The radical group Black Lives Matter of Greater New York is strongly denouncing New York City’s vaccine mandates and vaccine mandates as a whole as discriminatory and calling for them to be abolished nationwide.
Hawk Newsome, who founded the organization, organized a protest outside an NYC restaurant after three black women were arrested for assaulting a waitress in Manhattan who had asked for vaccine verification.
“You will not use these vax passports to cover up you racist ways to cover up for your discrimination,” he charged.
At Carmines restaurants in NYC Hawk Newsome @IamHawkNewsome states " YOU WILL NOT USE THESE VAX PASSPORTS TO COVER UP YOUR RACIST WAYS TO COVER UP FOR YOUR DISCRIMINATION "
Hawk states that carmines lied and used the vax card as an excuse #VaccinePassports #blm #NYC pic.twitter.com/CzJ9kcy3za
— Leeroy Johnson (@LeeroyPress) September 20, 2021
“We are not anti-vaxxers. Some of us are vaccinated,” Newsome told The Washington Examiner. “It’s an individual’s choice. No one should be forced to put something in their body.”
“It’s black people who have a natural distrust of the vaccine,” he said, pointing to the Tuskeegee Syphilis Study as one of the reasons. The notorious study, which took place across several decades and involved hundreds of black men, many of whom were poor sharecroppers who had never been to a doctor, were promised free health care while many were left deliberately untreated without their knowledge so researchers could learn more about the progression of the disease.
In New York City, over 70% of black people between the ages of 18 and 44 have not gotten the COVID-19 vaccine, and this distrust is a major factor. Another reason is religious objections and Newsome, a Baptist, says that the absence of a religious conviction is outrageous.
“How dare they remove religious exemptions? It’s the most disrespectful thing I’ve ever seen,” he said. “Now the government has decided your God doesn’t matter? I love God.”
He believes that vaccine mandates will inevitably lead to discrimination and his organization advocates for such requirements to be completely abolished.
“I think, in a perfect world, [vaccine requirements] should be business by business. But it could be a slippery slope, so the mandate should be removed completely,” he explained. “It’s not gonna be white men in suits on Wall Street who are gonna get stopped. There’s such hypocrisy in this thing.”
Newsome gained notoriety in 2020 after declaring that black people were going to “burn this system down” amid the George Floyd protests. He’s also referred to Jesus Christ as “the most famous black radical revolutionary in history.”
So he was adamant that his vehement objection to vaccine mandates is not in alignment with right-wing values. Yet he was also clear that he doesn’t trust the mainstream left, either.
“I’m a follower of Malcolm X,” he explained. “Malcolm X didn’t trust the Republicans, but he also didn’t trust the Democrats.”
“Do we agree with the Right? No,” the activist continued, making clear that he believes the GOP platform is established on the oppression of black people. Yet he charged that the black community is being intentionally sidelined by Democratic politicians.
“It fits a narrative to say crazy Trumpsters are the only ones who don’t want to take the vaccine,” he declared.
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