Before we begin, we should acknowledge that Candace Owens doesn’t know things.
There’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t know how to make guacamole and don’t like dips. I have never even eaten an avocado. For this reason, I have recused myself from dip-related conversations. But, if I, like Candace Owens, did not know anything, I might be willing to offer commentary on avocado-based dips. While this may seem like an attack on Candace Owens and her fellow conservatives, it is not. Many people have derided Candace Owens’ unceasingly illogical commentary, but it is quite possible that she is just dumb.
Although many of the things Owens says are quantifiably wrong, she is not required to know things. Not knowing things is one of the most important requirements to serving as a conservative mouthpiece. Republicans don’t have to actually know about Critical Race Theory to write legislation banning it from schools. They aren’t required to read Martin Luther King Jr.’s actual words in order to tell you what MLK would have wanted. They don’t have to spend a second in a Black community to know what’s wrong with it.
For conservatives, not knowing things is actually an asset, ranking second in importance to whining about things. Republicans love playing the victim. They will suppress Black voters and still have a hissy fit about elections being rigged. They will hold a “March against Sharia” while claiming that a gay birthday cake, heathen Starbucks cups or taking a dump in the stall next to a transgender person are assaults against their religious liberties. Negro Santas, coffee machines and radical, pro-Black virtual assistants are just a few things that have caused widespread Caucasian consternation in the past few years.
And now, welcome coronavirus segregation, the newest member of the white fragility strawman collection. According to the conservative narrative, science-based mask mandates and COVID-19 restrictions are causing businesses, schools and local governments to discriminate against pro-virus anti-vaxxers.
Their argument basically is that science is the new Jim Crow, pushing laws against concerned citizens who are just exercising their constitutional right to cough coronavirus droplets on anyone they damn well please. Led by award-winning researcher Candace Owens Ph.D. (Phucking Dumb), Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and an assortment of conservatives, right-wing anti-factsers are equating CDC’s COVID protocols with segregation laws and policies of Nazi Germany that promoted state-sanctioned white supremacy.
People who know things might be smart enough to understand the difference between scientifically proven health policies and Jim Crow. But Owens, self-certified physician Dr. Randy and their conspiracy theory-spewing cohorts might be too dumb to understand the difference between segregation, science, mandates and run-of the mill rules, so here are the facts.
Why do conservatives continually pepper their diatribes with words like “elite” and “mainstream” as if they are bad things? I don’t know if Owens knows this, but people who are not dumb prefer to get their scientific advice from an elite group of immunologists, virologists and researchers who actually have the education, experience and resources to study these issues.
The scientific community has known that masks stop the spread of viruses for more than 100 years. We knew it during the 1918 Spanish Flu outbreak. Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy wear masks. People with immune deficiencies wear them. Physicians began wearing them during medical procedures in the 1920s.
Vaccines dating back to 1721, when Onesimus, an enslaved Black man taught white Bostonians how to inoculate themselves against the smallpox virus. Of course, white people who don’t know anything thought that was stupid, even firebombing the home of vaccine advocates. The word “quarantine” is more than 600 years old, when Italians required ships arriving from locations with epidemics to sit on the shore for 40 days.
2. No one has “faith” in the Biden administration, the CDC or Anthony Fauci or “mainstream science.”
Faith is defined as an “allegiance to duty or a person.” Remember when Anthony Fauci told us not to wear masks and then said: My bad? No one ever trusted Fauci; they were listening to the science. When the science changed, so did Fauci. It’s not like he’s walking around demanding an audit because he just can’t believe that masks defeated the coronavirus. There might be a lesson in that somewhere.
Look, if Rand Paul, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson and other not-scientists are going to repeatedly insinuate that masks or separating healthy people from coronavirus-infected people doesn’t work, we’re gonna need more research than just the word of a quack radiologist who doesn’t specialize in communicable diseases or your Facebook friend who works at the hospital. Let’s see some peer-reviewed research from large-scale studies. Aside from that, all we have is the scientific consensus from the majority of researchers around the world and the data that says mandatory masks policies are “effective at increasing compliance and slowing the spread of COVID-19.”
Or, what Candace Owens calls “mainstream science.”
