A Kansas Republican has apologized for publishing a controversial cartoon on a rural newspaper that likened face mask requirements to the Holocaust.
The cartoon was featured on the Anderson County Review, which is owned by GOP chair Dane Hicks. It compared Laura Kelly’s recent order of wearing face masks in public with the Holocaust. The drawing saw a woman, Kansas governor Laura Kelly, wearing a face cover with the Star of David plastered on it. Behind her were Jewish people lining up to board a train that was bound for concentration camp.
“Lockdown Laura says: Put on your mask… and step onto the cattle car,” the caption read.
Kelly has announced that Kansans are required to wear face masks in public spaces as a statewide order.
After receiving tons of criticism, Hicks apologized for the extreme analogy and took the illustration down.
“After some heartfelt and educational conversation with Jewish leaders… I can acknowledge the imagery in my recent editorial cartoon describing state government overreach in Kansas with images of the Holocaust was deeply hurtful to members of a culture who’ve been dealt plenty of hurt throughout history—people to whom I never desired to be hurtful in the illustration of my point,” Hicks said in a statement.
“It is not my intention to heap more grief onto this historical burden, and it’s apparent I previously lacked an adequate understanding of the severity of their experience and the pain of its images,” he added.
The apology came after Kelly herself commented on the cartoon, labeling it as “deeply offensive” anti-Semitic imagery, and requested for it to be taken down.
Governor JB Pritzker chimed in and called the artwork “another disgusting display by ignorant Republicans who fail to understand that their propaganda is costing lives.”
Kansas: The Anderson country review, a Kansas newspaper, 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 pic.twitter.com/137wDzwxwT
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) July 4, 2020
Another disgusting display by ignorant Republicans who fail to understand that their propaganda is costing lives.
I helped build the Illinois Holocaust Museum to fight exactly this kind of hate.
America is better than this. https://t.co/ITa4sTSoEc
— Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) July 5, 2020