Dane Hicks, the owner of Kansas newspaper The Anderson County Review, is apologizing after publishing a cartoon equating a push to wear masks to prevent the spread of covid-19 with, um....genocide. The cartoon depicted Kansas governor Laura Kelly wearing a face mask with the star of David; behind her a group of people being loaded onto a train with the caption, “Lockdown Laura says: Put on your mask and step onto the cattle car.” According to Business Insider, the cartoon was a response to Kelly’s statewide mandate requiring citizens to wear masks in public in order to stop the spread of covid-19. The cartoon was posted on the newspaper’s Facebook page on Friday and Hicks refused to take it down until Sunday night.
On Sunday, Hicks posted a benign statement on the paper’s Facebook page. “It is not my intention to heap more grief on this historical burden,” he wrote. “And it’s apparent I previously lacked an adequate understanding of the severity of their experience and the pain of its images.” Aside from being a news publisher–an odd profession for a man with little to possibly no understanding of one of the most widely publicized genocides in human history–Dane Hicks is also the chairman of the Anderson County Republican Party in Kansas.
According to Business Insider Hicks is also a blogger, and prior to removing the cartoon and apologizing for how hurtful it was, he had other thoughts on the topic, which he copy and pasted into a blog from an email he sent to a reporter at AP:
3) Political editorial cartoons are gross over-caricatures designed to
provoke debate and response- that’s why newspapers publish them – fodder
for the marketplace of ideas. The topic here is the governmental overreach
which has been the hallmark of Governor Kelly’s administration: absconding
with Kansans’ additional federal tax refunds after Trump’s change to the
tax law; a disastrous statewide shutdown that torpedoed businesses and
schools in scores of counties in Kansas that had no Covid-19 cases-
treating them just like virus hot spots in Johnson & Wyandotte counties; a
second blanket dictum that every Kansan would have to wear a mask in public
places, which would have certainly led to a resurgence in the “freak out
factor” with Kansans being reminded of the virus everywhere they turned,
resulting in a new wave of economic malaise. The most telling example of
authoritarian government I can think of is Nazi Germany – you’ll recall
various media personalities and Trump Haters constantly making the analogy
between the president and Adolf Hitler – I certainly have more evidence of
that kind of totalitarianism in Kelly’s actions, in an editorial cartoon
sort of way, than Trump’s critics do, yet they persist in it daily.
5) Apologies: To whom exactly? The critics on the Facebook page? Facebook
is a cesspool and I only participate to develop readership. I post much of
my writing there and my trolls are like family. I like to refer to them as
my narcissistic flea circus - I make them jump and I give them free rein
to attack me for my views and only rebuke them for vulgar language. I would
never apologize to them. They’re liberal Marxist parasites who are
literally applauding and in some cases taking part in the burning and
commandeering of both public and private property in our country. As a
traditional American, they are my enemy.
If there are holocaust survivors or their relatives or Jews who take
offense to the image, I would certainly apologize and I intended no slight
to them. But then again they better than anyone should appreciate the
harbingers of governmental overreach and the present but tender seedlings
Not everyone is cut out for the blog life.