Back when Love & Hip Hop Atlanta was my favorite thing in life and the source of great literary inspiration, I used to think the world of Erica Dixon. 

While I adore Joseline Hernandez and am grateful for the entertainment value she has provided through the years, we know she has questionable judgment. Then there was Mimi Faust, who, well, two rods: shower rod.

Which brings me back to Erica Dixon, who might have procreated with Lil’ Scrappy (to be fair, he’s charming and has a very distinct speech pattern), but still came across to me as sensible. Dixon is someone I mentioned who before and maybe even during the filming of the first two seasons of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta, worked at a bank or as a paralegal. Something for responsible people. Most of the folks who have been on a Mona Scott Young production strike me as the type whose talents take them elsewhere for employment.

With that said, it is with profound sadness that I have to face the fact that Dixon is not the sensible one as evidenced by the fact she is boasting about not vaccinating her newborn children.  

And she has the nerve to say this in the middle of flu season! 

To some, I should not give a damn what a former cast member of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta thinks about vaccinations. However, these remind me of the types who didn’t pay enough attention to Jenny McCarthy — particularly when she was chosen to serve as a panelist on The View despite expressed concerns about her beliefs about shots at the time.

McCarthy is funny and I value her work on MTV’s Singled Out, but beloved, facts cannot be changed by stubborn disbelief. McCarthy,  along with actors like Jim McCarthy and Alicia Silverstone, the rapper Kevin Gates, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., has boosted the anti-science movement by helping spread it’s rhetoric to the public at large, mainstreaming it in the process.

It is comparable to Donald Trump’s impact on our political discourse.With Dixon’s open embracing of anti-vaxx talking points, it confirms that the years of efforts by anti-vaxxers to reach Black people are paying off.

In “The Anti-Vaccination Movement Is Working with the Nation of Islam to Scare Black Families,” Jezebel’s Anna Merlan writes that in October 2015, at a commemoration of the Million Man March, Nation Minister Tony Muhammad accused the government of poisoning Black and Latinx children via MMR vaccine schedules. 

“It has been brought to our attention,” Muhammad declared, “that the senior lead scientist for the Center for Disease Control has admitted that the MMR vaccines and many of the vaccine shots have been genetically modified to attack Black and Latino boys.”

He said he heard it from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Anti-vaxxers, as others have highlighted, are taking advantage of the widespread distrust Black people have for the health system based on incidents like Tuskegee, which Muhammad invoked. In fact, Kennedy’s efforts to reach Black people came up last fall with a growing number of members of the scientific community concerned about the efforts of Kennedy and other anti-vaxxers to reach marginalized communities. 

There may be no direct link between Erica Dixon’s tweets and people like Robert F. Kennedy and select members of the Nation of Islam, but it speaks to the success of their collective efforts to get more Black people to side with their anti-vaccination stance. I don’t mean this in a patronizing way: if Love & Hip Hop folks are giving me trap Jenny McCarthy, we are all in trouble.

Health care already sucks in America, especially if you are Black. While it is perfectly reasonable for Black people to be skeptical of the government and the medical community to some extent, I really hope we swat away these anti-vaxxers because that is a disaster waiting to happen. Thank God I got my flu shot recently, but I’m not trying to live in a world in which I might catch the plague while picking up a fish dinner. 

Someone talk to Dixon about facts and science and please talk to any of your cousins if they share this point of view that’s dumb and will have you out the game of life over chickenpox. Not trying to tell people how to raise their kids, but again, we shouldn’t all die of polio because too many Negroes watched the wrong YouTube documentary. Beyoncé didn’t release Homecoming for this.

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