By Marley K, Medium
Why Black People Don’t Trust The Vaccine
America is inherently racist, and this country has done many things to us for no other reason except they could. White people have used Black babies as alligator bait, dressed their children up to watch Black men be lynched (including creating postcards), and modern American medicine as we know it was built using the bodies of slaves. The “Father of Gynecology” got his start practicing on Black female American slaves against their will. In 2014, a Centers for Disease Control scientist admitted ten years after a vaccine study had concluded the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine was safe, that among African-American boys receiving the vaccine had a higher incidence of autism among African-American boys who were vaccinated than among those who weren’t (see my comment at the end of this piece). That information was casually omitted from the study as America injected millions of Black boys with the vaccine. White scientists knew the vaccine was harmful to Black children, yet they sat on the information for over a decade, allowing Black parents to vaccinate their children as a part of school readiness efforts. The White scientists put Black lives in danger, and it’s barely discussed, buried on Harriet Tubman’s interweb with the rest of Black history.
It’s a shame we must keep reminding the world of how much America has done to us, but we must.
White America has done a lot of shit to us, and they’ve never paid a price for it. Everything White America has done to us, White America has benefited from directly or indirectly. Black people haven’t been appropriately accredited for their contributions to modern medicine. Our ancestors haven’t been appropriately compensated for being American medicine’s guinea pigs, nor has America ever apologized formally for all it’s done to us because it deemed us inferior.
If you wonder why Black people don’t trust White medicine, those are just a few reasons. Google is free if you care to know more.
And let’s not talk about the White medical community’s anti-Black beside manner, or the lack of doctors who resemble us because the American Medical Association (AMA) is and has been a racist doctor maker. In 2008, after over 100 years of actively reinforcing or passively accepting racial inequalities in medicine and excluding African-American physicians, AMA formerly apologized. We just got an apology twelve-years ago for excluding Black doctors from the American medical community, ya’ll.
There are no words for the inadequate responses and the lack of interests in addressing racism in medicine.
Because we know our history, and because America has never atoned for its original racist sins committed against American descendants of slaves, we don’t trust America or the medical community. We’ve earned the right not to trust America and the White people who run everything. Doctors just created an Institute for Antiracism in Medicine this year. What a shame no one thought to create such an organization before now, when it’s too late to save us.
Now that some of you are up to speed about all the horrible that’s been done to Black folks, please know White people, we don’t want your lectures about how safe vaccines are for Black people, because we’ve heard it all before. We know America and White people better than they know themselves. So save that slavemaster/colonizer energy.
Black people have a right to protect the only two things we can control: our minds and our bodies. America doesn’t get the right to experiment on us, turn around and beat us up, break us down mentally and emotionally, disenfranchise us every step of the way, and kill us, then when they feel like it, tell us to get over all of it because it cares about us. That energy has the hallmarking of a domestic abuser.
America suddenly caring when it historically hasn’t is classic gaslighting, and no one would treat would victims of violence that way. So White people, you can show all the Black people you want on the news getting vaccinated you want. Millions of Black people don’t care. It will not make them trust the medical community, especially when we all know hospitals have the power to force their employees to get vaccinated as a condition of employment.
White doctors can beg all they want, but what they can’t do is erase the racist past of American medicine. The mainstream media can keep talking at us, but many Black folks simply aren’t interested in a vaccine as we live through the worst administration in our lifetimes, and that’s saying a lot which leads me to Dr. Fauci’s interview on last week as he tried to convince Black people to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr. Fauci is now tied to the most racist, corrupt Administration in our lifetime, and that’s an enormous problem for his credibility, no matter how outspoken he has been. I trust Fauci, but I also remember Trump parading Fauci out and his casual advice on our needs that would increase our survival rate in the early phases of the pandemic, which is why I look at him with a side-eye too.
Fauci Uses His Black Friend Defense
Dr. Fauci used his “I have a Black friend” defense last week to convince Black people to not be afraid of the vaccine, invoking the fact a Black scientist helped to develop the vaccine, as if Black people haven’t screwed Black people on behalf of White Supremacy before. I’m not saying the scientist in question is guilty of this, I’m simply showing that when White people attempt to use Black people to convince Black people to do something White people want us to do, it’s because they cannot justify their viewpoints on their own merit. Fauci knew of the distrust among the Black community, so he pulled his “Black friend” card, (which fools no one by the way) believing it would comfort us.
