands are killing themselves in the process. Yet the media downplay the huge story, framing it simply as “vaccine hesitancy.".

.... the rest of the world must be looking on in slack-jawed astonishment as Trump voters lead a mad movement powered by Fox News. The network is doing what no other outlet has done in the history of television news — it’s deliberately getting people killed during a public health crisis by feeding eagerly gullible red state viewers a mountain of lies.

From PizzaGate, to QAnon, to the current anti-vaccine and anti-mask hysteria, the GOP has been brainwashed. It’s no secret — lots of victims openly admit it. Still, the press shies away, nervous about offending conservatives by portraying them as mindless zombies being easily duped about a miraculously safe and effective vaccine. (It’s the same reason news outlets refused to call Trump a “liar.”)

Instead of calling out the Covid zombies, the press coddles them, especially white, Southern ones, depicting them as merely “vaccine hesitant,” “vaccine-reluctant,” or “vaccine skeptics.”

But it's not only whites who are depicted as merely "vaccine hesitant," "vaccine-reluctant" or "vaccine skeptics."  In the study "Addressing Justified Vaccine Hesitancy in the Black Community," Carl T. Laurencin notes

Blacks are disproportionately affected by poverty, mass incarceration, infant mortality, limited healthcare access, and health-related conditions including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, kidney disease, respiratory illness, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) [1]. We are also more likely to contract the virus and spread it within our communities because we are less likely to be able work from home and physically distance ourselves due to living, working, and commuting [6]

All true and undeniable. He then states

Blacks as a community have the highest levels of individuals who state they will never get the vaccine or are not sure if they will get the vaccine, Fig. ​Fig.11 [7, 8].

Many studies have noted that Black people cite distrust in the government and in the medical profession. Black people cite our nation’s history of racism in medical research and in medical care as key reasons for their hesitancy [9, 10]. This distrust is totally justified.

Well, no, it's not.  Boehlert reflects a prominent view in the left community when he refers to a lot of whites who refuse to get the Covid-19 vaccine as "mindless zombies being easily duped about a miraculously safe and effective vaccine.." By contrast, resistant blacks are, according to Laurencin and many others on the left, "totally justified" in their distrust.

Such is "the soft bigotry of low expectations," a tendency to which blacks themselves are not immune.   Promptly upon availability of the vaccine at the end of 2020, President Biden and Vice President Harris (for whom blacks recently had voted overwhelmingly in the presidential election) and a whole host of other prominent individuals, both black and white, publicly were observed getting the vaccine. They did not die. In general, neither blacks nor whites nor others should be coddled.

In general, neither blacks nor whites or anyone else should be coddled. Many African-Americans were initially distrustful of the vaccine, and too many remain so.   They're not zombies, but neither are the whites, Latinos, and others who have refused the shot. They are foolish, a human trait possessed by a large number of whites, blacks, Latinos, Asians, and individuals of any other background.


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