(Brownstone Institute) — In my teaching, I prepare undergraduate students to become high school history teachers. In one course, teacher candidates prepare and deliver mock lessons. Their peers play the role of high school students, and I observe and give feedback following these practice lessons. Whether coincidence or a reflection of the times, this fall a good number of mock lessons covered the rise of totalitarianism. In one excellent lesson, a teacher candidate had his students examine the contexts that gave rise to totalitarianism. He accompanied this lesson with an excerpt from a world history textbook listing characteristics of totalitarianism.
This lesson hit on the true purpose for including totalitarianism in high school curricula. That purpose is not to honor the likes of Hitler, Stalin, or Mussolini. Nor is that purpose to provide the methods of totalitarianism as an instructional manual to follow. Rather, the purpose of teaching on totalitarianism is to deliver a warning: heed well the conditions that yielded totalitarianism, so you can recognize and avoid them. As I observed this teacher candidate’s lesson, I could not help but think about that purpose in the context of our present time.
One passage from the lesson’s textbook concerned me the most: “Totalitarian leaders often create ‘enemies of the state’ to blame for things that go wrong. Frequently these enemies are members of religious or ethnic groups. Often these groups are easily identified and are subjected to campaigns of terror and violence. They may be forced to live in certain areas or are subjected to rules that apply only to them” (pg. 876).
Creating an enemy of the state requires othering: a process of dehumanizing through marginalizing a group of humans as something different, less than, and other. Such othered groups become an easy target to scapegoat, unfairly bearing the blame for a society’s ills.
History is replete with examples of othering. The Ancient Greeks othered based on language, labeling those who did not speak Greek barbarians. In the United States, chattel slavery and segregation were sustained through othering based on skin color. In Nazi Germany, Hitler othered based on religion, casting Jewish people as enemies of the state.
Othering frequently plays on people’s stereotypes and fears. In the United States, for example, black men have been othered as “thugs,” playing on fears about violence and criminality. In another example, public health officials in Nazi-occupied Poland played on the primal human fear of disease. Propaganda posters proclaimed “Jews Are Lice: They Cause Typhus.”
Millions of people's jobs and their family's livelihoods depend on the outcome of cases being argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court TODAY, and we want YOUR NAME on this appeal to the nine Justices asking them to put a stop to Biden's unconstitutional vaccine mandates!
Two separate mandates are on the line.
The first is the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) vaccine mandate, which requires all healthcare workers and staff at such facilities subject to federal regulation, to get the Covid-19 vaccine or submit to regular testing for the virus.
The second is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) vaccine mandate, which is actually much larger in size and scope, and would require all businesses operating in the United States with more than 100 employees to implement their own policy requiring their workers to get the Covid-19 vaccine, or face penalties such as citations and fines.
The OSHA mandate was unfortunately reinstated by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals back on December 18th, when it lifted an earlier injunction that had blocked it from going into effect as initially planned by the Biden Administration on the basis that OSHA did, in fact, have the authority to issue a sweeping mandate such as this.
If no action is taken prior to January 10th -- less than a week from today -- businesses that fail to comply with this vast government overreach will begin to be unjustly penalized.
That's why we're asking you to lend a helping hand with this urgent effort to defend working Americans' individual liberties and medical autonomy by signing YOUR NAME onto this petition to our U.S. Supreme Court Justices, imploring them to echo earlier federal court rulings that blocked these unconstitutional mandates from going into effect.
It should truly go without saying that any decision that could affect the health and well-being of individual Americans is one that should be made without coercion, manipulation, and intimidation. But of course, that has not been the attitude taken by our federal government over the course of the last year.
The Biden Administration has shown time and again its hostility towards American citizens' constitutional freedoms, and by attempting to institute these mandates, it is embracing medical tyranny over medical autonomy once again, and our country's workers will find themselves its latest victim.
We already know that the federal government has overstepped its bounds in its wide-encompassing campaign to coerce the public into getting the vaccine, and, of course, neither OSHA nor CMS has the ability to craft legislation, even in times of emergency, nor the authority to issue, but these mandates will effectively do just that.
This is an abuse of power within the executive branch, plain and simple.
That's why our nation's highest court must be steadfast in protecting the rights of our nation's working people rather than the authoritarian desires of Washington politicians and bureaucrats.
