2021-08-22 – Racism, Scapegoating and COVID-19

Scapegoating and pandemics go together. Jews were blamed for the Black Death. It should come as no surprise that the Lieutenant Governor of Texas blamed Blacks for COVID-19’s spread. Let me repeat that; on Thursday, August 19th, 2021, Dan Patrick, Lieutenant Governor of Texas, intentionally lied when he said that unvaccinated African Americans were the largest contributors to the growing spread of COVID-19. 

This is institutional racism. It is the official demonization of a segment of the population to deflect criticism of Whites who don’t get vaccinated. There are more unvaccinated White people in Texas than both vaccinated and unvaccinated Black people, so the statement is a bald-faced lie. But set aside the fact that it’s a lie; it’s almost irrelevant. This is an invitation to lynch people. Do we, as a country, really need this? Apparently, the current power structure sees the need to put lives in danger to retain their power. This action puts black lives at risk of violence and puts all lives at risk from the pandemic because it deflects attention from the real cause of the rise in cases; unvaccinated, unmasked people.

Dan Patrick must resign, but we can expect that he will receive support from his party and his political base and that his statements will actually strengthen his political position.