While there is a general definition of segregate that means “to separate or set apart from others or from the general mass,” only a dumb person or a liar would conflate that with the historical policy defined as “the separation or isolation of a race, class, or ethnic group by enforced or voluntary residence in a restricted area, by barriers to social intercourse, by separate educational facilities, or by other discriminatory means.”
Secondly, the state-sanctioned doctrine of white supremacist segregation laws was never based on science. While there were plenty of white people who believed that Black people were dumber, dirtier and spread disease, science was not the impetus for segregation laws, nor did legislators pretend to argue that they were. How do we know this? Because scientists didn’t generally accept the idea that germs caused disease until the 1890s, long after segregation and racially discriminatory laws were already in place. So, maybe Candace Owens and these people who are comparing state-sanctioned white supremacy to 500 years of medical knowledge are just dumb.
Owens is right that eugenics was once widely accepted by the scientific community, which led to forced sterilizations. However, there is not a single local, state or federal law that has mandated that people be vaccinated against the coronavirus. It simply does not exist. There are, however, a growing number of private businesses, school districts, health facilities and organizations that have require employees or patrons to wear masks or present proof of vaccination to enter, enroll, participate or be employed.
People who know things understand that this is not a mandate. Anyone who works for a company or patronizes a business must comply with the rules. I am required to wear a shirt and shoes at McDonald’s. People who work in factories must wear steel-toed boots for their safety. Unfortunately, this company insists on mandating that I wear pants when I work in the office. Of course, I have the personal liberty to not work here if I am adamant about Winnie the Pooh-ing it.
Few reasonable people have argued that Americans shouldn’t have the right to refuse to be vaccinated—only that they should. The notion that advocating for people to get vaccinated is the same as forcing the vaccine on the public is a strawman argument. Again, there is no existing or proposed state, federal or legislation mandating vaccines.
However, if you choose not to get vaccinated, you are also choosing not to work for employers that have vaccine policies. If you forbid your children from wearing masks, you are choosing to have them violate state or local education policies. Your individual right not to cover your face or take a vaccine doesn’t supersede the rights of businesses and individuals who are taking precautions against catching or spreading the coronavirus. Your choices have consequences.
No one thinks white people don’t have the right to use the n-word at their leisure, only that they must suffer the consequences for choosing to do so. It is perfectly legal for you to scream the n-word at the top of your lungs at your local Walmart. But, it is also reasonable for a Black person to punch you in the mouth or that old man checking receipts at the door to drag your ass out of the Faded Glory jeans section. Everyone has the right to spit but you don’t have the right to hock your coronavirus-laden loogies into my mouth. No one is immune to the consequences of their actions— especially when they affect other people negatively.
What happened to the conservatives who believed in personal responsibility, moral values and “law and order”?
All 50 states require children to be vaccinated against certain communicable diseases as a condition for school attendance, according to the CDC. Furthermore, in the 1922 Zucht v. King decision, the U.S. Supreme Court found that “it is within the police power of a state to provide for compulsory vaccination.” The decision noted that “a state may, consistently with the federal Constitution, delegate to a municipality authority to determine under what conditions health regulations shall become operative.”
I understand Randy Paul’s argument that this is a slippery slope. This brings us one step closer to the Gestapo-like tactic of requiring people who operate automobiles to get a “driving passport.” When I heard that doctors were required to produce a “medical school passport,” it made me want to get drunk, but the cashier at the liquor store refused to sell me a bottle of alcohol without my “age passport.” Plus, I didn’t have any money because the tyrants at my bank are now mandating that customers use a money passport at the ATM.
And finally, every God-fearing American has the God-given right to believe in whatever they want to believe, even if it is illogical, provably false or comes from Candace Owens’ dumb mouth (I know those are synonyms; I just like groups of three.) The problem is not that Candace Owens, conservatives and people who affix flags to their pickup truck antennas are dumb. It’s not that conservatives are anti-science. It is perfectly reasonable for anyone to be hesitant about a new medical treatment or to want their face uncovered.
The true problem is that people are willing to say things without knowing things. And because Candace Owens is good at saying things, dumb people assume she knows things. She does not. And you can trust me because if there are two things I’m sure of, it’s this:
- Candace Owens doesn’t know things.
- Guacamole is trash.