THE SCARLET U
“Mostly, I’m tired of people being ugly to each other. I’m tired of all the pain I feel and hear in the world every day. There’s too much of it. It’s like pieces of glass in my head, all the time… Can you understand?”
Hearing that quote from prisoner John Coffey in the screen adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Green Mile,” the filmgoing audience had little trouble identifying the burden on the convicted murderer’s heart. In fact, most of us have looked at the world around us and secretly made that same lament. Unfortunately, whether such things happen or not is never really the question at hand- because we all know that they do. The concern of course, is that collectively, based on history’s many examples of man’s inhumanity to man, we have clearly not learned from our past.
Throughout the Bible’s Old Testament, we discovered the Leprosarium, the quarantined colonies that forced perceived carriers of Leprosy to congregate only among others with both the symptoms and the disease. During this process, the physical, emotional, and mental scarring notwithstanding, they were forced to declare themselves publicly and loudly, “unclean, unclean,” leaving no doubt in the minds of others exactly who they were. Even then, this was not for the benefit of those afflicted- It merely served as a stigma tool for the rest of the known world. In author Nathaniel Hawthorne’s epic 1850 novel, “The Scarlet Letter,” we learn of the plight concerning adulterer Hester Prynne, who, as punishment for her adulterous act, must now wear a scarlet “A” to signify not only her indiscretion, but her refusal to name her partner-in-crime. As a result, Prynne’s shame followed her for the remainder of her life. Again, a symbol designed only to send a message of shame for the world around her.
Fast forward to 2020.
As the Coronavirus tunneled its way through the health of the worldwide populace, those seeking control, much like the manipulators of the Leprosarium and those that sought Hester Prynne’s public dishonor, once again saw an opportunity, and took it. After corralling us into our homes and attempting to curfew our lives by locking down most of our American cities, they quickly discovered that the rebels, understanding their God-given, constitutionally honored rights to live and work and pursue happiness would not go ‘quietly into that goodnight’- or down without a fight. If that weren’t enough, those in power utilized “mask mandates” with safety reports and “science” that fluctuated like a Richter scale chart, that only sought to manipulate American lives even further. Thus, the next step was to enlist the public in revealing the names of those that dared to either violate the order or break curfew. Despite the fact that churches and struggling local businesses remained closed- while bars, Cannabis-based operations and many abortion clinics remained open, that did not hinder those simply choosing to attend church from their cars, or those that continued to operate their stores, gyms, restaurants, and hair salons.
Fast forward to 2021. With Coronavirus cases and deaths dramatically falling, a last-ditch effort for control faced those desiring to maintain power. After the experimental vaccines were initially introduced, albeit hesitantly; most had considered taking them. However, questionable reports like the VAERS(Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) revelation of the more than 5,000 deaths and adverse reactions from the experimental vaccines, the undecided remnants were by and large no longer undecided-they refused to take it. As a result, the few, the proud, the unvaccinated are publicly being ostracized. The mantra, “my body-my choice,” once used to symbolize the pro-choice movement-has fallen by the wayside; only to be replaced by the maligning that still existed to a degree in the form of the on again-off again-should we-shouldn’t we- mask mandate symbols of Orwellian identified control. Although no longer escalating to verbal attacks, they are still being shunned like Lepers, and singled out like Hester Prynne. Now known as the “Anti-Vaccers,” they still maintain both their stance and position in society, awaiting the next wave of subtle attacks on Mainstream Media, public venues or through social media that never allow them to forget for a moment that there is a pound of flesh to be paid for standing against the establishment. Like John Coffey, we are tired as well. We recognize that there is no need to be ugly to each other, save the rationalization clearly in the minds and hearts of those feeding the narrative of schism. Despite all of this, we have made our peace, and are prepared to live with the decision we have made. For the unvaccinated, we consider it a badge of honor. Let the attacks come. Let the blackballing and excommunication come. We will proudly continue to wear the Scarlet U.