Critics bashed a Facebook post by the Oklahoma Republican Party that compared coronavirus restrictions to the Nazi’s persecution of Jews.
The post from Friday showed a yellow Star of David patch and called on members to contact the state’s Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell to request he not impose vaccine mandates on employers.
The word “Unvaccinated” is shown on the star, similar to those Jews were forced to wear by the Nazis.
“Limited access to travel in their State, Province or Territory,” text above the image says.
“The bearer may not fly, cannot enter a pub, restaurant, club or theatre. Has limited access to either work, buy and sell goods and have access to services and healthcare. WAKE UP PEOPLE! -is this sounding familiar?”
Party leaders were quick to condemn the post and distance themselves from any part in it.
Chairman John Bennett is the only one with access to the group’s Facebook page, which is followed by over 50,000 people, the national party committeeman for the state told KOCO.
Committeeman Steve Curry said he and two party leaders have asked Bennett to take the post down, the network reported.. It remains up as of Saturday night.
“In our response to the recent posting on the GOP Facebook page, we three members find that this post is not only absurd in its attempt to compare the government’s actions to control the pandemic with the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany but also terribly disrespectful to the memories of those who lost their lives from that horrible purge,” Curry said.
Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) and other party leaders responded with a statement to KOCO.
“It is irresponsible and wrong to compare an effective vaccine – developed by President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed – to the horrors of the Holocaust,” the joint statement says. “People should have the liberty to choose if they take the vaccine, but we should never compare the unvaccinated to the victims of the Holocaust.”
Roberta Clark, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma City, told the outlet the comparison was “inappropriate.”
“To compare the actions taken by Nazi Germany to a public health discussion is ill-informed and very inappropriate,” Clark said. “It’s sad and ironic that anyone would draw an analogy from the largest-recorded genocide in the 20th century with public health attempts to actually save lives.”
This is the latest of several controversial comparisons of government-mandated coronavirus safety measures to the Holocaust, in which an estimated 6 million Jewish people were systematically exterminated by Nazi Germany.