Fall might be in the air, but the debate around vaccines and vaccine mandates isn’t cooling off one bit. Over the past week, rapper Nicki Minaj joined the public square debate by tweeting this:
Minaj then encouraged her fan base to “pray on it” and to be comfortable with their decision before getting the vaccine. She also told her followers not to be “bullied” into taking the vaccine.
The backlash was swift.
From TV broadcasters to blue check marks on Twitter, the left-wing media lined up to attack, malign, and disparage Minaj.
Others mocked her for daring to think she could do her own research on the vaccine.
This entire scenario is completely ridiculous, not to mention sexist and demeaning. How dare a woman think for herself and not automatically fall in line with government coercion? It is worth noting that many of Minaj’s detractors are the same people who advocate for Black women, but it seems when a member of that group breaks with them ideologically, they are quick to condemn them.
Minaj is right to want to do her own research and make the decisions she thinks best for her own body. No matter where one falls on the issues of the vaccine, one thing is certain: we the people have been misled by our government consistently over the past year.
For example, according to reporting by the Chicago Suntimes: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed course on some masking guidelines, recommending that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors.”
For months, Americans were told that those who got the vaccine could stop wearing a mask, only for that to be retracted a few weeks later. Combined with the multiple times the government’s top doctor, Anthony Fauci, flipped-flopped on various COVID policies, it is reasonable for a person to want to do their own research and to question the government’s commands.
Minaj is doing just that, and in doing so, she’s living out an important principle—that of individual autonomy.
In Autonomy in Moral and Political Philosophy, Professor of Philosophy John Christman writes,
“Put most simply, to be autonomous is to govern oneself, to be directed by considerations, desires, conditions, and characteristics that are not simply imposed externally upon one, but are part of what can somehow be considered one’s authentic self. Autonomy in this sense seems an irrefutable value, especially since its opposite — being guided by forces external to the self and which one cannot authentically embrace — seems to mark the height of oppression.”
Individual autonomy means that because we own ourselves, we can live our lives as we see fit, and no one has the right to manipulate or coerce us into making decisions about our bodies. And that coercion includes external forces, like the left-wing Twitter “Blue Checks” or the mainstream media.
Free people will not be mandated into getting a vaccine. And the left’s consistent attempts to shut down detractors and prohibit open dialogue and debate around the topic is only making the situation worse. As a counter-example, Minaj is being honest about her concerns, encouraging feedback through polls on her Twitter, and inviting her millions of followers to discuss their experiences. This process is how we as a society arrive at the truth, and it is a necessary process for an informed populace.
As Thomas Jefferson famously said, “a well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.”
Everyone who values liberty, respects individual autonomy and opposes tyranny should do what Minaj did. Take the time to do your own research, make your own decision, and don’t let anyone bully you into doing something you do not agree with.