Kim Janey, the current Acting Mayor of Boston, has issued statements that say that she thinks requiring city residents to show proof of their vaccination against COVID-19 is the exact same thing as the racist Jim Crow-era regulations that forced people to “show their papers.”
“We know that those types of things are difficult to enforce when it comes to vaccines,” stated Janey, a democrat, on Tuesday when she questioned if she planned to mandate “vaccine passports.”
“There’s a long history in this country of people needing to show their papers — whether we talking about this from the standpoint of, you know, as a way to, after — during slavery, post-slavery, as recent as, you know, what the immigrant population has to go through,” stated Janey. “We want to make sure that we are not doing anything that would further create a barrier for residents of Boston or disproportionately impact BIPOC [black, Indigenous and people of color] communities.”
“We’ve heard Trump with the birth certificate nonsense. Here, we want to make sure that we are not doing anything that would further create a barrier for residents of Boston or disproportionately impact BIPOC communities,” She continued.
“Instead, you want to lean in heavily with partnering with community organizations, making sure that everyone has access to the lifesaving vaccine. As it relates to people who want to encourage their workforce to get vaccinated. We certainly support that,” she went on.
Janey’s statements seemed to spark a massive amount of criticism from fellow politicians.
“When we are combating a deadly virus and vaccine hesitancy, this kind of rhetoric is dangerous,” tweeted Andra Campbell, a City Councilor. “Showing proof of vaccination is not slavery or birtherism. We are too close to give ground to COVID. Science is science. It’s pretty simple — Vax up and mask up.”
“Anyone in a position of leadership should be using that position to build trust in vaccines,” wrote Michelle WU, also a City Councilor, in another statement.
Matt O’Malley, City Council President Pro Tempore, followed in tow, seemingly expressing support for regulations that require proof of vaccination for certain activities.
“If we want to get serious about addressing vaccine hesitancy, slowing the spread of the Delta (and subsequent) variants, and keeping our families, friends, and neighbors safe, then we need to take bold and effective action,” he stated on Twitter. “We should be doing this in Boston.”
If we want to get serious about addressing vaccine hesitancy, slowing the spread of the Delta (and subsequent) variants, and keeping our families, friends, and neighbors safe, then we need to take bold and effective action.
We should be doing this in Boston.👇 https://t.co/d7GaKMBiMB
— Matt O'Malley (@MattOMalley) August 3, 2021
Janey’s statements cropped up after Bill De Blasio, the New York City Mayor, issued an announcement that he plans on requiring city residents to show proof of their vaccination for indoor dining, gyms, and entertainment shows as part of a program called the “Key to NYC Pass.”