Sunday, July 14, 2024

The Illusion of Choice Impact on People of Color.

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( The hamsters in the old Kia Soul commercials knew the power of choice.  They knew if you had to choose between the Soul and a toaster that you would probably choose the car.  That illusion fueled by choice led to Kia selling millions of cars that were better than toasters.

Apparently, Kia isn’t the only entity who understands the illusion of choice tactic.  Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, also gets it. This is why he recently banned private and public companies in Texas from requiring a vaccine mandate.  (This is also the same government official who signed into law an anti-abortion bill making it illegal to terminate fetuses after 6 weeks.): “The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, & our best defense against the virus, but should always remain voluntary & never forced,” These were Abbott’s words on Twitter explaining why he created the ban.  To be honest, I get it. The word VOLUNTARY gives people a sense of comfort. I have the choice to vaccinate against the coronavirus. I have the choice to protect myself in other ways against the virus. An ounce of independence comes from Abbott’s order like a warm blanket on a cold winter night.


While I applaud his attempt to make everyone feel like they have a choice, I do not agree with this illusion he is creating especially since it impacts people of color more than anyone else.  As a person of color, that is a definite problem.  According to a Texas Tribune article, people of color makeup 56.6% of Texas’ population.  Unfortunately, 65.9% of deaths in Texas from COVID have been Hispanics, Blacks, Asians, and others.    How is this choice really helping Texas?

Then, I realize who the choice is directed to.  Abbott governs a Republican state: a Republican Party that is 72% white people. A party that is 51% white males.  A party that is 58% Evangelical Protestant.  I am not his priority, and why should I be?  I’m not going to be the majority that gets him reelected if he intends to run again.  His illusion of choice works wonderfully for religious white males because they always have a choice.  They choose to worship a higher power. They can choose to go to work or let their investments accrue funding to pay bills. They can choose whether or not they want to tailgate at University of Texas games with thousands of people.  They have the biggest amount of choice.  Meanwhile, most people of color have to go to work.  They do not have investments or saving accounts they can use.  They do not have the time to do activities like tailgating because they have to provide for their families: “Research has found that higher-paid employees are more likely to have the option to work from home, and that Black and Hispanic employees are less likely to be able to work remotely. In Texas and across the country, front-line employees like janitors, grocery clerks and transit workers are more likely to be women and people of color, an Associated Press analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data revealed.”

Choice looks amazing when you feel like who you are is facing constriction and constraint.  It makes you feel empowered. Strong.  In control.  So, I understand Abbott’s decision making tactics especially since the majority ethnicity may soon be a minority ethnicity.  However,  as a governor, it is his or her responsibility to consider the lives of all who live in the state. There are mothers, daughters, sons, fathers, and other family members who would be here today if all of us would take the necessary precautions to evade the deathly symptoms of this virus.  This illusion of choice is becoming a beacon to welcome death.

Staff Writer; J. W. Bella

May also follow this talented sister online over at; JWB Writes.




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