Over the past several weeks, I have run into some things I believe important to point out. All of them related to what we think we must do now in order to be allowed to be here, and all of which relate to the plight of the minority.
The first red flag came during a conversation with a couple who told me that the only reason they were getting vaccinated was because otherwise, their friends would not associate with them. Then, I was with a woman who told me of her concerns around the experimental shots, and how she had made up her mind to not do it. Until she heard that the kids could not go back to school until a certain percentage of us had been vaccinated. At which point she said, “Well, if I grow an extra limb, at least I helped the kids.” And then there is the health care professional of a friend of mine who is getting the vaccine not because she wants to, but because her work requires it. She did it, while begging her husband to not get his. Why? Because she feels that if both she and her husband take the shot, there will not be a healthy parent left for her children.
And now, pilot programs all over the world are rolling out digital vaccine passports that will either give you entry into the world. Or not. All depending on whether you have taken an experimental shot. (One, by the way, that is not approved by our own FDA, or ever been used on human beings.)
In essence creating a caste system. A world of have’s and have nots. All based on some arbitrary standard of the times around who is clean and who is dirty. Who is deserving, and who is not. Sound familiar? It should. We have already seen this kind of discriminatory policy in the form of “red lining.” The practice of drawing a line around communities of color; refusing them basic rights and access to things like mortgages and insurance. Groups deemed “high risk” by the very nature of one maligned criteria.
No matter what your personal beliefs are, we have got some enormous questions to ask of ourselves that far exceed whether or not to take an experimental drug. Questions like, is it in the best interest of our lives together to shame, coerce, and even force another person to do something they do not feel is good or right for them? Is it humane to discriminate against people, while getting them to agree to a system that does not recognize or include them? Is this the kind of world we want to be creating? One where we oppress others based on their individual beliefs? Have we not already had enough of this as a species? Enough persecution because someone believes or acts differently than you do, or are comfortable with?
We have seen this played out on every level of human life. With race, religion, gender, sexual orientation and more. Now we are doing it again. Only it is more insidious because now we have hired public relations firms to drive a single message to the exclusion of all other viewpoints. But when you strip it all down, we have also been here before. We have also created messaging across history that certain ones of us were dangerous, contaminated, and not to be trusted because we looked, or acted different than the status quo.
And then there is the tried and true hegemony where we convince people to such a degree of their inferiority that they claim the role of the oppressed who can only expect the dregs of life. It is a most dangerous precedent to set to condition a populace to violate themselves all while believing they are doing it because they deserve nothing better, or because it is all part of playing their role for the “common good.” What goodness is there to be had for the community when we are convincing people to deny their own naturally endowed God-given rights to the sovereignty over their own bodies?
It is most interesting to observe that the very same among us who would take to the streets to protest discrimination for marginalized people are the very same ones who would stand behind discriminatory digital passports. The very people who would rise up if a disenfranchised group was silenced, being the same ones who would censor anything that questions the safety and efficacy of Operation Warp Speed. The very ones who would rail at anything less than full consent in a sexual encounter, being the same ones to deny informed voluntary medical consent for others. And the very same who would put their life on the line for a woman’s right to choose what happens in her own body, would now take that right away from others.
I know. Some would say this moment in time is different. But isn’t that exactly what others across history have said when it was believed that a gay teacher would corrupt children, that a member of a lower caste would foul something they touched, or that a woman was the property of her husband and therefore subject to harsh demands that had nothing to do with her?
History aside, let’s follow the argument that this is different because personal choice impacts us all. Are we ready to say then that there is no more smoking, drugging, alcohol, and yes, even caffeine? Will we go so far as to take away Netflix because of the way it interferes with a good night’s sleep? Will we remove sugar from the stores because of its impact on the immune system? In short, will we take away every health-depleting substance and activity because of the way it compromise individual health, and therefore impacts the health of the rest of us?
Let us never forget that ALL of our individual choices impact every one around us. All the time. While the effects may not be immediate or always easy to see, the detrimental impact is there nonetheless. Therefore, will you find it in you to put aside your personal beliefs, fears and conditioning in favor of health freedom for all? Or will you use this time as another opportunity to continue a long and devastating tradition of the human psyche to diminish and demonize what is not in agreement with your limited, biased and temporal world view?
Most of all, will you look deep inside of yourself and flush out the ways where you will stand behind concepts of liberty, fairness, freedom and human justice just as long as it does not get too personal for you?