Mainstream gaslighting of people who are vaccine injured is the quintessential example of epistemic injustice.
The wokesters have a new term that they want everyone to learn: epistemic injustice.
“Epistemology” asks the question, “how do we know something to be true?” (a surprisingly difficult question to answer). “Epistemic injustice” is just the idea that in society, some people/institutions are believed and trusted more readily than others, regardless of the quality of the evidence. For example, a young black man on trial may give honest testimony in a courtroom and yet the police officer’s word is often accepted by the jury even though some of the evidence was tainted. That’s how we get wrongful convictions that are overturned decades later if at all.
Okay fair enough. Epistemic injustice is a thing, it’s everywhere, and it’s a problem as old as time. If you’ve ever felt devalued or not listened to because of your age, sex, gender, race, class, education, profession, nationality, ethnicity, disability, etc. you’ve experienced epistemic injustice.
But then academics compete to make contributions to a trendy concept and a whole new woke language develops around the idea. In 2017, Routledge published a Handbook of Epistemic Injustice. Now the field includes the study of epistemic oppression, epistemicide, epistemic exploitation, epistemic violence, and so much more. In 2019 Professor Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni coined the term “cognitive empire” which is basically Gramsci’s concept of hegemony for a new woke postmodern era.
I happen to like many of these ideas. People are discounted and silenced all the time for no good reason and it helps to have terms to describe that reality.
But like everything the left does these days this concept is used to bludgeon any ideas or people that the left does not want to have to deal with. My sense is that the left likes these ideas because they see Republicans as inherently racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. and so “epistemic injustice” gives left academics a fancy way of saying Republicans are biased and cannot be trusted (because in this view, Republicans are always committing epistemic injustice). Ironically, paradoxically, and hypocritically, such discounting of Republicans as group is itself a form of epistemic injustice that is NOT studied by the scholars in this emerging new field.
Which brings me to my main point:
The gaslighting, discounting, discrediting, outright bigotry, and hate that mainstream society directs toward people who are vaccine injured is the quintessential example of epistemic injustice. The vaccine injured have first-hand knowledge of exactly what happened to them. Yet this is not acknowledged by scholars who study epistemic injustice. Indeed every mainstream publication in the U.S. including the NY Times, the Atlantic, and Washington Post, and every public health agency including the FDA, CDC, and NIH, treat people who are vaccine injured like dirt. Nearly all of the academic, scientific, and medical establishment engages in epistemic injustice and epistemic violence against the vaccine injured every single day.
The blacklisting, firings, suspensions of medical licenses, and refusal to give grants to any scholar who questions the Pharma narrative is another glaring example of epistemic injustice. The fact is, today, no matter how well-credentialed the scholar or how well-researched the evidence, any scholar who challenges the “Safe & Effective(TM)” narrative is potentially risking economic ruin by telling the truth.
Some of the most egregious perpetrators of epistemic injustice in our society include Rochelle Walensky, Tony Fauci, Robert Califf, Francis Collins, Peter Marks, Sara Oliver, Ashish Jha, Tom Shimabukuro, John Su, Bill Gates, Anderson Cooper, Chelsea Clinton, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Epistemic injustice (silencing, discounting, ignoring) is the tool they use to cover up their crimes against humanity.
So BY ALL MEANS let’s talk about epistemic injustice. We live in a society awash in epistemic injustice against the vaccine injured, the unvaccinated, and critical thinkers. The rich and powerful always try to silence those who threaten their standing. If scholars of epistemic injustice want to be taken seriously they must highlight these harms wherever they occur — even when committed by their own tribe. Stopping epistemic injustice starts with listening to the stories of the vaccine injured, hearing their cries, and standing withthe oppressed against the oppressors in the pharmaceutical industry.