One of the mysteries yet to be solved in the coronavirus pandemic is why African Americans and Hispanics are more susceptible to getting infected and becoming ill.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams had no answers when asked about it. But he implored minorities to heed the directives from the CDC about protecting against becoming infected.
“I want to close by saying while your state and local health departments and those of us in public service are working day and night to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and to protect you regardless of your color, your creed, or your geography, I need you to know that you’re not helpless and that it’s even more important in communities of color, we adhere to the task force guidelines to slow the spread,” Adams said. “Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. And call your friends and family. Check on your mother, she wants to hear from you right now.”
“And speaking of mothers, we need you to do this if not for yourself than for your abuela. Do it for your granddaddy. Do it for your Big Mama. Do it for your Pop-Pop. We need you to understand, especially in communities of [color], we need you to step up and help stop the spread so that we can protect those who are most vulnerable.”
Adams, who happens to be black, was immediately attacked by PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor, who claimed that “there are some people online” already offended by his remarks.
“You said that African Americans and Latinos should avoid alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. You also said do it for your abuela, do it for Big Mama and Pop-Pop. There are some people online who are already offended by that language and the idea that you’re saying that behaviors might be leading to these high death rates,” Alcindor told Adams. “Do you, I guess, have a response to people who might be offended by the language that you used?”
Just who is it who was “offended”? Alcindor tweeted out right after Adams made his “big mama” remark that “some will find this language offensive” even before anyone had a chance to comment on it. That idea, and the idea that a black surgeon general would use “offensive” language in any context, is absurd.
.@Yamiche Alcindor lecturing the Surgeon General of the United States as a member of the P.C. Police is pretty pathetic.
And never forget — she works for PBS, so she's doing this on OUR behalf as taxpayers
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) April 10, 2020
Context: As a Latino that's not obtuse and understands what the Surgeon General is trying to say, ie: giving tips to save lives, I did not find this offensive. https://t.co/4NCETpCY1v
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) April 10, 2020
This is the dumbest question I've ever heard.@Yamiche says people are "offended" by the Surgeon General saying "big momma" and "pop pop" and asks him to address those he's "offended." pic.twitter.com/yLePXzw0zd
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) April 10, 2020
Adams slapped Alcindor down. Fox News:
“I have a Puerto Rican brother-in-law. I call my Grand Daddy ‘Grand Daddy.’ I have relatives who call their grandparents ‘Big Mama.’ So that was not meant to be offensive, that is the language that we use and that I use and we need to continue to target our outreach to those communities,” Adams explained. “It is critically important that they understand that it’s not just about them and I was very clear about that. It’s not just about what you do, but you also are not helpless.”
He continued, “We need everyone — black, brown, white, whatever color you are — to follow the president’s guidelines, the coronavirus guidelines and do their part because when I talked to the NAACP three weeks ago, it’s important to note that one of the things that they asked me was will you help dispel the myths in this community that people actually can’t get coronavirus if they’re black. That was a myth that was out there that’s actually very important for us to squash here.”
Whenever a reporter or activist begins with “some people are offended,” you naturally might wonder “who” would be offended. The reporter or activist will never give actual citations or evidence at all for such a statement. What they mean by claiming offense is that they are instructing people to be offended, not that anyone is really offended at all.
When I use the term “illegal alien,” I get at least one person in the comments who scores me for using “offensive” language. I’m sorry, but no illegal alien has ever approached me and told me that I’m hurting their feelings or offending them by using that term. So the question I have is, Why shelve a perfectly good description of someone who enters the country illegally because an imaginary offense is given?
Alcindor tried to shame the surgeon general for attempting to reach people of color with the message to stay safe and was mercilessly mocked for her stupidity.