After being sworn in as the new premier of the province of Alberta in Canada yesterday, Tuesday, October 11, 2022, Danielle Smith held her first official press conference in which she pledged that she “will ensure as head of this government that those rights and freedoms are protected and will never be taken for granted again.”
Guess Who Is “The Most Discriminated-Against Group” That She Has Ever Witnessed…
Smith was referring to people who chose not to be vaccinated against the 2019 Novel Coronavirus over the past 2.5 years. The spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus led to a worldwide pandemic which was declared by the World Health Organization on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 and caused many parts of the planet to shut down in isolation or quarantine in an effort to contain the virus — which I still believe to this day went way too far.
In this video from the official YouTube site of Global News, a reporter from The Globe and Mail asked: “I have a question about vaccine choice and how you want to protect that under the Human Rights Act. I’m wondering how — um — a vaccine choice — um — how you see that as equal to something like race, gender, or sexuality, which we protect because those are not about choices.”
After pondering for a moment to collect her thoughts, Smith replied:
“Well, I guess the way I look at it is that the community that faced the most restrictions on their freedoms in the last year were those who made a choice not to being vaccinated. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a situation in my lifetime where a person was fired from their job or not allowed to watch their kids play hockey or not allowed to go visit a loved one in long-term care or hospital, or not allowed to get on a plane to either go across the country to see family or even travel across the border; so they have been the most discriminated-against group that I’ve ever witnessed in my lifetime. That’s a pretty extreme level of discrimination that we have seen. I don’t take away any of the discrimination that I’ve seen in those other groups that you mentioned. But this has been an extraordinary time in the last — uh — year in particular, and I want people to know that I find that unacceptable — that we are not going to create a segregated society on the basis of a medical choice.”
Smith concluded her thoughts with the following statement:
“Vaccination really is for self-protection in this case, because you have to make your own choice about what your own medical status is, in conjunction with your own doctor and your own pre-existing medical conditions; and we have to stop trying to victimize a…a…a particular group because they make a — made a different choice. So I know that that‘s going to be — um — a little challenging for…for some people who hold a — who have been holding a different view for a long period of time. But if I need to make the point that this kind of discrimination is unacceptable, the best way to do it is by changing the Human Rights Act.”
A Look Back
Back on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, I wrote an article called Why I Am Not Getting a Vaccine At This Time, which became quite controversial. The point of the article was for people to choose whether or not they want to be vaccinated against the 2019 Novel Coronavirus based on the factual information which was available at the time. It was not meant as a statement — political, moral, ethical, or otherwise — in any way, shape, or form…
…and despite some readers posting some very thoughtful comments from both sides of the issue, I was astonished at how many people could not comprehend elementary school English with the last three words of that title: “at this time.” In the comments of that article, some people called me a coward. Some people called me brave. Some people who did not agree with my position or opinion respectfully disagreed with cogent arguments and information. Some people whom I have never met commented as if they know who I am as a person — and I can confirm that they have no idea who I am as a person. Some people took the opportunity to ride what they considered to be some kind of bandwagon on which to hop — mob mentality, you know — and insult me and The Gate. One person even wrote that if I contract the 2019 Novel Coronavirus and need medical care, I “should be denied it and left to suffer or die at home.”
Some people certainly can be unnecessarily vicious — but that ultimately did not cause me to waver.
Fellow so-called “bloggers” publicly condemned my position instead of discussing it rationally and intelligently — probably to get those oh-so-important sought-after “clicks”. One of them even misquoted me. Readers publicly vowed to no longer read articles posted by me here at The Gate.
Companies such as Delta Air Lines will still only consider hiring people who are fully vaccinated; and some other companies have that requirement even if the job position is remote. While I do not necessarily equate the discrimination of other groups to that of the unvaccinated, I cannot imagine anyone getting away with similar behaviors towards other groups.
That is what disappointed me the most about humanity: that some people always need to find a scapegoat of some kind and apply derogatory names when the chips are down and the going gets tough instead of being truly productive. I became that scapegoat for a while. It was not easy; but I believe I chose the right decision.
We were never “all in this together” — not even close.
Final Boarding Call
The sharp divide between people who are vaccinated against the 2019 Novel Coronavirus and those who are not still exists today. Many people on both sides have taken what is a personal choice and politicized it — as well as spouted attempts at “virtue signaling” to pressure one side in joining the other. I guarantee that you will see some of that appear in the Comments section below the conclusion of this article.
The problem is that we cannot have a productive conversation about any issue as long as a person not only closes himself or herself off to new ideas and thoughts, but also engages in propaganda and nonsensical thoughts which have nothing to do with the core issue — even going so far as to threaten violence or death — and many social media channels have pushed hard to forward their agendas at the expense of suppressing others.
I do not read those “blogs” anymore. Readers are always welcome to read my articles at The Gate and comment at any time. Anyone who disagrees with whatever I write is welcome to opine in the Comments section below, which is not moderated — other than to eliminate “spam” — and that is rare to find these days; but I do it because I value your opinions and input, and I respect you and your civilized comments.
Whether you are vaccinated or not vaccinated — and regardless of what you think of me — may your life be healthy, productive, prosperous, filled with love and support, and full of wonderful travels as the world continues to open up once again.
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.