A Kansas GOP official has taken down a cartoon that likened the order to wear masks to that of the Holocaust. The image depicted Governor Laura Kelly wearing a Star of David mask as people are loaded into a cattle car.
A Kansas county Republican Party chairman apologized on Sunday after the newspaper he owns posted a cartoon on its Facebook page that likened being ordered to wear a mask to the treatment of Jewish people meted out by the Nazis during the Holocaust.
The owner and publisher of The Anderson County Review, Dane Hicks, said in a statement posted on Facebook that he was taking down the image following "some heartfelt and educational conversations with Jewish leaders in the US and abroad."
The weekly paper posted the cartoon on Friday, and it drew dozens of critical responses, as well as worldwide focus.
To make matters worse, Hicks then posted a blog on Saturday, defending the cartoon. The blog also attracted criticism, with the public disappointed in its lack of contrition.
Democratic Kansas Governor Laura Kelly called for the cartoon to be taken down. She and a number of other critics described it as anti-Semitic.
The cartoon showed Kelly, who is a catholic, wearing a mask with a Jewish Star of David on it, next to a digitally altered picture of people being loaded onto train cars. Its caption said: "Lockdown Laura says: Put on your mask ... and step onto the cattle car."
Hicks' statement read: "I can acknowledge the imagery in my recent editorial cartoon describing state government overreach in Kansas with images of the Holocaust 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."
An estimated 6 million Jews died during the Holocaust, with in the region of 11 million more from other groups killed by the Nazis.