I have frequently admired the tact and willingness to look at different sides of difficult issues that the cast and crew of “Last Man Standing” have had. However, I must admit that when I sat down to watch the latest episode addressing vaccination, I had my doubts. It’s generally not considered appropriate to give any consideration to the idea that vaccinations may be less than 99.9% safe and effective. Because of this, people like me are condemned, slandered, shamed and ostracized in the name of “science”.
I was pleasantly surprised that this episode did not end wrapped up in a perfect bow with the parents vaccinating their son while cliches about the common good are repeated. I appreciated the willingness of this “Last Man Standing” to acknowledge, that, yes, death is a side effect! This is a complex issue with strong feelings on both sides. It’s a step in the right direction though when a TV show attempts to understand rather than demean parents who have different views. While no one wants to admit it, there is a great deal of prejudice against people who choose not to vaccinate. And it is prejudice because we are judged without a full discussion of the facts.
And while efforts are openly made to reduce prejudice against racial, cultural, sexual and religious differences, hatred of non-vaccinating individuals has the approval of the medical community and America at large. People say the most hate-filled venomous things about me and family. But my friends don’t even know that it’s me they are directing all that hatred at. They imagine that people who vaccinate are some ignorant fear-mongers they will never meet. The reality is that you probably know someone who doesn’t vaccinate and they probably seem like a perfectly reasonable person. This is why it is so important that we seek to understand each other.
We’re all after the truth here. But silencing those of us who oppose vaccination won’t get any of us closer to the truth. The more we can engage in civil dialogue about our concerns, the closer to the truth we’ll get. So thank you, “Last Man Standing” for taking a step in the right direction.