Salvo 08.20.2021 5 minutes

Vaccine Passports and Systemic Racism

drive thru hospital staff checking patient  vaccination passport and certificate card vaccine covid-19 vaccine 2 dose  and immunization  drive thru concept

The regime’s logic is flawed and can be undone.

Our regime has recently revealed a major weakness. In demonstrating its limitless power to destroy people’s lives by calling them racist, while simultaneously forcing them to show digital proof of vaccination to participate fully in daily life, a vulnerable spot has been exposed. The vaccine passports are systemically racist, and this is no ordinary contradiction.

Systemic racism is a curious invention of a relatively new branch of Marxian Theory called Critical Race Theory (CRT). It is the name given to the putative cause of any difference in average outcomes that places whites, as a group, above any other racial category, especially blacks, on any societal metric. So, for example, if white people score better on the SAT on average than blacks, the SAT—and probably the education system and the entire society to boot—is systemically racist (but this conclusion does not follow from the fact that Asian-Americans of virtually all ethnic origins outperform whites on the same test—instead, Asian-Americans must be adjacent to or somehow uphold whiteness and that same systemic racism that allowed them to outperform blacks).

In the words of celebrated racial theorist Ibram X. Kendi—who calls for an “anti-racist” constitutional amendment—systemic racism holds that “racial inequity is evidence of racist policy.” Critical Race Theory is the art of using Marxian thinking to find systemic racism everywhere such a difference can be imagined to exist. Given that blacks are proportionally the least vaccinated racial demographic in the country, including that only 27% of young blacks (ages 18 to 44) and 44% of young Latinos are vaccinated in New York City—which intends to implement a VaxPass within a month—disparate outcomes seem highly likely.

Distrust for the vaccine among blacks isn’t just a fact of the world (and one unlikely to change without force); Critical Race Theorists have been cultivating it for years, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic began. The Tuskegee Experiment isn’t just an ugly fact of our nation’s history; it’s a CRT mainstay for pointing out systemic racism in medicine. According to the biggest medical associations and top medical journals in America, our medical system is rife with systemic racism. Medicine overall needs to “do better,” we are constantly told, with great administrative authority. The result of beating this Critical Race drum has been rampant distrust in the medical establishment and its agendas on the part of  younger blacks. As reported by Yahoo! News, the unvaccinated 44-year-old Black Lives Matter leader Hawk Newsome asks, “Since when does America give anything good to Black people first?”

The idea that vaccine passports are systemically racist in practice—it is after all axiomatic that racial inequity is evidence of racist policy—must ring true because Twitter has taken steps to suppress memes that spread the message. Not long after New York City mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city would be adopting vaccine passports, clever memesters began to disseminate graphics depicting sad-faced black people with satirical messages about having been laid off from their jobs, unable to enter restaurants to eat, with the passports themselves instantiating a real new Jim Crow.

It is certain that these things will all happen and some already are happening, but Twitter responded to the meme campaign by locking people out of their accounts for sharing them. Their rationale is that sharing these tweets spreads “misleading information about Covid-19.” This is not only the blatant censorship of satire and political opinion under a fraudulent banner of maintaining “public health,” but also the direct suppression of an inconvenient truth about the regime’s own hamfisted attempt at establishing tyranny. This, by the way, is the same Twitter whose CEO, Jack Dorsey, gave Kendi $10 million in July of 2020 to build an anti-racist center at Boston University, so one might believe that it is generally against, not for, propping up systemic racism. Nevertheless, they persisted—in suspending people for the clever memes.

The current regime claims to care for and protect “black and brown” people above all others, but its actual policies seem to work against this principle. Vaccine passports are systemically racist by the definition of their own cudgel, but the regime’s own narrative (applied elsewhere) already claims that the very IDs that would be needed to tie a vaccine passport to a unique individual are systemically racist against blacks and Latinos. The Biden administration has unconstitutionally extended the eviction moratorium, which disproportionately impacts black and Latino landlords. Last year’s “racial justice” mayhem, encouraged by Democrats, has mostly impacted black and Latino neighborhoods and small businesses. “Defund the police” is no different. It’s almost as though the radical left doesn’t really care about “systemic racism” or the people allegedly impacted by it at all—except as a convenient political tool by which to gain power.

These blatant contradictions are the Achilles’ heel of the regime, and the contradictions, as Marx would have it, must be sharpened. People in leadership positions like Jen Psaki, Cori Bush, Ibram Kendi, Jack Dorsey, and Joy-Ann Reid must publicly be asked how they can support vaccine passports, the eviction moratorium, and so much else that meet the definition of systemic racism. Do you support systemic racism? If you are against systemic racism, how can you support vaccine passports, which demonstrably meet the definition of systemic racism? Are you just pretending to care about minority groups when it suits you to use them for your political agendas (voter ID) and content to hurt them when it doesn’t (vaccine passports)?

The point of asking these questions isn’t the anodyne, media-savvy answers that will come back; it’s voicing the questions themselves publicly in front of people who have been taught that we must understand racism systemically and abhor it anywhere it arises. People who have learned from Ibram Kendi that “racial inequity,” disparate outcomes, “is evidence of racist policy” have every right to understand that if they support vaccine passports, then they support racist policy and are by definition systemically racist. In a country that has, at least for the moment, lost its belief in freedom, tyranny might yet be hoisted on its own petard.

The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.

The American Mind is a publication of the Claremont Institute, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to restoring the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life. Interested in supporting our work? Gifts to the Claremont Institute are tax-deductible.

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