Rep.-elect Walter Hudson is doubling down on comments he made comparing COVID-19 vaccine mandates to slavery at a Mask Off Minnesota event in Bloomington earlier this week.
“I’m not saying that vaccine mandates are like slavery. I’m saying they are slavery because it is a claim of ownership over the life and body of another human being,” Hudson told Alpha News over the phone this week.
Hudson, a Republican, will represent District 30A, which encompasses St. Michael, Albertville, Hanover, Otsego, and Rockford Township.
Hudson said DFL lawmakers are openly discussing plans to introduce legislation that would prevent people from “conscientiously” objecting to vaccine mandates.
“They want to take away your right to choose. I’m pointing at that and saying taking away the right to choose is slavery. It is a claim of ownership,” he said.
Hudson was subjected to endless media criticism after a clip of him speaking at Sunday’s Mask Off Minnesota event went viral.
So, Rep-elect Walter Hudson, a black man, speaks as a panelist, to a current issue of the day regarding vaccines and related it, potentially, to part of his ancestral heritage. A whole lot of white people ridicule him for his words-they don’t simply disagree. They ridicule him. https://t.co/V8N0wBFZay
— Scott Jensen (@drscottjensen) December 13, 2022
“My point is that we need to make the moral case and go straight to the heart of what is at issue and that is the ownership of our own lives. We own ourselves. We don’t belong to other human beings,” he said. “Therefore, you don’t get to tell me what to do. You don’t get to control my body. You don’t get to coerce me into putting substances into my body. That was basically the point.”
Hudson said his comment was made in response to a question about pushing back against efforts to take away choices from parents and patients, specifically as it relates to COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
The CDC voted earlier this year to add the COVID-19 vaccine to its immunization schedule for school-aged children.
“The Democrats are going to point to that and use it as justification to pursue something they’ve wanted to do for a long time, which is to remove the ability of parents and students in Minnesota to conscientiously object to any or all of the vaccines,” Hudson said.
DFL Party Chair Ken Martin tweeted in response to Hudson’s comments, “The MNGOP and GOP continue to double down on crazy conspiracy theories, misinformation, and in this case fabricated false-equivalencies.”
Hudson said his comments shouldn’t be controversial, but the DFL doesn’t want to acknowledge what’s really at issue, which is autonomy and ownership over one’s own body.
They don’t want to frame the argument in that way, he said.
“They have to characterize it. They have to focus in on the supposed absurdity of what they’re calling a comparison and what I call a classification,” he said. “So, they’re going to focus on, ‘Oh wow; isn’t that crazy?’ as opposed to answering the argument in any substantive way.”
Hudson said both vaccine mandates and slavery are circumstances where one individual claims ownership over the life of another.
“They’re using the same root moral premise, which is that I need something and therefore I get to use you to obtain it,” he said. “That’s the basis of the COVID vaccine mandate or the offered basis of it. Whether they want to keep people safe or not, when you say, ‘I’m afraid of getting sick. Therefore, you must inject this into your body. I have a need, therefore, I get to claim ownership over you,’ that is the essence of slavery. So, it’s a moral equivalency in the sense of you are making a moral claim that is the same as that which was made to justify chattel slavery.”
Hudson said he doesn’t care if he’s isolated from the rest of the Legislature, including his own caucus, as a consequence of telling the truth, standing up for what’s right, and defending people’s rights.
“That is an indictment of them more than it is of me,” he said. “The idea that I should not say what is true and that I should not defend the rights of people to control their own lives for fear of some legislator not wanting to work with me, thats fine.”
He said he’s received no direct pushback from his caucus.
“I got my committee assignments, and I’m going to be sworn in on the third. I’m having conversations with legislators about pursuing legislation across the board on a variety of subjects, and nothing has really changed on the ground in terms of how this position is going to proceed and operate. So I think a lot of what you’re hearing is just rhetoric.”