Why Are We Ignoring That Vaccine Passports Are Racism In Action?

This time last year, we were told vaccine passports would never happen. They were relegated, as so many things are these days, to misinformation or conspiracy-theorist-nonsense. But surprise surprise, they’re happening.

By Gwen Farrell3 min read
Why Are We Ignoring That Vaccine Passports Are Racism In Action

Unsurprisingly, their biggest proponents are ignoring the actual issue staring us all in the face. Vaccine passports overwhelmingly affect the unvaccinated populations the most, obviously. But when we take a hard look at the numbers, it’s hard not to ask: Why are we ignoring that vaccine passports are racism in action?

Unvaxxed Populations, Broken Down

Ask the mainstream media who’s not getting vaccinated, and the consensus is that white, Q-anon adhering individuals are the ones eschewing the jab and therefore putting all of us (even the healthy, able-bodied ones) in jeopardy. Unfortunately, that narrative is entirely false. 

In a report titled “Covid-19 Vaccine Equity for Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups,” the CDC essentially sums it all up: “Some black or African American people and Hispanic or Latino people are less likely to be vaccinated against Covid-19 than people in other racial and ethnic minority groups and non-Hispanic white people.” You can take a look at the actual graphics here, but for all intents and purposes, white individuals who’ve received at least one dose of the vaccine outweigh their black and Hispanic counterparts by nearly 35%. Additionally, fully vaccinated individuals who are white or non-Hispanic number 50% more than black or Hispanic individuals who have received both shots.

White individuals with one dose of the vaccine outweigh their black and Hispanic counterparts by nearly 35%. 

As usual, the scapegoat is racism. Many outlets and media sources report that the only reason vaccine rates are so low in these communities is because of a lack of “equity,” or in plain terms, systemic racism in healthcare. The CDC and other big names in the business completely reject the idea that these communities could mistrust the vaccine or the institutions pushing them – heaven forbid these individuals are able to make their own decisions regarding their own health, regardless of the domineering input of the Covid establishment. But when you think historically about how both black and Hispanic people have been subjected to medical experimentation in the past, it’s completely understandable that these populations are hesitant.

Recognizing Actual Discrimination

When we’re continuously bombarded with quote-unquote “racist” or discriminatory material from all sides, it can be hard to recognize or see what that actually looks like in action. With that in mind, it’s almost fortunate that vaccine passports have arrived to remind us.

In the traditional sense (i.e., before modern progressivism got ahold of the definition), racist practices are geared towards intentionally and pointedly excluding certain groups based on certain prejudices – prejudice referring to our feelings towards someone based on their belonging to a specific category or classification. The prejudice in question here is vaccinated versus unvaccinated. So why aren’t vaccine passes and passports considered racist?

If the goal was to keep people of color out of public spaces while tanking the economy, they’ve succeeded.

Take New Orleans. The city thrives on its entertainment and tourism industries. In fact, pre-pandemic, the tourism sector in New Orleans accounted for hundreds of thousands of jobs, reports a study. With the arrival of imposed lockdowns in the city, tourism and entertainment seriously suffered. In November of last year, city officials reported that the city was losing an estimated $125 million per week.  

Now let’s take a look at the population. Black Americans account for almost 60% of New Orleans’ racial makeup, according to a census report from 2019.

Meanwhile, New Orleans has joined other major cities like San Francisco (black population 5.2%, Hispanic, 15.2%) and New York (black population 24.3%, Hispanic, 29.1%) in implementing vaccine passports, which are needed – that or a negative Covid test within 72 hours – to enter bars, restaurants, gyms, sporting events, concerts, and many other venues. City bureaucracy argued that this was the most effective way to curb Covid spread while not shutting down, but is it really?

Perhaps this was the city’s motivation, but if their goal was to also keep people of color out of public spaces while simultaneously tanking their economy further, they’ve succeeded.

Is This the Future?

Proof of vaccination might be understandable if you were thinking of traveling abroad, but most of us probably didn’t think it would inhibit our abilities to go to dinner with family or get drinks and go to a concert with friends.

Believe it or not, it’s not just conservative sources that are decrying these measures. Even the ACLU has voiced their concern, saying that New Orleans’ newest steps completely reject the concept of privacy, or medical confidentiality between a patient and their healthcare provider. “Nobody is demanding we provide proof of measles vaccination everywhere we go,” says the noted civil liberties group.

Nobody is demanding we provide proof of measles vaccination everywhere we go.

And therein lies the issue. Measures that often proclaim to be for the collective good threaten the rights of the individual. And what is the realistic point of vaccine passports or proof of negative tests if vaccinated individuals continue to test positive for the virus and so-called “breakthrough” cases continue to be recorded?

It isn’t just civil rights groups or right-leaning voices who should be concerned about this. As with any controversial measure, the question we have to ask is, if the opposing side were implementing this, would we approve of it then?

Strict passport systems continue to be introduced in Europe. It’s likely that more American cities will follow. But in all these conversations, there’s been little to no discussion whatsoever of privacy, individual security, and how this can potentially disrupt an already vulnerable economy.

Closing Thoughts

Many firmly believe that vaccine passports are not only the right way to go, but that they’ll do what an initial “two weeks to curb the spread” couldn’t do. However, there are much larger sociological and economic connotations here that the biggest proponents of these measures just aren’t acknowledging, or are straight up ignoring.

The choice to vaccinate isn’t the responsibility of the state. It’s the informed or convicted decision of each individual, and minority groups shouldn’t be penalized or slowly excluded from society on the basis of their own right to choose.

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