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 Voices | | Coronavirus →

I wasn’t a minority, until today

Samuel Sey
Courtesy of Samuel Sey

One of my friends sent me a text earlier this week saying: 

“It’s interesting: in all my 29 years of living in this country, I’ve never once felt that I was a minority — until now.”

I feel the same way. 

My friend and I are what the Canadian government officially labels as “visible minorities.” But we’ve never accepted that term. We are not minorities. We’ve never felt outnumbered in this country. We’ve never felt like outsiders in our home.

Until now.

We’ve never felt like minorities — until now. We had the same rights as everybody else — until now. We’ve never felt like minorities in a two-tier system — until now. We’ve never felt like second-class citizens — until now. We were not marginalized or segregated — until now.

I wasn’t a minority — until today. 

Yesterday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that vaccine passports will be enforced in our province starting Sept. 22. 

Because of Doug Ford’s provincial vaccine passport and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal vaccine mandate, I will no longer be allowed in restaurants, movie theatres, concerts, gyms, some trains, and planes.

Justin Trudeau recently said:

“[unvaccinated people] are putting at risk their own kids, and they’re putting at risk our kids as well. That’s why we’ve been unequivocal: if you want to get on a train or a plane in the coming months, you’re going to have to be fully vaccinated so families with their kids don’t have to worry that someone is going to put them in danger in the seat next to them or across the aisle…those people are putting us all at risk.”

In other words: I am the virus.

Apparently, parents and children should be afraid of me. They should be afraid of sitting next to me in a restaurant, movie theatre, train, or a plane. 

I am the one putting people at risk. I am the threat. I am the virus — not COVID.

That’s why the government is implementing unscientific and immoral methods through vaccine passports. At least 15 studies show that unvaccinated people with natural immunity from prior infection with COVID have significantly longer-lasting and more protection from COVID than vaccinated people.

In fact, one Harvard Medical School professor says

“In Israel, vaccinated individuals had 27 times higher risk of symptomatic COVID infection compared to those with natural immunity from prior COVID disease.”

So vaccine passports are not only unscientific and immoral — they’re also unhelpful against stopping COVID-19. 

Vaccine passports will not stop COVID-19, they’ll just stop me. They’ll just stop me from enjoying the same rights and privileges as everybody else. 

Viola Desmond’s image is on the 10 dollar bill in Canada because our nation supposedly hates our history with segregation. We supposedly hate that Viola Desmond was forcibly removed from her seat at a movie theatre. And yet soon, because of the vaccine passport — I will be segregated, I will not be allowed to buy a movie ticket with my Viola Desmond money. 

COVID-19 shouldn’t make us forget what this nation is supposed to stand for. COVID-19 shouldn’t make us forget our history. COVID shouldn’t make us forget our fundamental freedoms. If our freedoms aren’t fundamental in difficult times, then they aren’t fundamental at all.

If I shouldn’t be segregated for what’s on the outside of my skin, why should I be segregated for what isn’t on the inside of my skin?

Since the vaccine passport segregates and erases me from parts of our society, though I’ve never been a visible minority, today — I am an invisible minority.


Originally published at Slow to Write

Samuel Sey is a Ghanaian-Canadian who lives in Brampton, a city just outside of Toronto. He is committed to addressing racial, cultural, and political issues with biblical theology, and always attempts to be quick to listen and slow to speak.

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