Flat White

Medical discrimination is not segregation. It’s worse

1 November 2021

12:01 PM

1 November 2021

12:01 PM

I’ve argued before that Australia has entered an era of segregation comparable to the racial segregation of America’s past. However, that was inaccurate. What we are seeing unfold in Australia is not segregation but outright exclusion – a policy even more cruel and worthy of protest.  

The comparison of medical discrimination to racial segregation is an obvious one because signs reading “please have your proof-of-vaccination ready” are reminiscent of old photographs of businesses with signs in the front windows reading “We accept White trade only.” 

In America’s Jim Crow days, there were plenty of businesses and venues that “coloured” people were excluded from, but there were also different sections where they were able to go. Rosa Parks protested being told to sit at the back of the bus, a moment embedded in America’s cultural consciousness as being pivotal in the civil rights movement. Will unvaccinated people even be allowed on the bus in the coming months? I wouldn’t be surprised if not.  

There is currently no “unvaccinated” section of the restaurant or the cinema; they are simply not welcome because the media pushes the irrational idea that they are a danger to the community. Recently, Noam Chomsky stated that unvaccinated people should be forced to remain in their homes because of the threat they pose, oblivious to the fact that he was admitting he thinks the vaccines are useless. 

Obviously, racial segregation was immoral and unjust. It denied the basic dignity of black Americans and contradicted the Christian notion that all men are created equal, as enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. The medical discrimination now occurring in Australia and throughout the world is wrong for the same reasons but goes even further in its dehumanisation.  

Many people who today would vehemently object to racial segregation are blind to this obvious reality. One has to marvel at how for the past two decades discrimination has been presented as the ultimate evil only for this to happen. The exclusion of the unvaccinated has proven that all of the rhetoric about diversity, equity and inclusion was nothing but ideological garbage. 

I’m sure that most people reading this would be aware that the current COVID vaccines do not prevent transmission of the virus, and that the protective effects are rather short-term, with booster shots being readied for Christmas. Vaccine passports make no sense whatsoever as a means of reducing the spread of COVID, as Sydney’s recent gym outbreak proves, but it makes a great deal of sense as a means of controlling the population’s movements, scaring them into compliance with the dictates of unelected bureaucrats, and marginalising those who refuse to comply. 

Australians would do well to remember that segregationists also relied on pseudo-scientific claims and impotent moral arguments to support their position. For example, they argued that black students in classrooms would hold back their white peers because of their supposedly inferior intelligence, or that allowing black and white people to mix would be detrimental to society as black people were not well adjusted. 

The arguments for excluding unvaccinated people are no less incoherent. Vaccinated people can still spread the virus. Those who have refused the jab have been dehumanised and mocked in the mainstream media, and other members of the public often have distorted impressions of them and why they have made this decision. 

Unvaccinated people aren’t just being excluded and ignored but blamed for things that aren’t their fault. For example, Premier Steven Marshall’s new plan to get South Australians double-jabbed requires having a certain percentage of local areas vaccinated for anyone to avoid having to quarantine upon returning from interstate. This means that a person can be fully vaccinated but be forced to quarantine because their neighbour has decided not to get the jab, which is bound to generate further hostility towards the unvaccinated. Perhaps that’s the whole point. It’s nothing more than a pressure tactic designed to make the unvaccinated give up and get the jab they don’t want or need. 

Unvaccinated people are also being blamed for the supposedly overwhelmed hospitals, even though healthcare workers such as doctors, nurses, and paramedics who refuse the jab are being fired en masse. If we really were facing a public health crisis, how could we afford to lose all of these workers who were basically worshipped throughout 2020? 

In my experience, people who have refused the vaccines are simply more informed about the minimal threat of COVID and the potential risks associated with the novel mRNA and viral vector vaccines, as well as the questionable histories and motivations of the relevant pharmaceutical companies. They have stuck with the facts and not allowed themselves to be coerced into taking a medical treatment they don’t want or need, often at great personal cost.  

Conversely, most people (not all) I know who’ve been vaccinated did so because they faced job loss, travel restrictions, social ostracism, or had an exaggerated understanding of the threat COVID posed to them. Many people I’ve spoken with were not at all concerned about COVID but got the jab to avoid any inconveniences. Others were desperate to see loved ones living interstate who they’ve been separated from due to lockdowns, and vaccination was the only way, regardless of their health concerns. This is the definition of coercion.  

Every Australian should consider how their actions today will be interpreted by future generations. Will our grandchildren really think that getting vaccinated so that your travel plans were not interrupted was noble, or will they lament the short-sighted decisions which led to them having less liberty than we once enjoyed but failed to protect? Every selfie with a caption thanking Daniel Andrews for letting them go to a café again has come with a cost – the freedom from being told to have an injection to keep your job. While many who don’t see a problem with that are enjoying their lattes, others who stood for their moral principles are being cast out of society like lepers.  

Jim Crow laws and other discriminatory policies were tolerated by people who dared not rock the boat and who lumped the victims of these policies into the category of “other”. We look back on them and ask, “How could such things have been allowed?” Future generations will reflect on us and ask the same question. 

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