Black Mayor Compares De Blasio’s Vaccine Mandate to ‘Slavery’

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The mayor of Boston, a Democrat, slammed New York City’s decision to mandate people show proof of vaccination, comparing it to “slavery.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday the city will require vaccine passports for people to dine out, go to the gym, or frequent entertainment venues, but don’t expect to see it anytime soon in Boston, according to Acting Mayor Kim Janey.

“There’s a long history in this country of people needing to show papers,” Janey, the first woman and black Bostonian to hold the office, told ABC-affiliate WCVB. “Whether we’re talking about this from the standpoint of during slavery, post-slavery, as recent as what immigrant population has to go through here, (and) we heard Trump with the birth certificate nonsense.”

Candidates for mayor are taking a different approach.

Andrea Campbell told WCVB this kind of rhetoric is dangerous, and that showing proof of vaccination is not slavery or birtherism. Candidate Michelle Wu said anyone in a position of leadership should be using that position to build trust in vaccines. 

“We want to make sure that we are not doing anything that would further create a barrier for residents,” said Janey to WCVB.

Janey became mayor after Marty Walsh was confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Labor. Meanwhile, de Blasio stands by his “show us your papers” policy. 

“The key to NYC pass will be a first in the nation approach,” de Blasio told reporters this week. “It will require vaccination for workers, and customers, in indoor dining, in indoor fitness facilities, and indoor entertainment facilities.”

“COVID-19 cases have increased in Boston with the emergence of the Delta variant, but we are still well below threshold levels that have guided policy decisions throughout the pandemic,” said Janey’s office in a statement following her comments to WCVB. “Work with our business community will continue, as we learn to live with COVID-19.” 

“Kim Janey deserves to be commended for standing up for individual liberty,” said Richard Holt, member of the Project 21 Black Leadership Network. “The medical tyranny that plagues global freedom is frighteningly reminiscent of a dystopian sci-fi movie.”

“Black people, and all citizens globally, have a history of being denied their freedoms by authoritarian regimes who demand certain levels of subservient obedience for the exercise of basic freedoms,” added Holt. “Today’s America is unfortunately no different. I commend the Mayor for taking a stand against oppression.”

Project 21 Black Leadership Network is part of The National Center for Public Policy Research.