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If You Don’t Want To Get The Vaccine, Just Say You Don’t Want To Get The Shot

By News Creatives Authors , in Leadership , at September 20, 2021

Nicki Minaj recently found herself at the center of a contentious debate over getting vaccinated. Minaj took to Twitter to share with her followers that she had not yet gotten the COVID-19 vaccine because she needed to conduct more research. While those from the pro-vaccination camp might grimace in disdain at Minaj, her rationale for refraining from getting vaccinated is shared by many others who also remain unvaccinated. Many who have decided to bypass the vaccine say their decision is primarily fueled by not knowing what’s in the shot or the long-term effects of the vaccine. Either way, critics of Minaj are calling her out for being irresponsible and abusing her mega platform to spread misinformation among her fans, which is made up of a majority of people of color. 

 Last Monday, the Chun-Li lyricist announced on Twitter that she would not attend The Met Gala due to its vaccine requirement for attendees. Minaj tweeted

“They want you to get vaccinated for the Met. if I get vaccinated, it won’t for the Met. It’ll be once I feel I’ve done enough research. I’m working on that now,” Minaj wrote. “In the meantime my loves, be safe. Wear the mask with 2 strings that grips your head & face. Not that loose one.”

She returned to Twitter to share a story about her cousin in Trinidad refusing to take the vaccine because a friend of his claimed “his testicles became swollen” and “became impotent” due to getting the shot, causing his fiancé to call off their wedding. Host of MSNBC’s, The ReidOut, Joy Reid, was among others who were not at all pleased by Nicki’s comments and subsequently called her out on her show earlier last week.  

“You have a platform, sister, that is 22 million followers, OK? I have 2 million followers. You have 22 million followers on Twitter. For you to use your platform to encourage our community to not protect themselves and save their lives, my God sister, you can do better than that! You got that platform — it’s a blessing that you got that! The people listen to you — and they listen to you more than they listen to me,” Reid said. “For you to use your platform to put people in the position of dying from a disease they don’t have to die from, oh my God, sister. As a fan, as a hip-hop fan, as somebody who is your fan, I’m so sad that you did that, so sad that you did that, sister. Oh, my God,” Reid concluded.  

In true Twitter-finger fashion, Minaj promptly returned to Twitter to respond to Reid’s harsh criticism and accused Reid of being “so thirsty to tear down another Black woman (by the request of the White man)” – among other choice words. Nicki’s tweets have continued to ruffle other feathers —even getting the attention of Trinidad health officials. But this is not about Nicki Minaj’s apparent vaccine beef with Joy Reid or her cousin’s friend whose supposed testicle became so swollen after getting the shot that his fiancé not only dumped him but he also became impotent. Many argue that this is about being truthful and transparent about not getting vaccinated and making sure that the decision is rooted in sound logic. 

Minaj is correct – we don’t know what’s in the vaccine beyond the information that has been provided to the public. But, good or bad, being in the dark about the ingredients of specific medications and immunizations is nothing new. When most people feel a headache coming on, they don’t hesitate to take an aspirin for relief. A vast majority of Americans have gotten several immunizations throughout their adolescence and early adulthood. Mind you, most people rarely conduct in-depth research studies to identify the exact ingredients of either. While it is also true that the public does not know the long-term effects of the vaccine, most Americans engage in behaviors that have been confirmed to have negative health implications. 

In 2018 it was reported that almost half of Americans admitted to chowing down on fast foods several times a week, and last year it was reported that just over 40% of Americans were obese. We also know that eating fast food regularly, and obesity can lead to detrimental health implications such as high blood pressure, hypertension, and heart disease. And yet, on any given day – drive-thru lines might find themselves wrapped around the building. We also know the negative health implications associated with smoking cigarettes, excessive alcohol consumption, and a host of other behaviors. And yet, millions of people continue to smoke, drink in excess, and more. 

In other words, most people decide to indulge in behaviors that have been proven to have potentially detrimental health outcomes. Yet, some of those same people cite the possible — unknown — health implications of getting the vaccine. These examples are not a judgment, but rather an illustration of what many argue reflect the inherently flawed premise of these arguments to support not getting vaccinated. Bottom line: if you don’t want to get vaccinated, just say, “I don’t want to get vaccinated.” Hard stop. There is no need to provide a less than sound argument to support your decision. This is especially true for celebrities with mega-platforms that are primarily composed of ethnically marginalized populations.

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