Black Paranoia and the COVID Vaccine, Explained

Illustration for article titled Black Paranoia and the COVID Vaccine, Explained
Photo: Studio Romantic (Shutterstock)
Explain Like I’m a Racist 5-Year-OldLike the popular subreddit “Explain Like I’m 5," which simplifies complex issues into easily understandable, digestible bites, “Explain Like I’m a Racist 5-Year-Old” breaks down complicated subjects on the intersection of race, economics and politics, making them so simple, even a bigoted toddler could understand them.

Hey, Racist Baby! How are you doing? I haven’t seen you in a while.

Hello, my brother. A salami Lakers.

What does that even mean, you little baby bigot? Wait...are you trying to say “As-Salaam-Alaikum?”

Yes. My dad says that’s how “you people” greet each other. Ever since the government put us on lockdown and took away my rights to not wear a mask, I understand you much better. As the great Moses Malone told Jay Pharoah: “Let my people go!”

Stop it, my little tyke nationalist. You’re going too far. Please don’t tell me your racist parents have turned you into an anti-masker.

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Not all masks. The white hoods are still OK. But today, my mom says “the oppressor wants to turn us into slaves,” so she allowed me to get some advice from you. Plus, she said you’d understand why we shouldn’t be taking the vaccine.

Well. my little neophyte Nazi, I hate to disappoint you but I’m taking the vaccine as soon as I have the opportunity.

But you’re Black! I thought Black people weren’t taking the vaccine? I read it in the newspaper and saw it in Time magazine.

I know Racist Baby.

But it’s just a thing that the media does to pretend its interested in “talking about race.” According to a Reuters poll, about 37 percent of Black people said they weren’t interested in taking the COVID vaccine, compared to 30 percent of white people. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 62 percent of Black people would “definitely” take the coronavirus vaccine or “probably take” it. Most people—Black or white—said they were planning to take the vaccine.

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Only 15 percent of Black adults said they would “definitely not get the vaccine,” which is quite literally the exact same percentage of whites who expressed that sentiment.

Instead of trying to convince Black Americans to take the vaccine, the media should be focusing on the largest group who is hesitant about being inoculated against the coronavirus.

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Which group is that?

White people.

Those same polls show that Republicans are the largest group of people in America who responded that they would “probably not get it” or “definitely not get it.” Look at this chart.

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Illustration for article titled Black Paranoia and the COVID Vaccine, Explained
Graphic: KFF.org

According to Pew Research, about 53 percent of white people identify as Republican. And, since there are about 197 million white people in America, this means about 27 million white people might not get vaccinated against this deadly virus, compared to 15 million Black Americans who are vaccine-hesitant.

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But we all have valid reasons, right? I know that Black people are worried about a repeat of the government experiment where doctors injected the Tuskegee Airmen with syphilis. See, I know my Black history!

Not quite, racist baby.

The Tuskegee Syphilis Study was a 40-year medical experiment where officials at the Public Health Service told Black men who were had tested positive for syphilis that they were being treated for “bad blood.” In truth, they were not being treated at all.

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Wow. So I can understand why that makes Black people reluctant.

Yes.

Also, Black people are not reluctant because of the Tuskegee experiment.

Although the narrative crafted by news reports paints Black people as uneducated conspiracy theorists, 71 percent of Black patients said they wanted to proceed cautiously because they were worried about side effects. The same percentage of Black people said they were also worried about the short development period. Only 48 percent of Black adults expressed a lack of confidence in the developers’ willingness to take the needs of Black people into account.

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The mumps vaccine (the fastest vaccine ever developed) took four years. African Americans make up only 5 percent of participants in clinical trials, and over 90 percent of the volunteers in the AstraZeneca phase I and II clinical trial were white. “A similar lack of diversity was found in the Moderna phase I trial and Pfizer and BioNTech’s phase I and II study,” Healthline reports. Also, a 2018 report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources assessed found even the most objective measures of healthcare quality showed that white people received better care from doctors than Black patients.