In the wake of the rising Omicron variant of Covid-19, we are reminded that the vaccines heralded by Joe Biden and his allies are not only experimental in their present nature (clinical trials have yet to be completed), but are largely ineffective at preventing the spread of the virus itself.
As reports of fully-vaccinated Americans testing positive for Covid pour in, we must ask ourselves: When will enough be enough?
Should these mandates be upheld by the Supreme Court, and therefore permitted to go into effect while appeals from challengers work their way through lower courts, countless Americans will be at risk of losing their jobs and sacrificing their livelihoods for not adhering to authoritarian-style demands on the part of our federal government.
The CMS mandate will ensure that millions of healthcare professionals and frontline workers will go without work, and, in turn, millions of patients will go without the care they need -- even as Covid numbers continue to spike.
Likewise, the OSHA mandate, which would affect an estimated 84 million American workers, will not only leave millions more without work, but will also penalize employers who choose to prioritize their employees' freedoms and personal needs over submitting to unreasonable, oppressive government demands.
This is not for the greater good of our country and its people, and it's certainly not constitutional.
Our Supreme Court Justices must do their duty and protect the American people from these dangerous mandates.
Please SIGN and SHARE this important petition asking our nation's Supreme Court Justices to stand up for the rights of American workers by blocking Joe Biden's unconstitutional vaccine mandates from going into effect while challenges to the policies work their way through the court system.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'Supreme Court to hear 2 Biden vaccine mandate cases on Jan. 7': https://www.lifesitenews.
**Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Now, some politicians are othering the “unvaccinated.” These politicians attempt to scapegoat and marginalize this minority group, despite knowing that vaccinated and unvaccinated persons alike can contract and spread COVID-19. Below, I provide the words of three politicians as examples of othering language. I also encourage you to read their words in context.
In the United States, President Joe Biden’s September 9 press conference announced sweeping vaccine mandates. He expressed that “many of us are frustrated” with unvaccinated persons. He laid blame on them for the continued pandemic; Biden claimed that this “pandemic of the unvaccinated” was “caused by…nearly 80 million Americans who have failed to get the shot.” He faulted “a distinct minority of Americans” for “keeping us from turning the corner.” And he promised “We cannot allow these actions to stand in the way of protecting the large majority of Americans who have done their part and want to get back to life as normal.”
In a September 17 interview on the Quebec talk show La semaine des 4 Julie, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau labeled those opposed to vaccination “misogynists” and “racists.” Then he exclaimed that Canada needed to make a choice: “Do we tolerate these people?”
In France, President Emmanuel Macron gave an interview with Le Parisien on January 4. In this interview, he categorized the unvaccinated as non-citizens, referred to their “lies and stupidity” as the “worst enemies” of democracy, and proclaimed “I really want to piss [the unvaccinated] off.” Macron argued these unvaccinated persons to be only “a very small minority who are resisting,” and asked a chilling question: “How do we reduce that minority?”
In these communications, Biden, Trudeau, and Macron employed several practices of othering.
- They created a majority in-group, signaled by use of the first person plural (we, us), and a minority othered group, signaled by use of the third person plural (they, them).
- They cast blame for government pandemic policies on that othered group (“keeping us from turning the corner”).
- They used words to signal to the in-group that they should be angry at the othered group (“many of us are frustrated,” “I really want to piss them off”).
- Trudeau and Macron specifically used labels that devalued this othered group: misogynists, racists, enemies, non-citizens.
- Most worryingly, Macron and Trudeau questioned whether and how to eliminate this othered group (“Do we tolerate these people?” and “How do we reduce that minority?”).
My hope is that this will all amount to nothing more than ignored political rhetoric – empty bluster these politicians hope will score a few popularity points with their electoral base. My fear is that it will not. Either way, this dangerous othering language must be recognized and condemned.
Historians study causality: contexts, conditions, events and their outcomes. We have examined the conditions that yielded chattel slavery, the gulag, the Holocaust, Jim Crow, Rwanda. This is not an attempt to equate current pandemic policies with these past tragedies.
Rather, this is a warning call. We have seen these conditions before, and we have seen where they lead. Turn back now – that way leads to darkness.
Republished with permission of the Brownstone Institute.