This is the most disgusting piece of woke, virtue-flaunting blather I’ve seen in several years. It’s not just disgusting, but expresses sentiments that are inhumane and even dangerous. In effect, the author is hoping that one of the schools where she teaches, Oxford Brookes University, loses the race to produce a coronavirus vaccine because that would only buttress British exceptionalism and the view that Brits are “white saviors” who have overcome a “threat to civilization” by people of color (the Chinese). Oy, my kishkes!
Writer Emily Cousens is described this way on the Oxford Brookes webpage:
Emily lectures in Politics at Oxford Brookes and is the Founder of the Free School of Critical Feminisms, an intimate feminist summer school that charges no fees.
Prior to joining Oxford Brookes, Emily completed both her BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and MA in Women’s Studies at the University of Oxford. Emily is an experienced researcher, having worked in this role for community and policy organisations.
Perhaps that background conditioned her to place the dismantling of British exceptionalism above people’s lives. Or, as reader Ariel (who sent me the link) characterized Cousens’s piece, “In short: I wish old white men don’t find a vaccine because then they will be glorified at the expense of marginalized people and feminism.”
Well, that might seem a bit harsh, but it’s not far off. Here—read and weep (click on screenshot):
A few excerpts:
Oxford, that symbol of British excellence. Producing the finest minds in the world and, if this week’s news is anything to go by, leading the race to develop a vaccine against Coronavirus.
Surely I should be proud that the institution I have spent a decade studying and subsequently teaching at, could be the first to develop the vaccine?
. . .So why was my initial relief at hearing Oxford and Imperial are racing away to develop the vaccine followed by worry?
Let’s suppose that Oxford does develop the first vaccine. What happens next?
. . . If there is enough vaccine to go round, the UK will be the world’s saviour. We’ll quickly forget the devastating delay of the UK government to take action, as Boris Johnson proudly safeguarded British institutions like individual liberty, and the pub, over lives.
We’ll forget the lessons that the pandemic has taught us so far: that the UK and the US are in fact not exceptions at the global stage. That we are not only vulnerable but can also afford to learn lessons from countries, regardless of whether we have a special relationship with them – such as South Korea. That being white, male and Oxford-educated may not be the only criteria for effective leadership (the countries whose responses have been most widely praised, Germany and New Zealand among others, are all led by women).
Dr. Cousens apparently is unaware that, as pointed out by JezGrove in comment #15 below, the vaccine effort in Oxford is being developed by Oxford University’s (not Oxford Brookes University, so it’s not even Cousens’s school) Sarah Gilbert, a woman.
Regardless, she had to slip the identity politics in there, even though they’re completely irrelevant to a situation in which the fastest development of a vaccine (by whoever does it) is the outcome we want. And yet. . . .and yet Cousens apparently doesn’t want that outcome. To put it bluntly, as Ariel implied, Cousens would prefer to have people die rather than for white, male, Oxford researchers to develop the first vaccine. Oh, and she can’t abide the disgusting British patriotism of the “vaccine race” (I haven’t seen any, but so be it). Cousens goes on:
It is clear, then, that international co-operation saves lives.
But do our Oxford-educated leaders think like this? Coronavirus is a global epidemic. Yet, rather than motivating the UK to take a proud role at the global stage, as leaders like Macron have urged, the UK is increasingly resorting to patriotism in response.
And, finally, the denouement:
The race is on and researchers at Oxford are doing vital, life-saving work. But races have winners and losers. If my university is the first to develop the vaccine, I’m worried that it will be used as it has been in the past, to fulfil its political, patriotic function as proof of British excellence.
Since when did the UK, or Oxford, develop any vaccines, much less using them to tout British excellence? There was Jenner, of course, but was smallpox vaccine used for jingoistic purposes? (Britain, by the way, has an excellent history of scientific research, and not all by “old white males.”) Can Cousens buttress her statement with a few examples? And even if a vaccine were used to “prove British excellence”, so what? What’s important is that lives be saved, either by international cooperation (which in fact is happening with the vaccine), or with lone but determined researchers, as with Jonas Salk. But Dr. Cousens fears above all a story of UK researchers as “white saviours”.
She ends with what really bothers her:
The story will be clear: China, once again, has unleashed a threat to civilisation. But the best brains of the UK have saved the world.
Whilst I’m hopeful that I will be able to visit my Dad soon, this must not overshadow the key lesson of coronavirus: international cooperation saves lives. The research community knows this. Let’s hope our politicians do too.
This is what woke education, what postmodernism-infused “grievance studies”, have done to Cousens’s ethics. It’s warped her mind so severely that she’s hoping that Britain doesn’t develop the coronavirus vaccine, even if it could do so before others, thereby saving lives. Where are Cousens’s priorities? In the dumper, I’d say. Her views and her ethics are contemptible.
Frankly, I don’t care who develops a coronavirus vaccine: the important thing is that it be done right and be done as fast as possible. People like Cousens, wringing her hands on the sidelines and hoping that old white males don’t play a key role, are terrible human beings, people whose ideology has become more important than human lives.
I have a feeling this article won’t be up for long, so I’ve saved a pdf.
p.s. I put up this comment on the HuffPo site, but they took it down: