Joy Reid slams Eric Clapton, white anti-vaxxers for co-opting Black experience of oppression

Reid mocked the anti-vaccine stances of Clapton and comic Jim Breuer "because getting a free vaccine is exactly like slavery and Jim Crow."

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In a segment called “The Absolute Worst” on her weekday MSNBC show, The ReidOut, Joy Reid ripped into guitarist Eric Clapton for his anti-vaccine stance and for comparing COVID lockdowns to slavery. 

“Celebrities have the power to sway millions of people, which is why it’s so alarming when, particularly, the ones with huge platforms publicly spread vaccine misinformation,” she said

On her MSNBC show “The ReidOut,” Joy Reid (left) blasted veteran guitarist Eric Clapton (right) for his anti-vaccine stance and for comparing COVID-19 lockdowns to slavery. (Photos: Theo Wargo/Getty Images and Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

“Now, what really stands out about white anti-vaxxers, in particular, is they act like their freedom has been taken from them, and they have this weird habit of trying to do that by co-opting the history of actually oppressed people,” Reid said. The Harvard-educated journalist explained how white entertainers referencing language like “slavery” and “segregation” make a mockery of Black Americans whose ancestors actually endured enslavement. 

She also referenced comedian Jim Breuer, who canceled shows due to vaccine requirements, calling it “segregation.” Reid said the funnyman made the claim that to play those venues would make him “enslaved to the system.” 

“Yeah,” mocked Reid, “because getting a free vaccine is exactly like slavery and Jim Crow.”

Reid also referenced Clapton’s anti-COVID lockdown song, “This Has Got to Stop.” In it, he sings, “If you wanna claim my soul/You’ll have to come and break down this door/I knew that somethin’ was goin’ on wrong/When you started layin’ down the law/I can’t move my hands, I break out in sweat/I wanna cry, can’t take it anymore.” 

The song references complications that Clapton claims he experienced after receiving a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. 

According to a report from Rolling StoneClapton donated more than $1,300 to a GoFundMe posted by a vaccine-skeptical music group, Jam for Freedom, that also got the loan of Clapton’s personal Transporter van to tour around the country. 

Clapton, like Breuer, has also refused to play venues that require proof of vaccination.

Additionally, as Clapton’s anti-vax stance has gained prominence, past racially insensitive remarks by the British singer have also reemerged, causing Reid to conclude her segment opining, “Maybe he’s just a jerk.”

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