Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Dallas’ vaccination discrimination

NDG Editorial

‘Hey, Honorable Mr. Jenkins, some Black folks are dying needlessly; not because of COVID … but because they can’t get an appointment!’

Those trying to get through to the Dallas County phone line to register for vaccines must know by now; it is truly a test of your resiliency. The audio is your first clue you’re in trouble. The greeting states there is a possibility the call will auto hang up because of the demands on the system.

Candidly, it’s more than a possibility but a certainty you will be disconnected. You’ve got to know, they know … because they told you up front it was going to happen.

Hear the message callers are getting right here:

Why would county officials be okay with the citizens’ sponsored phone system hanging up on the folks paying the bill?

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins is blaming Texas Governor Greg Abbott for slighting the allocation of vaccines to Dallas County; as in a Democratically blue voting block. Governor Abbot is an embarrassment to himself. He has nothing to do with this insensitivity and inability to get an appointment. That process exacerbates, frustrates and angers Black folks who desire to participate in the vaccine program. They are met with second class citizenship — if service is available at all to them — in Dallas county government for some.

Why are private health service providers more efficient administering the vaccines?

NDG readers have indicated they have actually missed appointments with private vendors, but still were able to get timely shots. The process was much more proficient. People of color are left with an outdated, inept county bureaucratic system which gives favor to selective residents to receive vaccines. NDG readers called the office after viewing long lines through media accounts. It’s next to impossible not to have noticed who we see who in the lines too. The optics give credence to a well established pattern.

Vehicles line up early in Fair Park to get access to the COVID-19 vaccine. (Breanne Holley / NDG)

 

There are two healthcare systems in America; a black one and a white one. What’s so galling about this pandemic inequity, they are denying communities of color the benefits of our tax own paying dollars.

The media has got to stop intimating that people of color do not want the shot. That too, has caused a lot of confusion. The Black community has struggled with the decision; with good cause given the backdrop of America’s history of using Black folks as guinea pigs for scientific studies. Yet, there are more than a few people of color who seek the shot, but have been systematically excluded from access to vaccines to date.

Where are the voices our black elected officials speaking out about this travesty?

Is it because our elected officials already got COVID Immunization shots. So, in the spirit of Uncle Clarence Thomas, residents of Dallas County need to “pull themselves up … by their own boot straps”. Further, to coin a phrase from the late immortal, Ms. Billie Holliday, “God bless the child … who got his and /or her own shot.” Paraphrasing of course … but, this is deadly stuff folks.

Several weeks ago, in the aftermath of Dallas County officials discovered a bias in distribution of vaccines to recipients of more affluent zip codes, they attempted to correct this bias. Governor Greg Abbott threatened to reallocate Dallas’ vaccine allotment.

No Black officials publicly stepped up to remind Governor Abbott and County Judge Clay Jenkins where vaccines originated from. We as tax-paying citizens of these United States should no longer tolerate our “hard earned” tax dollars being used to advance priorities over our communities. This is yet another example of where we get a backseat to needed benefits of public policy. Officials, we duly elected, just caved in to the Texas Governor’s threat. As result, “Governor Genocide” is free to continue practicing and ignoring science along with health advisories from experts in public health.

Where was the cry to the Federal government regarding Texas’ and Dallas County’s discriminatory practices in allocating the vaccine? We expect more from our elected officials, we need them to act, NOW!

An opportunity is within the headlights to weigh in on the Governor’s Office in the 2022 general election. Until then, we can start with May 1, 2021 to expect and make changes to communities’ priorities. That is a good place to start holding non-responsive politicians to our interest accountable. This pandemic has shined a light on just how incompetent our county, city and state government officials are. They appear indifferent and lack urgency, advocacy, and are deaf to the Black Community’s health crisis; and who haven’t experienced the pain of losing loved ones, gone to soon, amidst an ever-mounting death count.

It’s time to take a “real inquisitive look” at our would-be leaders in upcoming future elections … including some well known established office holders … an upfront view for the first time has become paramount!

Time expiration should become a new prerequisite factor when considering whether to re-elect under-performing office holders for no other reason than “name brand” only. It’s our opinion, a serious look should be taken at Dallas County’s top job … yes, the Dallas County Judge. The mayor of Dallas County’s office along with some diligent vetting for down ballot officeholders that lack vision in the worst health crisis in our lifetime to date.

The community has every right to expect elected officials to behave responsibly in our best interest. Black officials seem to have spent most of their efforts registering persons in the community for the shot, but are clueless of a timetable when an appointment actually occurs. They don’t seem to be asking the right questions.

Keep the faith…….

1 COMMENT

  1. i’m black i resent this article My coworkers black/white/brown got our covid vaccine at Baylor because we were phase 1b my family got covid vaccine at fair park It is articles like this that cause division and hate.

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