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July 6, 2020 1:18 pm

Kansas Newspaper Publisher Apologizes for Posting Cartoon Comparing Coronavirus Regulations to Holocaust

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

A cartoon published July 3, 2020 by the Kansas newspaper the Anderson County Review comparing Governor Laura Kelly’s order to wear masks to the Holocaust. Photo: Facebook.

The publisher of a local Kansas newspaper who posted an antisemitic cartoon comparing coronavirus regulations to the Holocaust apologized on Sunday after being initially defiant.

The weekly Anderson County Review, whose publisher Dane Hicks is a Republican county chairman, posted the cartoon last Friday on its Facebook page.

It shows Democratic Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, who issued an order for citizens to wear face masks last week, wearing a mask emblazoned with a Star of David. Behind her is an image of Jews being loaded on to trains bound for a concentration camp.

The caption to the cartoon reads, “Lockdown Laura says: Put on your mask…and step onto the cattle car.”

Critics called the cartoon “disgusting,” “highly offensive,” “unbelievable,” and “outrageous.”

In a statement posted on Facebook on Sunday, Hicks said, “After some heartfelt and educational conversations with Jewish leaders in the US and abroad, I can acknowledge the imagery” in the cartoon “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 admitted that he lacked “an adequate understanding of the severity of their experience and the pain of its images.”

“It’s clear I should have chosen a less hurtful theme,” he added.

Hicks said he was removing the cartoon “with my apologies to those so directly affected.”

This statement marked a turnaround in Hicks’ attitude toward the controversy, as he had at first vowed not to apologize.

“Apologies: To whom exactly?” he had said. “The critics on the Facebook page? Facebook is a cesspool and I only participate to develop readership.”

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