The history of mistrust between the African American community and the healthcare system goes back for centuries. From the Tuskegee Study to the forced sterilizations of Black women, along with a horrid history of medical experimentation on slaves, many African Americans do not trust the American medical system. This is affecting the opinion of the African American community on the COVID-19 vaccine as more mandates and rules go into effect.
In New York, over 70% of African Americans between ages 18-44 have not received the vaccination. They are receiving unfair treatment as many restaurants, movie theatres, and public places require vaccination cards. Because they have not gotten vaccinated, they are unable to go into these places. Black Lives Matter activists have taken to the streets of New York City to voice their concerns against this issue.
“We are not anti-vaxxers. Some of us are vaccinated. It’s an individual’s choice. No one should be forced to put something in their body” stated Hawk Newsome, the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Greater New York chapter. He is not advocating that Americans should not be vaccinated. However, the argument is that the COVID-19 vaccine, like any other vaccine should be a choice and not forced onto anyone.
Hawk stated that the COVID-19 mandates in New York were a cover for the “racist ways” and “discrimination” evident in New York City. Aside from going into public places, the mandate by President Biden that all federal and military workers become vaccinated also disproportionately affects African Americans. African Americans make up 13.4% of American society but 18.4% of the workforce. In the military African American men are overrepresented, leaving them with no choice but to receive the vaccine in order to keep their jobs.
Employers can use Biden’s vaccine mandate for companies with federal contracts to discriminate against minority workers since they are the most fearful of the vaccine. Who knew that when Biden said “They’re going to put y’all back in chains” that it would be as a result of his own actions.
Biden has also made other remarks such as “if you are fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask”. This rhetoric is contributing to the increase in COVID cases and is not something that should be done by Americans.
Additionally, because of their medical history many African Americans are more likely to have underlying medical history than White Americans, which makes them hesitant to get the vaccine. Should they be punished for having medical issues that are outside of their control? Should what people put into their bodies be their choice and not a mandate by the federal government?
Another unsettling reality is the lack of representation by African Americans in vaccine trials. An article published on the racial representation in vaccine trials noted that the Pfizer trial had 9.8% representation by African Americans compared to 81.9% representation by Whites. The Moderna vaccination trial had 9.7% African American representation compared to 79.4% representation by Whites. This is blatantly disproportionate and exposes the lack of knowledge about how these vaccines will affect African Americans.
A study published in the United States National Library of Medicine investigates the correlation between the percentage of people vaccinated and the new COVID-19 cases. This study looks at different populations from 68 countries and 2,947 counties in the United States. The findings were quite shocking. According to this study, at the country-level there is no direct connection between the percentage of people vaccinated and the new COVID-19 cases that are arising. Additionally, it appears that in countries with a higher percentage of vaccination rate, there are more COVID-19 cases per 1,000 people. Israel, who has an over 60% vaccination rate, had the highest COVID-19 cases per 1,000 people.
These findings disprove the agenda that the federal government is pushing, which then begs the question; why is the American government so eager to control the vaccination of Black Americans? What do they look to gain by forcing thousands of Americans to get the vaccine? Does forcing African Americans to take this vaccine trample on their individual rights and disregard the long history of suffrage that many Blacks have faced at the hands of the American government?