What kind of idiot, in the year 2021, sees a Clay Travis tweet, and thinks to themselves that rather than Fox’s resident sportbro spouting off false equivalencies or flat-out misleading people, he’s really making a great point?
ESPN’s Sage Steele is that kind of idiot.
The other day, Travis posted a graphic from Fox News showing that 302 children have been shot in Chicago this year, while 214 children in the United States have died from COVID-19.
For a normal person with a functioning brain, there are a few ways to react to this.
First of all, this is all horrible. It’s horrible that 302 children have been shot in Chicago. It’s horrible that 214 children in America have died from COVID-19. And it’s horrible that we can reach numbers like these and just have them be numbers. Those are lives, upended or simply ended. It’s horrible.
You could see this and think, jeez, Chicago is averaging a kid shot every day. That city really needs to get it together. Sure, “what about Chicago?” Is a classic right-wing trope to avoid doing anything about the national scourge of gun violence, because the Windy City has stringent gun laws, but people get shot there anyway — as if Chicago doesn’t lie directly between Wisconsin and Indiana, making it easy to get guns from out of state and bring them into the city. Still, there’s undeniably a shooting problem in Chicago, there has been, and more needs to be done about it.
You could also look at the COVID number, think back to how big of a deal was made over the past year about how the virus was most dangerous to people with underlying conditions, particularly older people, and realize that things have changed as the pandemic has progressed, especially with the delta variant now most prominent.
Or you could have Steele’s reaction, that kids getting shot in Chicago is something “no one talks about publicly,” while also using it to make a case that children… shouldn’t be wearing masks?
Again, “Chicago” is the go-to for right-wingers to dismiss the idea of doing anything about gun violence anywhere else. It’s absolutely talked about publicly, all the time.
But, really, 214 dead children is a huge reason for children to be wearing masks. How much higher would the number be if they didn’t? How many of those children got COVID-19 because of lax hygiene by people like Travis and Steele who deny medical science?
Personally, I have two children in school, who cannot yet be vaccinated, and one of them will be doing remote school next week because a kid in their class had a positive test. It’s a miserable thing that shouldn’t have happened, because we could’ve been done with all this right now, but that’s not what I’m focusing on.
What I’m thinking about is how glad I am that masks are mandatory in New York schools, and that as bad and as scary as it is, our family has a much lower chance of having gotten COVID-19 as a result of good policy.
We’re supposed to be protecting kids, giving them as good a world as possible to grow up in. Right now, it’s pretty lousy. There’s COVID, and there’s gun violence, and there’s a ton of other problems in the world, so many of which could be mitigated or eliminated if more people took them seriously.
Travis is an unserious person, and has been for years. Steele clearly is, too.