President Joe Biden’s latest COVID-19 mandate appears to have cost him a key ally.
Exposing some rare common ground with conservative Republicans, one Black Lives Matter leader is threatening an “uprising” against federal COVID-19 policies and similar mandates implemented in New York City. Chivona Newsome, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, explained her position in a statement this week.
“The most disrespectful thing I’ve ever seen”
“We’re putting this city on notice that your mandate will not be another racist social distance practice,” she said. “Black people are not going to stand by, or you will see another uprising. And that is not a threat. That is a promise.”
The BLM chapter’s chairman, Hawk Newsome, is also speaking out against coronavirus mandates, insisting that they “should be removed completely” because they are inherently racist.
He also took issue with the fact that New York has removed the religious exemption to such mandates.
“How dare they remove religious exemptions?” he asked. “It’s the most disrespectful thing I’ve ever seen. Now the government has decided your God doesn’t matter? I love God.”
In some areas of the country, Black Americans have a lower vaccination rate than other races. Statistics show this is the case in New York.
“You ain’t Black”
Polls also show that some in the Black community are turning away from Democratic leaders who have implemented vaccine mandates. According to the Morning Consult, a survey found that Biden’s approval rating has dropped 12 percentage points since he implemented his most recent decree.
Among unvaccinated Blacks, the dip is more pronounced. The president’s popularity has slipped 17 percentage points among that demographic.
Given the Democratic Party’s important link to Black voters, COVID-19 mandates could prove to be a major issue heading into next year’s midterm elections.
During the presidential election, Biden drew some harsh opprobrium for a remark that seemed to acknowledge he took Black voters for granted.
He sat down for a radio interview in May 2020 and urged undecided voters to study his record, adding: “Well, I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black.”