MSNBC’s The ReidOut Blog writer Ja’han Jones proposed an interesting theory for why “White people” are celebrating the end of the COVID-19 travel mask mandate: because of racism. He wrote, “They [White people] live in a nation that has long discarded Black life. “
Jones began his blog by commenting on the “bizarre, over-the-top celebrations” people had on planes over the end of the mandate and remarked, “There’s also been a notable silence about what’s likely behind the ruling.”
He then cited a recent study claiming that racism underlies this reaction, writing, “A study published last month found that white people often rejected Covid safety measures after learning that the disease disproportionately affects nonwhite people, yet you’d be hard-pressed to find any mention of this on TV news or in major print outlets. “
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In order to bolster the point, Jones pointed out that videos celebrating the mandate’s termination featured “mostly” White people.
“Videos seeming to show mostly white plane passengers excitedly cheering and unmasking midflight once the ruling came down gave the press a prime opening to discuss the racist impact of the United States’ Covid response,” he wrote, adding that news should have pointed this out .
“But most media evidently lack the appetite – or ability – to do so,” he wrote.
Then he connected the “mostly white” celebrations to America’s racism and former President Donald Trump. “They live in a nation that has long discarded Black life, and they’re acting on the hateful delusions of a former president – Donald Trump – whose administration was cavalier about the disproportionate number of Black deaths occurring on his watch,” he said.
“That cavalier attitude turned into victim-blaming as the Trump administration trotted out its beliefs for why the death rate from Covid was so high,” Jones added.
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He then argued that victim-blaming “helped cultivate a hyper-politicized, demonstrably racist approach to public health that many espouse today (even if they won’t say it aloud): Covid’s disparate impact on marginalized people isn’t my problem.”
Jones then went further, saying that Trump’s “racist Covid response” and that the judge who struck down the mandate on Monday are all part of that.
“US District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle – a Trump-appointee deemed ‘not qualified’ by the American Bar Association in 2020 – has continued that racist legacy with a ruling we know will have a disparate impact on nonwhite people,” he wrote.
He then added that the maskless celebrations could possibly be viewed as people rejoicing in freedom, but “it may well be freedom from the perceived indignity of having to follow those measures out of concern for a class of people they don’t respect.”
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Jones concluded his blog, writing, “White Americans have a tendency to reject things that are seen as beneficial to Black people. Covid health protections are no different.”