That method didn’t build our trust, and it can’t build our trust. Making such pleas tokenizes the Blacks being used. It’s racist too.
As I’ve said before in previous essays, when White people are offering us their Black friend, it’s makes us suspicious, I know I am. Fauci even called us Black folks “brothers and sisters,” as if those are the magic negro whisperer keywords for White Pied Pipers to get those Black vaccine gates opened wide so they can give us some of their magical COVID-19 potion that is going to protect us from the virus. Honey, you White people gotta do more work than call us “brother” or “sister” to repair ya’lls bad credit.
When White folks try too hard to sell us medicine or anything they’ve deem good for us, just know we are suspect because America does nothing for Black people that means us good, ever.
The reason we have a Covid problem, a distrust of the medical community problem, and a misinformation problem is because White people are RACIST — and that’s a fuckin’ problem. So until you fix that shit White people, nobody is believing anything you tell us is good for us. Think about it. You mean to tell Black people scientists can get into fucking labs and develop a vaccine to save our lives, but White people can’t get together and change their racist behavior to save Black lives? Are you really shittin me?
So, get this straight, the Black friend defense is racist, and attempting to undermine our concerns is racist too. We know how to think for ourselves.
Curb Your Enthusiasm, Because Ours Is
Please excuse us if we’re not impressed by your vaccine discovery, because once we get that shot, we may be saved from Covid, but we’re still going to be fighting racist motherfuckers in the streets, at work, at the doctor’s office, at school, and in the grocery store as we’re trying to buy our tampons. If White folks worked as hard and fast to address White Supremacy and racism as you have to develop this fuckin vaccine drug makers and shareholders are going to get filthy rich from, maybe your credibility would be restored.
Understand, we Black folks believe in science. We also believe in modern medicine, ancient, and homeopathic remedies and alternative even some forms of medicine. What we don’t believe in are White people using their Black friends, co-workers, biracial family members to convince us you are the system is less racist. Black folks can see and we see your actions not aligning with your words. Asking us to go against what we see with our own eyes is crazy. Just like we have to wait on ya’ll to get your shit together with racism (by the way, you never do), ya’ll are going to have to wait on us to decide to take this Covid vaccine. We know you don’t care about us. We’ve witnessed you not listen to our warnings (just look at America, we tried to tell ya). You’re gonna have to wait this out, or not.
And please don’t spend your time arguing with Black people on social media about how safe vaccines are from your safe lily White perches, completely disregarding the historical contexts we give you in our counter arguments. It’s not only offensive, it’s disrespectful and racist. We have enough to deal with. A fucking vaccine is the least of some Black folks’ worries. Get some perspective and learn to be silent on racial matters you cannot understand. Work on your antiracism instead. Learn about what has happened to Black people. Read more about Black history written from Black perspectives. Educate yourselves, don’t make that our job!
Our Autonomy Is All We Have
Black people have no power, and if the last few years haven’t shown readers that, nothing will. The only autonomy Black folks have is that over our bodies and our minds, and White people are attempting to take that away from us too. We are trying to survive Covid. Black people have been receiving misinformation all year. Politicians left Americans stranded this year without all we needed to fight the virus. Many of these people were and are essential workers. Millions of bus drivers, grocery store employees, warehouse shippers, meat packing plant employees, school teachers, janitors, gas station cashiers, etc., had to go to work in Covid, long before employers were mandated to provide personal equipment to keep them safe. Some of those people didn’t make it.
It was all preventable. If we’re the greatest country in the world, you mean to tell me America couldn’t issue each person in the country a few masks. We can buy weapons, build bombs, give humanitarian aid to other nations, aid that comes from taxpayers, mind you, but we can’t do anything for our own citizens?
It’s not like the government didn’t know. They had a few months to prepare and close our borders, but they didn’t because our economy runs on slave labor. The money-making show must go on. It’s just another example of how this country doesn’t care about its people. It’s never personal, it’s just business.
