A New State of Segregation: Vaccine Cards
Are Just the Beginning
By John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead
things we were worried would happen are
happening.”—Angus Johnston, professor at
the City University of New York
August 06, 2021"Information
Clearing House" -Imagine it: a national
classification system that not only categorizes you
according to your health status but also allows the
government to sort you in a hundred other ways: by
gender, orientation, wealth, medical condition,
religious beliefs, political viewpoint, legal
This is the slippery slope upon which we are
embarking, one that begins with vaccine passports
and ends with a national system of segregation.
It has already begun.
With every passing day, more and more private
businesses and government agencies on both the state
and federal level are requiring proof of a COVID-19
vaccination in order for individuals to work,
travel, shop, attend school, and generally
participate in the life of the country.
No matter what one’s views may be regarding the
government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, this
is an unnerving proposition for a country that
claims to prize the rights of the individual and
whose Bill of Rights was written in such a way as to
favor the rights of the minority.
By allowing government agents to establish a
litmus test for individuals to be able to engage in
commerce, movement and any other right that
corresponds to life in a supposedly free society, it
lays the groundwork for a “show me your papers”
society in which you are
required to identify yourself at any
time to any government worker who demands
it for any reason.
Such tactics can quickly escalate into a
power-grab that empowers government agents to force
anyone and everyone to prove they are in compliance
with every statute and regulation on the books. Mind
you, there are thousands of statutes and regulations
on the books. Indeed, in this era of
overcriminalization, it is estimated that the
average American unknowingly breaks at least three
laws a day.
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This is also how the right to move about freely
has been undermined, overtaken and rewritten into a
privilege granted by the government to those
citizens who are prepared to toe the line.
It used to be that “we the people” had
the right to come and go as we please without
the fear of being stopped, questioned by police or
forced to identify ourselves. In other words, unless
police had a reasonable suspicion that a person was
guilty of wrongdoing, they had no legal authority to
stop the person and require identification.
Unfortunately, in this age of COVID-19, that
unrestricted right to move about freely is being
pitted against the government’s power to lock down
communities at a moment’s notice. And in this
tug-of-war between individual freedoms and
government power, “we the people” have been on the
losing end of the deal.
Now vaccine passports, vaccine admission
requirements, and travel restrictions may seem like
small, necessary steps in winning the war
against the COVID-19 virus, but that’s just so much
propaganda. They’re only necessary to the police
state in its efforts to further brainwash the
populace into believing that the government
legitimately has the power to enforce such blatant
acts of authoritarianism.
This is how you imprison a populace and lock down
It makes no difference if such police state
tactics are carried out in the name of national
security or protecting America’s borders or making
America healthy again: the philosophy remains the
same, and it is a mindset that is not friendly to
You can’t have it both ways.
You can’t live in a constitutional republic if
you allow the government to act like a police state.
You can’t claim to value freedom if you allow the
government to operate like a dictatorship.
You can’t expect to have your rights respected if
you allow the government to treat whomever it
pleases with disrespect and an utter disregard for
the rule of law.
If you’re tempted to justify these draconian
measures for whatever reason—for the sake of health
concerns, the economy, or national security—beware:
there’s always a boomerang effect.
Whatever dangerous practices you allow the
government to carry out now, rest assured, these
same practices can and will be used against you when
the government decides to set its sights on you.
The war on drugs turned out to be a war on the
American people, waged with SWAT teams and
militarized police. The war on terror turned out to
be a war on the American people, waged with
warrantless surveillance and indefinite detention
for those who dare to disagree.
The war on immigration turned out to be a war on
the American people, waged with roving government
agents demanding “papers, please.”
This war on COVID-19 is turning out to be yet
another war on the American people, waged with all
of the surveillance weaponry and tracking mechanisms
at the government’s disposal. You see, when you talk
about empowering government agents to screen the
populace in order to control and prevent spread of
this virus, what you’re really talking about is
creating a society in which ID cards, round ups,
checkpoints and detention centers become routine
weapons used by the government to control and
suppress the populace, no matter the threat.
No one is safe.
No one is immune.
And as I illustrate in my new novel,
The Erik Blair Diaries, no one gets
spared the anguish, fear and heartache of living in
a police state.
That’s the message being broadcast 24/7 with
every new piece of government propaganda, every new
law that criminalizes otherwise lawful activity,
every new policeman on the beat, every new
surveillance camera casting a watchful eye, every
sensationalist news story that titillates and
distracts, every new prison or detention center
built to house troublemakers and other undesirables,
every new court ruling that gives government agents
a green light to strip and steal and rape and ravage
the citizenry, every school that opts to
indoctrinate rather than educate, and every new
justification for why Americans should comply with
the government’s attempts to trample the
Yes, COVID-19 has taken a significant toll on the
nation emotionally, physically, and economically,
but there are still greater dangers on the horizon.
As long as “we the people” continue to allow the
government to trample our rights in the so-called
name of national security, things will get worse,
It’s already worse.
We’ve been having this same debate about the
perils of government overreach for the past 50-plus
years, and still we don’t seem to learn, or if we
learn, we learn too late.
Curiously enough, these COVID-19 mandates,
restrictions and vaccine card requirements dovetail
conveniently with a national timeline for states to
comply with the Real ID Act, which imposes federal
standards on identity documents such as state
drivers’ licenses, a
prelude to a national identification system.
