On the 5 of July, the Anderson County Review newspaper announced that they had removed their political cartoon, in which they compare Governor Laura Kelly’s order requiring state residents to wear masks to the Nazis ordering Jews to board cattle cars taking them to death camps, reported The Times Of Israel.
According to The Hill, the cartoon, which was published on the Anderson County Review’s Facebook page, depicts the democratic governor wearing a mask with a Jewish Star of David on it, next to people being loaded on to train cars. Its caption is: “Lockdown Laura says: Put on your mask … and step on to the cattle car.”
The governor issued the requirement of wearing masks because of the resurgence in COVID-19 cases in the state. Some Republicans have criticised Kelly`s order for violating personal liberties. However, the Kansas law allows counties to opt-out from the order, which the Anderson county has done so, reported The Guardian.
The cartoon quickly drew a lot of criticism, including the democratic party.
“Not only is Mr. Hicks’ graphic extremely offensive, nonsensical and out of touch with the values of hardworking Kansans, it endangers public health of our entire state during an unprecedented global health crisis” stated the Kansas Democratic Party Executive Director Ben Meers.
The publisher of the newspaper, Dane Hicks, who is also Anderson county’s Republican party chairman initially defended the cartoon and stated that “the 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.”
After the critical attention, Hicks announced in his apology that “(…) it is not my intention to heap more grief onto this historical burden” and “I previously lacked an adequate understanding of the severity of the experience and the pain of its images”.