Surgeon General Jerome Adams has been met with outrage by the black community for using phrases like ‘abuela’, ‘big momma’ and ‘poppop’, while pleading for minorities to not drink or smoke and follow the government’s guidelines to slow the spread of the coronavirus .
‘We need you to do this if not for yourself than for your abuela. Do it for your granddaddy, do it for your big momma, do it for your poppop,’ the nation’s top doctor said Friday at the daily coronavirus taskforce briefing – while also advising those groups to ‘avoid alcohol, tobacco and drugs.’
Adams told Americans of color that they need to ‘step up’ to stop the spread of coronavirus, and said ‘social ills’ are likely a contributing factor when looking at the dire statistics that the outbreak has killed twice as many black and Latino people than white Americans.
Now members of the black community are calling out the Surgeon General for ‘pandering’ to them with his use of slang and also for his ‘offensive’ instruction that those specific communities to stop drinking and smoking during this pandemic.
TV host and actress Claudia Jordan took to Twitter to express her outrage at Adams’ comments.
‘The surgeon general telling black folks not to drink and smoke and do it for ya “paa paa and big momma”. Where they get this guy from? How dumb do they think we are with this? How bout suggesting that EVERYONE cut back? Let’s not do that ok?’ Jordan said.
One man on Twitter, David DeLoatch, said: ‘Let me tell a lot of you something, we don’t talk the way movies, songs, and the media portrays us. The Surgeon General is trying to relate to a life he never lived, listen to his voice and they way he speaks. He has never called anyone “big momma,” and neither have I.’
Other questioned why Adams’ word choice, writing: ‘As if people wouldn’t understand him if he said, “Do it for your grandparents”?’
Some bashed him for using ‘stereotypical ethnic names for our relative’.
And activist Blaine Hardaway wrote: ‘I really would like to say I’m surprised but of course I’m not. Trump sent the only black guy on his team out to chastise black and Latino people for smoking and drinking, as if that’s the reason our communities are predisposed to this virus. Just disgusting.’
Adams was met with immediate push back for his comments later in the briefing when PBS NewsHour’s Yamiche Alcindor asked him to respond to those who might have been offended by his colloquialisms.
‘We need targeted outreach to the African-American community and I used the language that is used in my family,’ Adams said. ‘I have a Puerto Rican brother-in-law, I call my granddaddy “granddaddy” I have relatives who call their grandparents big momma.’
‘That was not meant to be offensive,’ he added. ‘That’s the language that we use and I use and we need to continue to target our outreach to those communities.’
Alcindor also pressed Adams on why he mentioned drugs and alcohol, when talking specifically about communities of color.
‘All Americans need to avoid these substances at all times,’ he said.
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Source: Daily Mail