Louisiana GOP State Rep Under Fire for Tweeting Infamous Antisemitic Mural
A Republican state representative in Louisiana was under fire this week for tweeting the same inflammatory antisemitic image that was once infamously defended by the former leader of the British Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn.
State Rep. Danny McCormick, of Oil City, was heavily criticized by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Thursday after he shared a photo of an outdoor mural that caused an uproar in London several years ago before it was removed.
The mural, by the left-wing US artist Kalen Ockerman, was titled “Freedom for Humanity,” and showed a group of stereotypical Jewish bankers playing a Monopoly-like board game that rested on the backs of a crowd of naked, kneeling figures.
Corbyn opposed the removal of the mural in 2012, favorably comparing Ockerman with the Mexican artist Diego Rivera. He apologized for these comments when they were uncovered six years later during the antisemitism scandals that rocked Labour under Corbyn’s leadership.
On Wednesday afternoon, McCormick tweeted an altered version of the mural that included the slogan, “All we have to do is stand up.”
In a message posted alongside the image, McCormick commented, “public opinion controls politics.” On Thursday afternoon, following criticism, he deleted the tweet.
McCormick — whose overall social media presence was described on Thursday by Baton Rouge outlet The Advocate as “incendiary” — has outraged Jewish sensibilities before. An opponent of coronavirus social‐distancing measures, McCormick took to Facebook in July to opine that “people who don’t wear masks will soon be painted as the enemy just as they did to Jews in Nazi Germany.”
That outburst resulted in a letter from the ADL and local Jewish organizations to the Republican leadership in Louisiana urging recognition “of the pain and offense that these references cause the Jewish community, and communicate that they will not be tolerated in Louisiana’s political discourse.”
In its condemnation of McCormick’s now-deleted tweet this week, the ADL noted that “the sharing of this illustration comes on the heels of another deeply disturbing antisemitic reference the representative made recently and we call upon him to use his elected office constructively, rather than as a platform to make hateful statements that target vulnerable communities and further the divide in our community.”
Aaron Ahlquist — director of ADL’s South Central Region — called on McCormick to “make clear he rejects these views. Now.”
McCormick’s Republican colleague, State Rep. Mark Wright of Covington, also criticized the post on Twitter.
“Antisemitic imagery and language have no place in Louisiana politics,” Wright said. “I hope my House colleague did this unintentionally, but it needs to be taken down and repudiated.”