To Take Or Not To Take The Vaccine…

One crit­i­cal les­son that I have learned in my life is to lis­ten more and talk less. I real­ized this many years ago as I lis­tened to peo­ple tell their sto­ries when I was involved in law-enforce­ment inves­ti­ga­tions. I real­ized ear­ly that if I lis­tened more and allowed peo­ple to talk, they would tell me what­ev­er I need­ed to know.
I also learned that if you real­ly want to get to the truth, you must allow peo­ple to explain their side of the sto­ry, and if you do, you will walk away with a good idea if they are lying.
After all, it is good to lis­ten, even a bro­ken clock is right twice each day, so there is that.

I said the fore­gone to speak a lit­tle on a sub­ject that I have no train­ing or exper­tise on.….… the sub­ject of vaccines.
Across the globe, coun­tries are going through vary­ing stages of the COVID-19 virus and its variants.
Like pret­ty much all of the oth­er coun­tries, the United States, my adopt­ed home, and Jamaica, my coun­try of birth, are expe­ri­enc­ing their own prob­lems with curb­ing the virus.
Two of the issues that have seri­ous­ly impact­ed how cit­i­zens treat the warn­ings from the experts in the United States have been (a) politi­ciza­tion by the Donald Trump régime & (b) mis­trust of vac­cines by cer­tain pop­u­la­tion segments.
Trump believed that if he down­played the dan­ger the virus posed, he would be able to fool the pop­u­lace, and he would cruise to reelec­tion vic­to­ry in 2020. It did not turn out that way, and as a result, over half a mil­lion peo­ple died, many arguably who would not have died had he done due dili­gence to inform the coun­try about the dan­gers of the dead­ly virus.
Donald Trump’s lies caused his sup­port­ers, more than a third of the pop­u­la­tion, not to take the dis­tanc­ing and mask rec­om­men­da­tions seri­ous­ly. In addi­tion to that, he held mass ral­lies geared at his reelec­tion that experts said were super­spread­er events.

There are now sev­er­al vac­cines on the mar­ket; the Biden admin­is­tra­tion promised that in his first one hun­dred days in office, 100 mil­lion peo­ple would be vac­ci­nat­ed due to his one mil­lion per day pledge.
But with a nation of 330 mil­lion and a huge swath of the pop­u­la­tion leary of vac­cines, how will the new pres­i­dent accom­plish that goal?
New data show that a major­i­ty of white men say they will not accept the vac­cine. If the men aren’t will­ing to take the vac­cine, it is prob­a­bly fair to assume that a large per­cent­age of the women in their lives will also refuse to take the vaccine.
For some white men, the rea­son for their refusal to accept the vac­cine may be their free-spir­it and a refusal to con­form to any­thing that has a hint of a gov­ern­ment man­date. Others may be refus­ing to take the vac­cine on reli­gious grounds.
Then there is the African-American com­mu­ni­ty, rough­ly 40 mil­lion peo­ple that the American Government has burned at dif­fer­ent stages with vac­cines and treat­ments designed to destroy them.
How will this 40 mil­lion come around to trust­ing a gov­ern­ment that has done so much harm to them?

One of the strongest argu­ments that the anti-vax crowd has in its arse­nal is that the gov­ern­ment has nev­er allowed a tragedy to go un-exploited.
I sup­pose that if you do not believe that, you are not pay­ing atten­tion. After the September 11h 2001 attacks, George Bush and his cronies gave us the Patriot Act, a law which all but took away what lit­tle free­doms we had left — — This was done under the guise of keep­ing us safe.
A recent Pew Research Center sur­vey found that only 72% of Americans would prob­a­bly or def­i­nite­ly get a coro­n­avirus vac­cine if it were avail­able. And that fig­ure is even low­er among Black Americans, at 54%.
Writing for quartz Olivia Goodhill said the fol­low­ing; Meanwhile, the same US Public Health Service was con­duct­ing the infa­mous Tuskegee Study. As part of a pur­port­ed study on syphilis, Black men in Alabama were lied to, denied treat­ment, and left to die. “If Black peo­ple were sus­pi­cious of the polio vac­cine, it’s because eugen­ics was still hap­pen­ing in this coun­try at the time,” says Terence Keel, pro­fes­sor at UCLA’s Institute for Society & Genetics and depart­ment of African American stud­ies. Forced or coerced ster­il­iza­tions of poor, Black women were so com­mon they were known as “Mississippi appendectomies.
Medical racism is still preva­lent today. Black and Latino peo­ple have been killed by coro­n­avirus at dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly high rates across the US. And racial dis­par­i­ties are evi­dent across the med­ical field as a whole: Death rates from breast can­cer are 40% high­er among Black women than white women, for exam­ple, while Black moth­ers die in child­birth at three to four times the rate of white women.

As we pon­der these facts, it becomes even more imper­a­tive that we rec­og­nize how impor­tant it is that every per­son is allowed the time and space to make their own deci­sion about tak­ing the vac­cine, even as we are cog­nizant of the impli­ca­tions of non-action.
Many peo­ple, includ­ing those on the right, are extreme­ly wary of the gov­ern­men­t’s propen­si­ty to overreach.
People want to be able to make that deci­sion for them­selves with­out gov­ern­ment man­dates. As I said before, even a bro­ken clock is right twice each day.
Many Trump sup­port­ers are the worst mes­sen­gers to be con­vey­ing the mes­sage that soon we will not be allowed on air­planes and in restau­rants or gov­ern­ment build­ings or any­where else for that mat­ter, unless we can all pro­duce a CODID ‑Passport.
But are they wrong?
So you have nev­er heard of a covid-pass­port? This is a term already being bandied about in European cap­i­tals, so make sure that you sat­is­fy those require­ments before you decide to book your European vacation.

Jamaicans are prob­a­bly one of the few nations of blacks that can­not be accused of not read­ing. Well, let me rephrase that. Not all of us are vora­cious read­ers, but we are all vora­cious con­sumers and dis­sem­i­na­tors of information.
It fol­lows, there­fore, that peo­ple in Jamaica would have strong opin­ions on the use of vac­cines based on their own per­cep­tions of what hap­pened to American Blacks at the hands of their own gov­ern­ment through the use of vaccines.
Every indi­vid­ual will have to choose whether they want to accept a vac­cine hop­ing that they will be inoc­u­lat­ed against a poten­tial­ly dead­ly virus with­out know­ing the poten­tial long-term con­se­quences to their health or hope that they will not get the virus.
Some believe the virus was cre­at­ed so that peo­ple could be forced to take a vac­cine with ele­ments that give the gov­ern­ment con­trol of their lives.
The idea that gov­ern­ments are con­sid­er­ing lim­it­ing peo­ple’s move­ments unless they have a COVID-Passport adds fuel to that fire.
People of faith adamant­ly believe they are liv­ing the prophe­cy of the Bible; in Revelation 13:17, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark — the name of the beast or the num­ber of its name.
Since no one is forc­ing those who are will­ing and accept­ing of what the vac­cine has to offer not to take it, should­n’t those who think oth­er­wise be afford­ed the same respect?
Even if you believe they are yahoos who are far too unin­tel­li­gent to be rea­soned with, don’t you believe they have a right to their beliefs?
I do !!!




Mike Beckles is a for­mer Police Detective, busi­ness­man, free­lance writer, black achiev­er hon­oree, and cre­ator of the blog mike​beck​les​.com.