Talk about a perfect storm for bringing about a
national ID card, the ultimate human tracking
In the absence of a national ID card, which would
make the police state’s task of monitoring, tracking
and singling out individual suspects far simpler,
“we the people” are already being tracked in a
myriad of ways: through our state driver’s licenses,
Social Security numbers, bank accounts, purchases
and electronic transactions; biometrics; by way of
our correspondence and communication devices (email,
phone calls and mobile phones); through chips
implanted in our vehicles, identification documents,
even our clothing.
Add to this the fact that businesses, schools and
other facilities are relying more and more on
fingerprints and facial recognition to identify us.
All the while, data companies such as Acxiom are
capturing vast caches of personal information to
help airports, retailers, police and other
government authorities instantly determine whether
someone is the person he or she claims to be.
This informational glut—used to great advantage
by both the government and corporate sectors—has
converged into a mandate for “an internal passport,”
a.k.a., a national ID card that would store
information as basic as a person’s name, birth date
and place of birth, as well as private information,
including a Social Security number, fingerprint,
retinal scan and personal, criminal and financial
A federalized, computerized, cross-referenced,
databased system of identification policed by
government agents would be the final nail in the
coffin for privacy (not to mention a
logistical security nightmare that would leave
Americans even more vulnerable to every hacker in
Americans have always resisted adopting a
national ID card for good reason: National ID card
systems have been used before, by other oppressive
governments, in the name of national security,
invariably with horrifying results. After all, such
a system gives the government and its agents the
ultimate power to target, track and terrorize the
populace according to the government’s own nefarious
For instance, in Germany, the Nazis required all
Jews to carry special
stamped ID cards for travel within the country.
A prelude to the yellow Star of David badges, these
stamped cards were instrumental in identifying Jews
for deportation to death camps in Poland.
Author Raul Hilberg summarizes the impact that
such a system had on the Jews:
The whole identification system, with its
personal documents, specially assigned names,
and conspicuous tagging in public, was
weapon in the hands of the police. First,
the system was an auxiliary device that
facilitated the enforcement of residence and
movement restrictions. Second, it was an
independent control measure in that it enabled
the police to pick up any Jew, anywhere,
anytime. Third, and perhaps most important,
identification had a paralyzing effect on its
In South Africa during apartheid, pass books were
used to regulate the movement of black citizens and
segregate the population. The Pass Laws Act of 1952
stipulated where, when and for how long a black
African could remain in certain areas.
Any government employee could strike out entries,
which cancelled the permission to remain in an area.
A pass book that did not have a valid entry resulted
in the arrest and imprisonment of the bearer.
Identity cards played a crucial role in the genocide
of the Tutsis in the central African country of
Rwanda. The assault, carried out by extremist Hutu
militia groups, lasted around 100 days and resulted
in close to a million deaths. While the ID cards
were not a precondition to the genocide, they were a
facilitating factor. Once the genocide began, the
an identity card with the designation “Tutsi”
spelled a death sentence at any roadblock.
Identity cards have also helped oppressive
regimes carry out
eliminationist policies such as mass expulsion,
forced relocation and group denationalization.
Through the use of identity cards, Ethiopian
authorities were able to identify people with
Eritrean affiliation during the mass expulsion of
1998. The Vietnamese government was able to locate
ethnic Chinese more easily during their 1978-79
expulsion. The USSR used identity cards to force the
relocation of ethnic Koreans (1937), Volga Germans
(1941), Kamyks and Karachai (1943), Crimean Tartars,
Meshkhetian Turks, Chechens, Ingush and Balkars
(1944) and ethnic Greeks (1949). And ethnic
Vietnamese were identified for group
denationalization through identity cards in Cambodia
in 1993, as were the Kurds in Syria in 1962.
And in the United States, post-9/11,
more than 750 Muslim men were rounded up on the
basis of their religion and ethnicity and
detained for up to eight months. Their experiences
echo those of 120,000 Japanese-Americans who were
similarly detained 75 years ago following the attack
on Pearl Harbor.
Despite a belated apology and monetary issuance
by the U.S. government, the
U.S. Supreme Court has yet to declare such a
practice illegal. Moreover, laws such as the
National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) empower
the government to arrest and detain indefinitely
anyone they “suspect” of being an enemy of the
So you see, you may be innocent of wrongdoing
now, but when the standard for innocence is set by
the government, no one is safe.
Everyone is a suspect.
And anyone can be a criminal when it’s the
government determining what is a crime.
It’s no longer a matter of if, but
Remember, the police state does not discriminate.
At some point, it will not matter whether your
skin is black or yellow or brown or white. It will
not matter whether you’re an immigrant or a citizen.
It will not matter whether you’re rich or poor. It
won’t even matter whether you’ve been properly
medicated, vaccinated or indoctrinated.
Government jails will hold you just as easily
whether you’ve obeyed every law or broken a dozen.
Government bullets will kill you just as easily
whether you’re complying with a police officer’s
order or questioning his tactics. And whether or not
you’ve done anything wrong, government agents will
treat you like a suspect simply because they have
been trained to view and treat everyone like
Eventually, as I make clear in my book Battlefield
America: The War on the American People,
when the police state has turned that final screw
and slammed that final door, all that will matter is
whether some government agent chooses to single you
out for special treatment.
Constitutional attorney and author John W.
Whitehead is founder and president
Rutherford Institute. His books Battlefield
America: The War on the American People and
A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American
Police State are available at
He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nisha Whitehead is the Executive Director of The
Rutherford Institute. Information about The
Rutherford Institute is available at
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