Updated: Dec 22, 2021
The use of the Yellow Star of David as symbolism, and public reaction, illuminates the division this pandemic, government and media have created in society.
Many people are outraged at the use of the Yellow Star of David at a protest outside city hall in Fredericton on Saturday, December 18, 2021. We can debate the merits of that (and will in another article), but this exposed a much larger issue within society. This outrage came from public figures, politicians, media, and the public itself. Mayor Kate Rogers even ventured into the fray, making an official statement, condemning it and asking for a police investigation.
Mayor Kate, as she refers to herself as, has many times accused her male colleagues of being misogynists. Here is an excellent article in which she talks about how it feels to be marginalized, we understand how she felt. Maybe she can read her own words and try to have some compassion for the people she threw under the bus this past weekend.
"When you're not hearing other voices come to your defense, then those who are inclined to disagree with you feel a little bit more empowered to be more vocal in their dissent,"
- Fredericton Mayor Kate Rogers, then Councilor Kate Rogers, July 10, 2019
The problem, Mayor Kate, is that people aren't just vocalizing their distain and hatred, their actions, mandates and rules are actually marginalizing New Brunswickers. If you don't see that, and condemn it also, you're not only willfully ignoring the hatred and violence against protestors, you're supporting it.
Media is turning themselves inside out to find anyone who might disagree with the use of the symbolism, and the public is demanding heads roll, both those of the protestors and the police who were there ensuring a peaceful rally. I've seen the people on my own social media feed outraged; how dare these protestors use such symbolism. Protestors are being called, amongst other things, anti-Semitic, racist, and disgusting.
Where was all this 'outrage' when Dorothy Shephard, Minister of Health for New Brunswick made the announcement that grocery stores had the option to ban people from access to food? Can someone send a copy of Mayor Kate's official statement condemning that? Oh, that's right, it wouldn't have been politically advantageous to do so. Hey media, I've looked, and I can't locate any articles or interviews with experts regarding the dangers of preventing people from eating. If they exist, please send them.
To everyone on social media who is outraged, I'll ask you the same question. Believe me, I watched and waited. When Minister Shephard made that announcement on a Friday, I had hope that the people in my life would finally see the discrimination, call me and ask how can I help? I waited and I checked their pages, I checked my phone for missed texts or calls and by Sunday night I was pretty disillusioned by what I wasn't seeing. No one in my life came to our defense, no one said 'wait a minute, this is wrong'. No one.
Your silence is deafening.
You can pretend this is about a health crisis, it is not. Excluding people from society for not taking a vaccine that does not stop transmission of a virus, all in the name of stopping transmission of that virus is nothing more than behavior modification - punishment for not complying. Period.
Where was the outrage last weekend when a man attempted to run over peaceful protesters with his truck in Moncton? Where are the media reports on it? That is why police were at the rally on Saturday. It wasn't for the public's protection, it was for the protestors' protection. And for anyone who isn't aware, peaceful assembly is a protect right.
So, get as outraged as you like over the use of the star on Saturday, all of you. Have at it. You've already proven many times that you're willing turn a blind eye to government revoking freedoms if those actions don't affect you. You sat by silently, even cheered when people lost their jobs, were prevented from attending their college or university classes, when our kids were denied the opportunity to play sports. When the Boyce Farmer's Market reversed its decision to require the vaccination pass, people on their social media were outraged, not for health reasons, but because the lines would be longer. You read that right, there are people in this city who wish for others to be discriminated against for their own convenience. That my friends, is disgusting.
So whether the use of the star was appropriate or not, the fact that this is the mountain you all have decided to do battle on says everything needed to know about who you truly are. Many say this pandemic has changed people's characters, I disagree. I think it's only revealing their true character which has been lying just under the surface and has now been unmasked.
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