Analogies can be a useful tool when attempting to help someone understand a situation or scenario they have little to no personal experience with and have trouble relating to. They can also be wildly misguided. On Monday, conservative radio talk show host and co-founder of PragerU Dennis Prager made a statement that fell firmly into the latter category with a violent thud.
As the Daily Beast reports, Prager was being interviewed on Newsmax on Monday when he began speaking about the state of America, and the way history will look back upon this time. “If we survive this as a free country,” Prager said, “historians will just ask: How did this happen? How did people get governed by irrational fears?’”
You might think you know where Prager is going with this, but no—it got much, much worse.
By “irrational fears,” Prager was referring to the discomfort vaccinated individuals often have when faced with an unvaccinated person. To Prager, the unvaccinated have become “the pariahs of America as I have not seen in my lifetime… During the AIDS crisis, can you imagine if gay men and intravenous drug users, who… were the vast majority of people with AIDS… had they been pariahs the way the non-vaccinated are? It would have been inconceivable. And it should have been inconceivable! They should not have been made pariahs. But this is kosher. This is ok… So it’s a different America.”
Ummm… what America was Prager living in during the AIDS crisis? You know, the one that started out with the virus being referred to as a “gay disease” or “gay cancer.” Despite the overwhelming number of people who became sick or died from HIV/AIDS, it took years for the CDC to even acknowledge that it was a problem. Meanwhile, the stigma of being diagnosed with HIV often led to people being totally ostracized: people lost their jobs, their homes, and their families. Ryan White, a teenage hemophiliac who contracted the virus through a blood transfusion, was famously banned from his own school as the administration didn’t want to deal with him.
The big difference? Had there been a vaccine that would greatly decrease the chances of these same people contracting the virus, or becoming fatally ill if they did get it, most of them surely would have taken it. So where was Prager when all this was happening? According to Daily Beast’s AJ McDougall: “Prager, who would have been in his thirties during the height of the AIDS crisis, apparently went the length of the decade without witnessing the endemic fear, ostracizing, and mistreatment of AIDS sufferers by wider society.”
Dennis Prager: "During the AIDS crisis, can you imagine if gay men and intravenous drug users…had they been pariahs the way the non-vaccinated are? But it would've been inconceivable" pic.twitter.com/GQsOq4X63u
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) November 8, 2021
(Via Daily Beast)