Opinion: Contempt and Discrimination
I’m trying to imagine what it’d be like to tell a child — any child — that they are not allowed to be culturally enriched at a performing arts center while other people are because those people decided to allow experimental juice to enter their bodies to protect other people.
It struck me today — more firmly than other days — when I looked up philharmonic performances in Southern California beginning with LA. I was expecting to find what I had found — a mandatory mask mandate coupled with proof of vaccination — but was not expecting the same to be said for Segerstrom Center of the Arts in Orange County.
I grew up in Orange County and some of my fondest childhood memories were spent with my grandmother at the symphony on one Saturday each month. I was exposed to a level of patience, formality, sound, and history that I would never have been exposed to if I was born to myself today because I will be making the choice not to vaccinate myself nor my future children against COVID-19. That’s when the contempt and rage boiled so fiercely that it melted away any chance at tears.
We are discriminating against people based on health, and the right to protect their bodies how they see fit, in the realm of the arts, a place where diversity is not only expected but celebrated. I do not know how I live amongst others who do not see anything wrong with this. What kind of messaging are we sending to future generations? That it’s more important to do what others say and lead a simpler life rather than question what is happening and why everyone has to be coerced into receiving something that does not protect them from future mutations of a virus?
These mandates have nothing to do with the actual virus. These mandates are social conditioning tactics: “Be kind. Be a good neighbor. Care about others. Get vaccinated.” Because being a kind and good neighbor has nothing to do with the randomness that is the universe. No matter how kind we are to one another, nature will continue to spit out viruses that kill (some of) us. We are not immune to death. The government cannot control nature, and, therefore, also cannot save us from death. But, evidently, the government can control us and how we think.
The media’s verbal airstrikes of “dictator,” “selfish,” “unsafe,” and “federal mandate” make it difficult for any of us to know what the truth behind these political messages really is. In a certain world upheld by science, none of the above words apply. Science is clerical, sterile, and free of judgement, mettling, and manipulation, right? Then, why are medical personnel across the world refusing mandates that force them to receive the jab to perform their jobs? The people we once called “our heroes” who survived a deadly pandemic without it.
I write this applauding those whose livelihoods are on the line and are fighting because they actually believe in something. And, I write this as a symbol and call to all parents of the next generation to consider how discrimination hasn’t gone away. It’s just changed forms. So, what are we going to do about it?