African Americans have wondered for centuries how to get their most stubborn and bigoted countrymen to use their common sense and sympathize with them. Each generation, free or enslaved, has brought forth the birth of new methods and the reconfiguration of old ones as a means of survival. The sycophantic slave or servant, the Negro spiritual, the nonviolent resistance movement, the pained slave narrative, poem, essay, speech, testimony, novel, painting, song, play, show, film, and other such cries for help are unfortunately integral to the Black experience’s past and present.
But in the twist of the millennium—nay, the Common Era—the future has been saved by the most unlikely of heroes: a global pandemic.
No Shots, No School
At first, COVID-19 seemed to only exacerbate racial issues. Disproportionate cases and deaths in the Black community highlighted the breadth of longstanding medical and economic inequality. These especially destructive effects of the pandemic are unsurprising as they further confirm the old adage that “when white folks catch a cold, Black folks get pneumonia.” What no one could’ve predicted, though, was how an attempt to curb those effects would make antiracist activists out of some of the most inactive Americans.
After DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that she planned to enforce a “no shots, no school” policy (that was postponed one month later) that would require public school students twelve and older to be vaccinated after the first twenty school days, several previously unconcerned conservatives and conservative organizations emerged as staunch defenders of social justice and common sense, noting that the policy disproportionately affects Black students as they’re less likely to be vaccinated. Fox News and libertarian magazine Reason, for example, said nothing of racial disparities at the height of the pandemic but leaped at the opportunity to suggest the Democratic mayor was a race and party traitor.
From Minecraft to Mandates
Chief among these reformed organizations and individuals is Douglas Blair of The Daily Signal, a news producer and journalist who published five attacks on Bowser in just over two weeks. Blair, whose previous writings on antiracism cast it as a tool of the woke, critical race theorist, Stalinist, snowflake, Radical Left, bemoaning a sense of the toxic far-Left ideology being peddled by everything from “Game of Thrones” and “Dungeons & Dragons” to “Minecraft,” is now rivaling perhaps only the late Martin Luther King Jr. in his commitment to the cause. Though his recent work in this vein centers on Bowser, it also perplexingly takes aim at civil rights organizations and Ibram X. Kendi, all of whom he regards as callously indifferent to the tragedy unfolding in the District. Luckily, we at least have him.
In one of the five pieces, he cites several statistics attesting to the reality of Black educational disparities to criticize the mandate while, in a blaze of profound irony, making no mention of the underlying factors responsible for those disparities. And thank God he didn’t—he was starting to sound like a critical race theorist.
The Saints Go Marching In
With Blair’s heart of gold in mind, it should come as no surprise that his employer, The Daily Signal, is unwaveringly obsessed with Donald Trump, being that he’s “the least racist person there is anywhere in the world.” It’s a big world, you know. It also shouldn’t be surprising that the saints at the Signal would never support someone careless and bigoted enough to repeatedly refuse to condemn white supremacist organizations. They couldn’t possibly get behind the concept of entertaining the support of the Ku Klux Klan or moronically associating all followers of Islam with terrorism, or anything like that. Instead, they just spend their time excusing actual terrorists while comparing the people trying to bring them to justice to Stalin.
The Daily Signal is published by The Heritage Foundation, a leading conservative think tank headquartered in DC that considerably influenced domestic and foreign policy making in the Trump, Reagan, and both Bush White Houses. While some other conservative tanks distanced themselves from Trump ahead of the 2016 election, The Heritage Foundation not only doubled down on their support but handpicked hundreds of players that ended up in his government and cabinet. They’ve bounded even further to the right since Trump’s loss in 2020 and changed leadership in 2021 after gathering a sense that their last president wasn’t racist enough.
But old Doug thinks that the real threat is our vaccine-happy mayor. Good luck trying to promote public health on his watch. I’m still struggling to decide what’s more shallow and self-serving between his bogus investment in equality and his belief that he’s personally responsible for the mandate’s postponement. Mind that this moral high-roading pabulum is published by the same organization that brought you “Seven Steps to Combatting [sic]“Critical Theory” in the Classroom,” an e-book that openly criticizes the common sense notion “the belief that racial oppression exists everywhere.” What a concept.
Perhaps Blair and the gang should stick to the basics for now.