Republicans really can't help themselves with disgusting, anti-Semitic comparisons of vaccine mandates to the Holocaust, because they know they can get away with it.
On Friday, John Bennett, the chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party, made a striking comparison on the group’s Facebook page: Private companies requiring employees to get the coronavirus vaccine, he said, are just as bad as the Nazis forcing Jews to wear the yellow Star of David on their clothes.
“Those who don’t KNOW history, are DOOMED to repeat it,” read the caption, below an image of a Star of David patch with “Unvaccinated” written across the top.
The post triggered swift condemnations from top state Republicans and Jewish organizations in Oklahoma. But on Sunday, Bennett doubled down on his comments in a nearly seven-minute video he shared to the party’s Facebook page.
The Nazis “gave [Jews] a star to put on, and they couldn’t go to the grocery store, they couldn’t go out in public, they couldn’t do anything without having that star on their shirt,” Bennett said. “Take away the star and add a vaccine passport.”
Bennett, a Marine Corps veteran who served three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was elected chairman of the Oklahoma GOP in April. The former state lawmaker has a history of making hateful comments, specifically about Muslims, according to the Oklahoman.
In a town hall meeting in 2014, Bennett said Islam “is a cancer in our nation that needs to be cut out.” In 2017, he drafted an 18-question survey for Muslims in Oklahoma to fill out before he agreed to meet with them in his legislative office. One of the questions asked was “Do you beat your wife?” A senior imam of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City told the Oklahoman that Bennett threatened to demolish all the mosques in town.
Bennett is the latest GOP official to equate the persecution of the Jewish people during the Holocaust to mandates related to the coronavirus. In March, Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) compared vaccine passports to Nazis forcing Jews to wear the yellow Star of David. In June, Washington state Rep. Jim Walsh (R) wore a yellow Star of David during a live stream, stating that it conveyed how “denying people their rights … can lead to terrible outcomes.”
Also in June, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) apologized after she repeatedly compared mask mandates to the Star of David. But she evoked the Holocaust again in July, this time calling those leading a vaccine push from the Biden administration “brownshirts.” The term refers to a paramilitary group that helped Hitler and the Nazis gain power in Germany.
The image of the yellow Star of David patch that Bennett posted on the Oklahoma Republican Party’s Facebook page on Friday included what appeared to be identification numbers and a chip.
The post also said: “Limited access to travel within their State, Province or Territory. The bearer may not fly, cannot enter a pub, restaurant, club or theatre. … WAKE UP PEOPLE — Is this sounding familiar?”