Justifying Cruelty

Justifying Cruelty

*By Jeannie Magdua, CLW Founding Member and Contributing Writer


“You are a bioreactor facility generating virus … if that’s judgmental, so be it.”

Washington State Governor, Jay Inslee


I won’t deny that I disagree with just about everything that our governor says, but when Inslee spoke those words, I was not merely in disagreement. I was deeply, deeply troubled. At first, I couldn’t quite put my finger on what exactly worried me about his statement. Then, an interview that was done by NPR in 2011 was shared on social media which cleared it up for me. The interviewee was author, David Livingstone Smith, and his book was ‘Less Than Human’: The Psychology of Cruelty. Dr. Livingstone Smith explains that a group of people must be made less than human in the eyes of society to justify cruelty towards them. He provides several historical examples of this tactic. Governor Inslee dehumanized a group of people with his statement.

Dehumanization is not the only step towards the justification of cruelty, of course. As Dr. Livingstone Smith further explains, society must also fear those being dehumanized. If those who are less than human are also seen as dangerous, then cruelty and genocide are further justified. So, how are those who are hesitant to get the vaccine being portrayed as dangerous?

At a White House press briefing on July 16, 2021, Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, and Fox News reporter, Peter Doocy, had an exchange around the issue of social media posts. This exchange has been widely reported on and shared on social media. Many outlets on the left have hailed the exchange as a win for Jen Psaki. At that press briefing, Psaki stated clearly that the Biden administration is actively reviewing Facebook posts about COVID-19 and the available vaccines, looking for what they deem as misinformation. She also stated that they are in touch with Facebook and working with them to censor information that the administration has flagged as misinformation.

Peter Doocy gave two examples of when those in power in the administration and in the media may have provided troubling misinformation themselves:

  1. In the Spring of 2020, Dr. Anthony Fauci stated in an interview that masks are not effective in preventing the spread of the virus. In response to this Psaki said that we all know the information about the virus is evolving.
  2. In the summer of 2020, many people were censored or banned from social media platforms for sharing information that COVID-19 may have originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. On July 15 of this year, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said that they were premature in ruling out the possibility that the virus originated in the lab, and there are reports that the Biden administration is split on whether the virus started in the wild or in the lab at Wuhan.

The government has gotten things wrong on COVID-19 and many other issues, including public health issues, throughout our history. Psaki admitted that the knowledge on COVID-19 is evolving. This is why freedom of speech is so important. We must have access to information that may contradict what those in power say, about public health or any other issue.


When Doocy asked Psaki how long the Biden administration has been spying on people in Facebook, she responded that such a question was “loaded and inaccurate.” Psaki tried to explain that it’s not spying if the statements are made in public. Doocy then said, “The big concern though, I think for a lot of people on Facebook is that now this is Big Brother watching you.” Psaki’s response was a statement meant to justify “Big Brother” activities by generating fear: “They’re more concerned about that than people dying across the country because of a pandemic where misinformation is traveling on social media platforms? That feels unlikely to me.” Psaki’s statement shows she (and the Biden administration) believes that only the government has the authority to determine what is truth and what is not. Social media outlets, now in partnership with the powerful government, stifle the speech of anyone who dares question their “truth” and they are labeled “dangerous.”

It isn’t dangerous to look at information provided by experts that have equally impressive credentials and experience as those experts hired by the government. Such experts have been silenced by social media because their conclusions don’t fit the government narrative, but it is our right to have access to that information. We aren’t required to defer to some experts simply because they’ve been hired by the government. We are human beings with human rights and the government is often wrong. No one should be coerced, by limiting access to contradictory information, or by other means, into taking an experimental vaccine, an injection of some chemical/medical substance into our bodies. We have the right to investigate and make an informed decision the best we can without government interference.


I am writing this to try and reason with those who’ve heard Inslee’s and Psaki’s (and others’) statements and felt some kind of check in their hearts; those who’ve thought maybe this is going too far. Please help us all to use foresight, based on what we’ve learned from history and hindsight, to prevent mass cruelty against those who simply want to make decisions on their own health. I know this all sounds farfetched and I hope to God it is. I would rather look a fool than be right about this. Unfortunately, many who sound the alarm before a catastrophe occurs always look like fools until hindsight proves them right.

Conservative Ladies of Washington

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