Kansas Newspaper Removes Cartoon Comparing Face Masks Rules to Holocaust

July 6, 2020

The Anderson County Review, a weekly Kansas newspaper, published a political cartoon comparing coronavirus mask mandates to the Holocaust, according to a report in the Times of Israel. The cartoon featured a depiction of the state’s Democratic Governor wearing a mask with a Star of David on it, amidst a crowd of Jews getting into cattle cars, with the caption, “Lockdown Laura Says: Put on your mask…and step into the cattle car.”

Dane Hicks, the owner of The Anderson County Review, and chairman of the Anderson County Republican Party, initially defended the cartoon and posted comments online saying he “intended no slight” to Jews or Holocaust victims, but would not apologize, and claimed the cartoon would run in the paper’s print edition as well.

However, following a flurry of criticism, including from Governor Laura Kelly, Hicks removed the cartoon. In a statement, Governor Kelly said, “Mr. Hicks’s decision to publish anti-Semitic imagery is deeply offensive and he should remove it immediately.”

Hicks said that “after some heartfelt and educational conversations with Jewish leaders in the US and abroad, I can acknowledge the imagery in my recent editorial cartoon…was deeply hurtful to members of a culture who’ve been dealt plenty of hurt throughout history. To that end I am removing the cartoon with my apologies to those so directly affected. I appreciate the patience and understanding of those who convinced me to do so.”

The Anderson County Review’s cartoon adds to the recent rise in Holocaust imagery and rhetoric which has been present at protests against Coronavirus stay at home orders and restrictions.

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Category:United States