I’ve never had my head explode while driving before.
It’s scary, but not as scary as what made it explode. There I was, driving along after picking up some stuff at the 7-11. I was listening to the first game in a Toronto Blue Jays-New York Yankees double-header, and was cheered to find the Yankees losing with just a half-inning left to go. Then an ad came on right before the Yankee 7th. (Baseball has this hideous rule this season making double header games only seven innings, but my head had exploded over that long ago.) When I first posted this, I wrote that I couldn’t quote it exactly, and that I couldn’t find it online. But commenter Here’s Johnny did, and here it is.
The rest of the post now reflects the actual message, and not my fevered efforts to recall it.
The translation of this PSA would be,
“We know you fellow people of color don’t trust whites or the government institutions they control and we don’t blame you. You have every reason to be suspicious and in fear of these people, who are always trying to hurt you, your family, and your communities. However, we’re the right skin shade, and we are doctors, so you can trust us. There are many ways society is rigged against you, but not the pandemic vaccines. Believe us. We’re not white.“
This spot, broadcast during a Yankees baseball broadcast, clearly is based on the assumption that blacks and Hispanics don’t trust whites, and that the distrust is justified. It emphasized that these doctors could be trusted because they weren’t white. The PSA implicitly confirmed that systemic racism was victimizing the PSA’s intended audience, and that “people of color” were right to be suspicious and distrustful—but not of these doctors, because they were not the people who were harming them and who intended them harm.
I’m certain that whatever unethical individuals approved this text and its approach would argue that if it persuades recalcitrant blacks to be vaccinated, it’s worth increasing the racial divide, racial hate, racial distrust and the ripping apart of society.
It isn’t. This message, and the fact that professionals are proclaiming it, legitimizes the false and corrosive claims underlying Black Lives Matter, Critical Race Theory, and the demonizing of whites in the United States. This is the societal equivalent of playing catch with nitroglycerin.
It is wrong, incompetent, irresponsible, disrespectful, unfair and dishonest, and dangerous.