an open letter to Jonny and Mali

Dear Jonny and Mali,

I can’t thank y’all enough for using your platform to push accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccine.

As the live stream continued, y’all shared your own experiences about your hesitancy to get the vaccine, the feeling of standing in line and being oddly comforted by the amount of people you saw, to the unfortunate experience of losing someone to complications from the virus.

Always a bad idea, I began to read the comments and grew increasingly frustrated by what I saw.

I saw people literally begin to doubt y’all’s faith for wanting to provide accurate information. I saw people leaning on the idea that since we follow God, we don’t need medicine or vaccines. One comment even said that it is ‘tragic to see those in power leading so many astray’ and that the church ‘shouldn’t be subject to the medical cartel or it’s drug pushers.’

I thought about scrapping this entire letter before I read that last comment. I hate that as members the church, some of us have become incredibly wrapped up in the semantics of being a Christian that we cannot fathom the idea that God has created various way to display His power.

Jonathan even mentioned the Tuskegee experiment and I’m so glad you did! Readers, did you know that in this experiment the Black men were actually withheld the potentially lifesaving penicillin vaccine? If anything, the Tuskegee experiment is more of a reason for folks to get vaccinated (in my mind).

I know as Black, male, and Christian public figures, the spotlight shining on y’all is different than that of a secular artist. You have to be ‘just right’ or the church is ready to chew you up and spit you out rather than offer grace.

This isn’t to ‘defend’ y’all or anything like that, but to say a offer genuine thanks to y’all taking a stand against misinformation in a time where something like that shouldn’t have to be celebrated.

Love Imani

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