I’m republishing this article to show the vile hatred of the anti-vaccine racist threats against anyone who supports vaccines. This story is about past anti-vaccine racist violent death threats against California Senator Richard Pan, who pushed through SB277, the bill that eliminated the personal belief exemptions for mandatory school vaccines.
The bill still allows for legitimate medical exemptions (like immunocompromised children who need to be protected through the herd effect). Of course, Senator Pan is now pushing through legislation in the form of SB276 to reduce the abuse of the medical exemptions by many physicians with dubious excuses.
Although Sen. Pan is the leader of the California legislators, who are championing mandatory vaccines for children, others have withstood intense and hate-filled criticism from the anti-vaccine racist crowd.
Senator Pan responds to anti-vaccine racist threats
Senator Pan responded to the threats by mentioning the “vitriol” of anti-vaccine advocates, including Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who has made it his life goal to try to defeat Dr. Pan, a fellow Democrat. RFK Jr. failed.
Pan said, “What does that mean for the followers when they make comments like that? That stimulates people to want to make threats.”
In other words, Senator Dr. Pan took the high road, something that is quite unknown to the anti-vaccine racist crowd. They do this because science doesn’t support their fear, uncertainty, and doubt.
This old dinosaur isn’t as nice as Dr. Pan (and I’ll never run for office because we reptilians control the planet through other means).
Back to science and public policy
This illogical reaction by anti-vaccine pseudoscientists over SB277 ignores a Los Angeles Times data analysis that revealed that in 2014, for the first time in 12 years, fewer Californians claimed their beliefs disallowed immunizing their children.
Part of the anti-vaxxer beliefs is that the scientific concept of “herd immunity” is completely and utterly wrong (without providing one nanogram of evidence supporting that belief).
Just in case herd immunity is unfamiliar to some, it is defined as “protecting a whole community from disease by immunizing a critical mass of its populace.” For herd immunity to work, somewhere between 85 and 95% of the population needs to be immunized. This prevents a vaccine-preventable disease from moving from individual to individual.
Emily Willingham and Laura Helft wrote an article for NOVA that stated that vaccinated individuals protect:
…members of the community who cannot be vaccinated, preventing the chain of disease from reaching them and limiting potential outbreaks. Every vaccinated person adds to the effectiveness of this community-level protection.
In other words, not only do vaccines prevent each child from dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases, but it also protects the broader community, including children and adults who cannot be vaccinated. I know that altruism may be a foreign concept to the narcissism of the anti-vaxxer cult, but that’s how a society survives.
We send soldiers to war protect our country, but not all of us go, just a few, even in the largest wars. We build hospitals to protect everyone’s health. We send public health servants into epidemics to help stop diseases. Everyone usually shares in the overall well-being of a society, and everyone usually participates in supporting the greater good of society.
A civilized country protects each other – why is this ideal so foreign to the vaccine-deniers?
This anti-vaccine racist hatred is quite ironic since one of the ongoing tropes of the anti-vaxxers is that those of us on the pro-science/pro-vaccine side are the so-called “bullies.” As far as I know, none of us have ever had to advocate violence, since we are on the side of scientific evidence and logic.
I loathe the anti-vaccine pseudoscientific quacks because they are truly on the side of harming children. However, I would never want to use violence to deny their rights to make ignorant and stupid comments. It’s much more interesting to me to mock and belittle them through humor and science.
I’m too much a believer in the ideal of the greater good to advocate for violence, even against those who are morons. Or ignorant. Or whatever their dysfunction is.
The typical anti-vaccine racist has absolutely no evidence supporting their “beliefs.” No science. No evidence. Nothing.
But they’re really good at using inane logical fallacies and paid shills to push bad science. Apparently, using disgusting racist tropes and myths are useful to their cause, because they have nothing else.
This article was first published in April 2015. It’s being republished, after some copyediting, fixing broken links, and reformatting, because there’s been another uptick in racist hatred from the anti-vaccine zealots. It’s good to be reminded that violent racism remains a part of the American culture.
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