Many Black parents have had to quit their jobs to homeschool their kids, which resulted in a decrease in income or it eliminated those incomes all together, and many Black parents have been forced to leave their kids at home alone because they don’t have money for sitters and they can’t afford to stay home. White people who don’t want to wear masks and reckless government officials have put us all in danger. If America wanted to keep Black people safe, they would have done something about these racist wahoos already. Here we are nearly 1-year later, and racists are still dictating how we control the spread of the virus that impacts all of us, not just Black folks. In many places Black, Indigenous, and Hispanic people are overrepresented in the rate of Covid infections and deaths from the deadly virus because of America’s lack of willpower to combat racism.
Every problem America has is because of racism and White Supremacy. White people hired a mediocre serial predator (now serial killer) to run the country, and he’s done just that. He’s run America into the ground.
Black can’t afford to believe in America. We can’t afford to take risks with our bodies. We cannot trust the untrustworthy. America has failed at every level of its society, and White people are to blame for those failures. Let us never forget. You didn’t care about Black bodies when we were running around begging you to stop the police from killing Black men and women. White people haven’t cared about Black bodies when they’ve created policy and legislation. White people haven’t cared about Black bodies, because they haven’t made America more fair and less racist. Black bodies have never been centered, unless there is a motive. We know you America, and the facts are indisputable.
Having control over our bodies is important, and the medical community must respect that. They’ve been slow to fix the problems in the medical community that have led to the mistrust, so there shouldn’t be a rush to get ahold of Black bodies for a vaccine. That’s just not happening, especially when our reproductive health and our children’s mental and physical health are at stake (see the MMR exclusion above). The choice to take that vaccine is ours, so allow us to have it. Trust comes with time and showing hundreds of Black healthcare professionals getting the vaccine will not build our trust, especially when we don’t know these people.
We know the old “Black friend drill” drill. That’s not representation and planning, it’s tokenism.
Never Forget This Was All Preventable
Please don’t forget the death and community spread from Covid was preventable. The federal government chose not to do anything about it. The incompetent federal government in 2020 was led by all White people. Bob Woodward, famed Watergate journalist, even has a recording of the President admitting the virus was bad back in February 2020, failing to share the info until his book was ready for release. Woodward knew, but he put his profits over our lives. Just another day in America.
America could have saved lives from the virus, but per usual, White men allowed their legacies to trump the trauma (and deaths) of Black people. If White America had the balls to address racism and not allow a malignant, narcissistic clown to provide false information, co-opt state governments, and run the federal government like the psychopathic, manic-depressive mother Joan Crawford from the movie “Mommie Dearest,” we wouldn’t be debating trust the medical arm of the federal government today.
Nothing about this year exudes “trust me” vibes. It’s the exact opposite. When people show you who they are, we should believe them, and White America and the medical community have shown us who they were long ago. We picked up every vibe you were giving off, don’t retract it now.
Black people don’t America, nor do we trust the medical community. We’ve watched you White doctors under prescribe pain medication because you think we’re subhuman. Black folks are apparently much stronger than fragile White folks. Black women know White doctors will let our babies die and ignore our cries for help because they hate our Black skin. Our distrust of the medical community didn’t just happen overnight. It has taken a long time for the wall of distrust to be built, and it’s going to take a long time to tear it down. To tear that wall down, it’s will require White people to end racism and tear down their beloved White Supremacist systems and institutions. As far as I can tell, most White people are already planning brunch. Addressing racism and inequality isn’t even on their radar anymore. The Twitter thread below highlights just how disinterested White people are in doing anything about racism and White Supremacy.
It’s White comfort, stupid….
— Q. Anthony (ɔpɛ asem) (@andraydomise) December 16, 2020
Oh, the low standards the White avocado toast brunch bunch have, already comforted by Biden just being in elected. White folks are ready to kick back, relax, no more fighting for them. It must be nice to be White with such low standards. Source: Twitter/@andraydomise
The distrust in the Black community with American medicine has been building slowly over time. Without justice for past harm done to us and evidence White people are working to reform their racist selves, we’ll never have trust in the medical community — or America.
Remember, this was all preventable. Thankfully, we weren’t in charge of preventing it, White people were. We have no power. So don’t blame Black people for not trusting White people or White medicine. White people did all this to themselves.
Now, deal with it — and fix it.