That’s not paranoia; that’s just science.

I feel you, my brother. That’s why we oppressed people have to stick together.

Not quite, my brother. White people were not concerned about those things.

According to KFF, 71 percent of Republicans believe that vaccination is a personal choice, while everyone else says it’s “part of everyone’s responsibility to protect others.” Half of the white people and 57 percent of Republicans who were wary about the vaccine, attributed their reluctance to their belief that “the risks of COVID-19 are being exaggerated.”

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So, how could we get white Republicans to take the vaccine?

Well, considering the medical discrimination, lack of healthcare and social inequality that white people have never had to deal with they have never faced, maybe I have five marketing slogans that might work:

  • Every time a white person gets vaccinated, a Black person loses their right to vote.
  • The vaccine makes children immune to reverse racism, the gay agenda and The 1619 Project.
  • Barack Obama, Ilhan Omar and Black Lives Matter created the coronavirus to destroy America and this is the only way to stop the white genocide.
  • One of the side effects of the vaccine is that white women will no longer find Black men attractive.
  • The vaccine will give you the ability to find Hillary’s emails, “stop the steal” and clap on beat.
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And how will they convince Black people to take the vaccine?

As a certified and registered Black person, I have no idea.

Perhaps they should make sure the vaccine is safe. Seventy-two percent of Black people surveyed said they either planned to get vaccinated as soon as it becomes available or “wait until it has been available for a while to see how it is working for other people.”

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I do, however, know what won’t work.

Condensing Black people’s historically legitimate, scientifically accurate concerns down to a collective negro paranoia instead of addressing the actions that white people, the medical community and America actually did and are still doing to Black people will never work. Getting our favorite rappers and politicians to pose for pictures probably won’t work either.

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My only suggestion is—and I know this sounds insane—what if they explained the importance of vaccination to Black people as if they are people? What if the healthcare industry acknowledged the harm they have caused to non-white communities and made a commitment to treating Black patients the same as white patients? Perhaps they should send healthcare workers to Black churches and neighborhoods—not because of some kind of affirmative action mandate, but because those are the communities COVID-19 is hitting the hardest.

On second thought, they’ll probably just try to get Beyoncé and LeBron to post themselves taking the shot on Instagram.

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Is that why you’re taking the vaccine?

No, I don’t want to die and I don’t want to be responsible for other people dying. I have this thing about Black lives; I believe they matter.

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Plus, I want to go outside.

Well, I gotta go to the mask protest and I haven’t cleaned my gun yet. See you later.

Salami Lakers to you, my little friend.

World-renowned wypipologist. Getter and doer of "it." Never reneged, never will. Last real negus alive.

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DISCUSSION

ionithus
Mr Boomman

First off. that Karen Hunter show was good. I saw ya, playa. Didn’t know you were a part of the D9.... But yeah good shit. Dr. Carr always brings much needed info when it comes to Pan African information etc.

Now this is guinea pig shit. You want black folks to lead the way in getting vaccines... yet deny us great health care (Reference thousands of the past up to the most recent, our beloved Dr. Susan Moore). Fuck that shit. I’ll tell you what, I know someone RIGHT NOW who works in the medical field who took it. Now BEFORE she got the vaccine, she tested negative for the virus. AFTER she took the vaccine she has it and so does two of her children. You ain’t gonna hear nary nada a damn thing about that type of shit on the news. I don’t recall Fauci or anyone else saying they caught it after they’ve taken this vaccine. This is a “let’s just do something, to test it out” shit. Were there any tests done on animals before this or did they just say, “fuck it. let’s see how the public reacts, then we’ll tweak later doses.”? Now this thing has been mutating for the longest now. How is a 2 to 3 month concocted vaccine (supposedly branched off a SARS vax), gonna stop something that mutates??? I’m not medical professional. But common sense and knowing who we’re dealing with makes me untrustworthy of anything that comes out of their mouths. After all it’s their science that has caused a lot of ills on the earth.