Roxanne Jones , founding editor of ESPN Magazine and former vice president of ESPN, was a producer , reporter and editor for the New York Daily News and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Jones is co-author of" Say it Loud: An Illustrated History of the Black Athlete ."She talks about politics, sports and culture every week at 900AM WURD in Philadelphia. The opinions expressed here are solely hers. See more opinion on CNN.
" It's a simple basic proposition, "President Joe Biden said Wednesday night during his town hall on CNN, arguing that getting the Covid-19 vaccine was an easy decision .
Roxanne Jones After all, he reminded us, over 600,000 Americans have died , more people than in all US wars combined Based on the statistics, Biden told the invitation-only crowd at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, Ohio, that recent data on Covid-19 deaths tells us.ent that an overwhelming majority of them are people who have not been vaccinated. "We have a pandemic , for those who have not received a vaccine"said Biden.
Read more This is maybe so, but for many black Americans, who according to the Kaiser Family Foundation , have some of the lowest immunization rates, deciding whether or not to immunize is far from easy. Regardless of age, education, and economic level, black people I know are torn apart. Torn between getting vaccinated, which means trusting a government that has sanctioned for generations violence, murder and denial of black rights, or, skipping the vaccine, putting on a mask and relying on faith blind man who brought them here, in plaughing for the virus to pass them by. Biden acknowledged the government's deep mistrust in black communities, telling host Don Lemon and the audience he understood where the mistrust came from."Just go back, right back to WWII, African Americans, they were almost like guinea pigs ... Your mom and dad remember that. Biden n'still has no place on these issues His words remind me of a recent argument I had with a dear friend who refused to be vaccinated. I had been vaccinated a month earlier, overcoming my initial hesitations mainly because I wanted to see my mom and other older relatives."You don't understand how scared I am to trust the US government"he told me, after I accused him of being selfish and riskinglife of others. Although he saw his friends and family die from Covid-19, he still believed in misinformation on social media."The virus is a hoax. It is tested on black people. We cannot trust it," he told me, repeating stories he had heard. So he continued to work and socialize with his family and friends, convinced that the virus would pass him by. This was not the case. Unfortunately, these will be the last words we spoke. A few days later, he tested positive for Covid-19. According to the Kaiser report,"persistent decline in vaccine numbers tion rates among blacks and Hispanics compared to their white counterparts in most states put them at increased risk, especially as the variant spreads. ."Biden was right last night to take government mistrust seriously. A distrust that had existed for a long time before the invention ofs social media, especially in black and brown communities. But President Biden is making a difference. It was an encouraging sign recently in my Brooklyn neighborhood to see members of the local community registering neighbors for vaccinations nated along the block - at laundromats, local convenience store, restaurants outside. . It seems that there are test sites on almost every corner. Get our free weekly newsletter
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After conspiracy theories and mechancity of Pres Identifying the years of Donald Trump, Biden's compassionate and sane approach to how we can build trust in government is reassuring. It starts locally: neighbors trust their neighbors, friends help friends and save lives block by block.