Kansas newspaper equates mask mandate with Holocaust

Updated: Jul 06, 2020, 08:21 IST | Agencies | Topeka

Kelly, who is Catholic, issued a statement saying, "Mr. Hicks' decision to publish anti-Semitic imagery is deeply offensive and he should remove it immediately."

The Anderson County Review, a weekly Kansas newspaper whose publisher is a county Republican Party chairman posted a cartoon on its Facebook page likening the Democratic governor's order requiring people to wear masks in public to the roundup and murder of millions of Jews during the Holocaust. The cartoon on the Anderson County Review's Facebook page depicts Gov. Laura Kelly wearing a mask with a Jewish Star of David on it, next to a drawing of people being loaded onto train cars. Its caption is, "Lockdown Laura says: Put on your mask ... and step onto the cattle car."

The newspaper posted the cartoon on Friday, the day that Kelly's mask order aimed at stemming the spread of the coronavirus took effect. It's drawn several hundred comments, many of them strongly critical. Publisher Dane Hicks, who is also Anderson County's GOP chairman, told The Associated Press on Saturday that he would answer emailed questions about the cartoon once he could reach a computer. His newspaper is based in the county seat of Garnett, about 65 miles (105 kilometres) southwest of Kansas City and has a circulation of about 2,100, according to the Kansas Press Association. Kelly, who is Catholic, issued a statement saying, "Mr. Hicks' decision to publish anti-Semitic imagery is deeply offensive and he should remove it immediately."

Kansas Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, a Topeka Democrat, called the cartoon "appalling" and disgusting" and said anyone connected to its posting to be fired. Rabbi Moti Rieber, executive director of Kansas Interfaith Action, said most if not all comparisons of current political events to the Holocaust are "odious" and said it's "incoherent" to equate an action designed to save lives with mass murder. Finally, he said, putting the Star of David on Kelly's mask is anti-Semitic because it implies "nefarious Jews" are behind her actions.

"This thing is like the trifecta of garbage," Rieber said, calling on Republican leaders to repudiate the cartoon and Hicks immediately. Some Republicans have criticized Kelly's order as infringing on personal liberties, though Kansas law allows counties to opt out and Anderson County has done so. The governor issued the order because of resurgence in reported coronavirus cases that increased the state's total to nearly 16,000 as of Friday, when Kansas finished its worst two-week spike since the pandemic began. The state has reported 277 COVID-19-related deaths. The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates.

Mid-Day is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@middayinfomedialtd) and stay updated with the latest news

This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.com

Subscribe
loading image
This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK