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Home/The State of the Union/Vaccine Passports, a New Segregation

Vaccine Passports, a New Segregation

Unvaccinated to the left, please.

NEW YORK CITY - SEPTEMBER 5 2016: NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. A Katz/Shutterstock

Bill de Blasio is ushering in a new two-class system in New York City. The protected class: those who are vaccinated. The underclass: anyone who doesn’t comply.

As the New York City mayor announced a vaccine requirement for entrance into all restaurants, gyms, performances and other activities in the city on Tuesday, he left no doubt as to the purpose of his controversial move.

“We think it is so important to make clear that if you are vaccinated, you get to benefit in all sorts of ways,” the New York Timesreported de Blasio said in a Monday interview with NY1. “You get to live a better life. Besides your health in general, you get to participate in many, any things. And if you’re unvaccinated, there are going to be fewer and fewer things that you’re able to do.”

It’s the same thing we’ve been hearing since the pandemic began—you’re anti-science if you disagree with us—only this time, it affects whether you can enter a restaurant or go to the gym.

From the party that calls everyone to the right of it a racist, it’s ironic that such discrimination based on jab-status is not merely permitted but applauded. To ask a citizenship question on a census is racist, but to bar entry into a restaurant or cruise ship is just #doingourpart to care for others. Does anyone want to bet illegal immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border will be half as stringently vetted, for either vaccination papers or a negative Covid-19 test?

It’s even more ironic in view of the fact that 59 percent of vaccinated Americans are white, while black Americans represent a mere 9 percent of the vaccinated population, according to statistics from Kaiser Family Foundation as of July 21, 2021. (Hispanic and Asian Americans represent 16 percent and 6 percent, respectively.) In other words, the new segregation looks a lot like the old one.

De Blasio isn’t the first to encourage this new form of medical segregation, though he’s the first to make it law. Last month, Bloomberg News reported that “on cruises that allow them, the unvaccinated are second-class citizens.” The article detailed how on one Royal Caribbean ship, ironically named Freedom of the Seas, those who either haven’t been jabbed or decline to show a vaccine card “will be segregated to one deck of the main dining room and will be banned from some of the better, more intimate for-a-fee dining venues.” This includes families whose children remain unvaccinated.

“If you aren’t immunized and want to see a show, you’ll sit in a segregated area in the back of the theater. And you can only use the gym during specified hours,” Bloomberg wrote. The article also noted that the cost of a cruise is more than $100 higher per unvaccinated passenger, who is required to submit to no less than three separate Covid-19 tests during the cruise.

The proponents of this two-class system claim to be ushering in a new way forward—a better society safer for everyone. One can only hope that later generations will see it for what it actually is: discrimination, with a side of power politics.

about the author

Carmel Richardson is the 2021-2022 editorial fellow at The American Conservative. She received her B.A. from Hillsdale College in political philosophy with a minor in journalism. She firmly believes that the backroads are better than the interstate, and though she currently resides in Northern Virginia, her home state will always be Tennessee.

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