Will liberal hypocrisy over vaccination mandates wake up the alarm clock?
Sometimes it’s better to take a step back and let a bad idea be crushed by its own weight. This will hopefully be the case with the Left’s New Equity Agenda, which postulates that any disparate impact on a community of color is necessarily the result of systemic oppression. But the disappearance of this idea can be brought about sooner rather than later by the sheer hypocrisy of those who believe in it.
If those who believed in the equity mandate to fix results actually believed what they espouse, they would surely stand up against the vaccine mandate of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. The “Key to the City” mandate, which went into effect on August 17, requires guests in indoor locations such as restaurants and cultural institutions to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination. And it is black New Yorkers that this policy affects the most.
Despite the dominant narrative that only dumb Trumpers refuse the vaccine, as of August 30, NYC.gov reports that 66% of black residents have yet to be bitten in New York City – a majority of the city’s unvaccinated population. This means that it is mainly blacks who are excluded from a city that is opening up.
Where is the “disparate impact” crowd now that black customers will be disproportionately turned away from restaurants? Why don’t the Squad and their ilk call the Jim Crow 2.0 vaccine warrant?
According to the anti-racist logic promulgated by Ibrahm X. Kendi, this policy is by definition racist. This certainly amounts to de facto segregation, except that instead of separate water fountains and receding decrees, minorities cannot drink or stand in line at all.
To make the hypocrisy even more blatant, the same people who ask for vaccine IDs are the ones who argue that it is onerous for marginalized communities to go to the DMV for a voter card. If this were true, it would surely be just as expensive for members of these communities to make and keep an appointment for a vaccine.
Still, not a glance from the corner of fairness on that front. Twitter even decided to remove satirical memes calling the tenure racist; writer James Lindsay has had his account suspended four times for sharing this point of view.
It’s pretty tempting to play the blame game here and call out the left as bad faith actors bathed in hypocrisy. But while memes have their place on Twitter, calling the tenure racist, even jokingly, is echoing Equity Lie’s words. It would be much better to disarm the weapon than to turn it against its political opponents.
With the left now stumbling over its own double standards, there is an opportunity to re-awaken – by revealing the perverse premise of the fairness movement as the true telltale sign of racism.
Let’s be clear: this vaccine mandate is unconstitutional, draconian, dystopian, and unlikely to make a single soul any safer. Regardless of what one thinks about COVID-19 or vaccines, it is scandalous to give the government the power to decide who attends private facilities; this should only be the decision of local business owners.
But the vaccine mandate is far from racist. It is discriminatory; but discrimination against the unvaccinated, regardless of race, does not amount to racism. To call it that would be to overturn the first principle of social science research: this correlation does not prove causality.
There are many complex and multifactorial reasons why people of color may refuse the vaccine. Certainly, the sins of the past carry a mountain of blame – slavery, the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, and the real Jim Crow, to begin with. But being empowered does not mean that you will not be faced with difficulties. It just means that one has the capacity and the inherent right to make informed decisions.
The left’s insistence that blacks and brunettes have no agency, no knowledge of their rights, and ultimately no intellectual capacity to sift through the complexities of the moment and take responsibility, is the real thing. definition of racism.
It is time to stop using the corrupt language of the left to overthrow its soldiers. We must disarm their entire machine by revealing their true intention to the masses: to undermine our rights and freedoms until tyranny takes hold with them alone at the helm.
Keren Toledano and Karys Rhea are both writers and artists living in New York City.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors.