Newspaper Owner Apologizes for Publishing Cartoon Equating Face Mask Mandates to the Holocaust

Illustration for article titled Newspaper Owner Apologizes for Publishing Cartoon Equating Face Mask Mandates to the Holocaust
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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.

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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.

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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

of tyranny.

Not everyone is cut out for the blog life.

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DISCUSSION

And it’s apparent I previously lacked an adequate understanding of the severity of their experience and the pain of its images.

Uh, no. No one gets to pull the “I didn’t realize that the Holocaust was that bad” card.