Welcome to the new Jim Crow. Vaccine passports are racist


As we continue to debate the wisdom or fairness of establishing a system of immunity passports allowing the vaccinated to return to normal life while the rest are left behind, one curious aspect of these proposed systems is coming to light. The New York Post editorial board points us to a few observations from Dominic Green at Spectator USA. One thing we know about the rollout of COVID vaccinations across the country is that white people are being vaccinated at significantly higher per capita rates than Blacks or Hispanics. Whether this is a result of greater rates of vaccine hesitancy among minorities or uneven distribution of the vials as they become available is a matter you are free to debate. But the underlying numbers haven’t changed. Black people in particular are being vaccinated more slowly than whites. That means that significantly fewer Black people will be qualified to receive immunity passports and will be denied access to many public events as society continues to reopen. So doesn’t that mean that vaccine passports are… racist?

At Spectator USA, Dominic Green takes aim at the drive to establish “vaccine passports” to, for example, “exclude the unvaccinated from attending sporting events.” Crucially, “the unvaccinated are disproportionately poor and non-white. So they would suffer most from vaccine-based exclusions. In functional terms, mandatory vaccination passports would be the Jim Eagle of class and race discrimination.” An administration obsessed with things like minority voting rights “is floating a proposal to bureaucratically disenfranchise black people. This is incoherent, knee-jerk control-freakery.” It leaves you “feeling that we’re governed by fools.”

If that sounds like buffoonery to you, you’ve probably been paying attention to everything else that the radical left has been trying to lecture us about for years. But that’s how this game is played in the 21st century, right? If something impacts communities of color in a statistically greater fashion than white communities, then it has to be racist by definition. We’ve been assured of this repeatedly. So turning away larger numbers of Black fans wishing to attend the next Knicks game in New York City because they can’t qualify for an Excelsior Pass is an example of the state government enacting racist policies. Don’t try to argue about this, Democrats. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

This is the same as saying the war on drugs is racist because arrests take place disproportionately in communities of color. You’ve heard people saying the same thing about traffic tickets. But now we’re talking about something that actually matters. The federal government is working on taking immunity passports to the national level after they’ve already been put in place in New York State. And if you don’t have one, you are going to be out of luck when it comes to participating in many nonessential activities or being able to get on a plane or any form of public transportation.

Even if you manage to get on a plane, if your destination is Sin City, you may find yourself out in the cold when you arrive. Yes, immunity passports are already being set up in Las Vegas.

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Health service company Reviv Global has launched its Heliix Health Passport in Las Vegas. The mobile app uses an encrypted code to show the results of a recent COVID-19 test, and could be implemented at hospitality venues such as restaurants, conventions, nightclubs and shows.

Julia Miles, Reviv’s commercial operations director, said the company is in “extended talks” with a number of major Las Vegas hotel-casino operators. So far, conversations have focused largely around using the technology to make sure resort or convention guests have recently tested negative for COVID-19 at one of Reviv’s local testing centers.

The Reviv system that’s taking shape in Vegas is at least slightly better than some of the others. If you haven’t been vaccinated you can go to one of their centers and pay to have a COVID test done. If you produce a negative result, you can rent an immunity passport for a couple of days. If you’re staying longer, you’ll need to go back and be retested periodically. That’s a major pain in the neck, but it’s better than being locked out entirely. Of course, we would expect Las Vegas to take a more reasonable approach because it’s one of the most capitalist cities in the world. They don’t want to shut out large numbers of people who are waiting to enter the casinos and lose all of their money.

In any event, this is where things stand today. If our nation’s elected officials want to try to make this a permanent part of “the new normal,” we need to be storming the gates (figuratively) during the next election cycle. This is not freedom. This is not American. This is simply tyranny.

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