Leading Christian Fascist Blames Black People for Spreading the COVID Pandemic

| revcom.us


On Thursday night, August 19, Dan Patrick, lieutenant governor of Texas and a leading Christian fascist Trump supporter, went on a talk show with white supremacist Fox “News” host Laura Ingraham. He claimed that unvaccinated Black people are the group most responsible for the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Patrick acknowledged that the virus is rampaging across Texas, and that most of the people catching and dying from it are unvaccinated. Then he sneered that the cause of this is that “the biggest group in most states are African Americans who have not been vaccinated. The last time I checked, over 90 percent of them vote for Democrats in their major cities and major counties.”

Time for a Fact Check

Patrick and other leading Texas fascists have said, when they are pressed, that people should get the vaccine, if that’s what they want, and wear a mask, if they choose to. After all, as Governor Greg Abbott has said repeatedly, it’s a matter of “personal responsibility.”1 But they have aggressively used the power of the state to penalize and punish city and county governments, school boards, and other institutions that seek to curtail and limit the contagion by mandating vaccines and masks.

The many measures Patrick and other Texas Republi-fascists have taken include executive orders preventing city and county governments from requiring that employees be vaccinated.2 They have prohibited local officials from requiring face masks indoors.3They have filed lawsuits against school districts that require employees be vaccinated,4 even as there is a surge in virus cases among children, and the CEO of the Texas Medical Center told a reporter that “We’re seeing the largest amount of children in our hospitals ... in the entire history of this pandemic. That’s really alarming, and these are very, very sick children.”5

And the worse the virus gets, the more they double down on their fascist assault. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, yet another Christian fascist, tweeted this week that “Over 50 TX gov’t entities have mandated masks in violation of law. I’m fighting all of it. San Antonio ISD has taken the even more egregious & illegal step of mandating vaccines for staff.”6

A Fascist Pandemic

It is true that in Texas and across the country, Black people have been vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus at a lower rate than whites.7 There are many reasons for this, including poor or no outreach by health officials, distance from hospitals and clinics, lack of public transportation, and others. But as the Houston Chronicle reported, “Most of the roughly 8 million people who have not been vaccinated [in Texas] are white. While exact numbers are difficult to determine, given Texas’ troubled history collecting race data on vaccines, it’s estimated that there are about three times as many white Texans as Black Texans who are eligible for the vaccine but may not have received it, about 4.9 million to 1.6 million, the state health department data shows.... The Census Bureau found that white adults are ... also significantly more likely to rule out getting the vaccine than any other group.”8

But this fight goes deeper than getting clarity on the need to get the facts straight, important as that is. There is a logic and direction to the outrageous claims by Dan Patrick and others that Black people are the main ones responsible for the spread of the fascist pandemic. Patrick is spewing vicious, racist lies, in service of a FASCIST pandemic.

Demonizing entire groups of oppressed people for supposedly being carriers of deadly diseases is a hallmark of fascism, and has been a prelude to outright genocide. In Nazi Germany, Jews were referred to as “vermin,” as “lice” who carried diseases and infected healthy Germans; movies were made depicting Jewish people as rats. In this country, beginning in 1917, the U.S. used toxic chemicals and pesticides to “bathe” Mexican people seeking work in El Paso, Texas.9 One of the chemicals they used was Zyklon B, later taken up by the Nazis for use in the gas chambers that killed millions of Jews and others. When Donald Trump was running for president, he bellowed that “infectious disease is pouring across the border,” carried by immigrants seeking work in this country, and used that as a pretext for vicious persecution and repression of immigrants. And now Patrick and other fascists are placing blame on Black people for the spread of a virus that has killed about 625,000 people in this country.


1. As COVID-19 surges, Gov. Abbott maintains ‘personal respons [back]

2. Abbott Recommits To Making Sure Vaccines And Masks Aren't Mandated In Texas, KUT News, July 29, 2021 [back]

3. Gov. Greg Abbott bars mandates for vaccinations and masks in Texas,New York Times, August 14, 2021 [back]

4. Texas Attorney General sues San Antonio ISD over COVID-19 vaccine mandate for staff, KSAT, August 19, 2021 [back]

5. As Texas Schools Reopen, Kids With COVID-19 Are Filling Hospitals In Record Numbers, Houston Public Media, August 20, 2021 [back]

6. Ken Paxton Twitter feed [back]

7. Latest Data on COVID-19 Vaccinations by Race/Ethnicity, KFF.org, August 18, 2021 [back]

8. Fact-checking Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's false claim that Black Texans are driving COVID surge, Houston Chronicle, August 20, 2021 [back]

9. The dark history of “gasoline baths” at the border, Vox, July 29, 2019 [back]



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