By Rev. AI Sharpton
Black women can have discussions on vaccinations, but to call Joy-Ann Reid names–who has stood for and symbolized Black excellence–is unfair and unwarranted. Joy-Ann has done superior journalism and advocacy with integrity and should be protected and supported.
Though we respect Nicki Minaj as an artist and a woman of color breaking barriers in entertainment and leading in her field, we would hope that she would seek dialogue with Joy-Ann rather than denigrate her. We need her art and we critically need Joy-Ann’s continued journalism and her platform to amplify the conscious voice of Black women and push the issues to keep them relevant and vocal in prime time media.
The COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately impacting Black and Brown communities worldwide and vaccine education is crucial to saving lives. In the wake of a week where information was reduced to memes and false information perpetuated by a popular female rapper and the GOP, there needs to be a reality check on the information superhighway. In fact, according to scientists there is no credible evidence demonstrating that any of the COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. negatively impact male fertility. Further- more, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, there is no established link between COVID-19 vaccines and lower sperm counts.
According to research as of late July 2021, Black and Hispanic people remain less likely than their White counterparts to have received a vac- cine, leaving them at increased risk, particularly as the variant spreads. Therefore, it’s imperative that credible information resonates and we not validate false narratives spread by uninformed individuals in the name of click bait.
Let us be reminded the Tuskegee experiments often cited as a reason for not taking the vaccine is a historically twisted narrative. Those who were experimented on and forced to suffer didn’t get sick because of a vaccine but due to a lack of treatment. We must dispel misinformation to keep moving forward. Wear your masks, wash your hands, and spread factual vaccine information so Americans are properly informed when making the choice to get vaccinated.
National Action Network has been diligently working in communities across the country to spread vaccine awareness. Visit www.nationalactionnetwork.net for more information