Minnesota Republican county official resigns after posting image comparing mask wearing to Nazi Germany
A Minnesota Republican Party county official has resigned after posting an image on Facebook comparing mask mandates to Jews being forced to wear Stars of David in Nazi Germany, the state party said on Tuesday.
Minnesota Republican Party Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan confirmed the official’s resignation in a statement on Tuesday. Earlier, she had repeated a lower ranking official’s assertion that the Wabasha County Republican Party’s Facebook page had been hacked — an assertion that she retracted on Tuesday evening.
“The Republican Party of Minnesota has learned the Wabasha County Facebook page was not hacked last night, as believed by the Wabasha County Chair,” Carnahan said in a statement Tuesday. “The offensive picture was unfortunately posted by a board member who has resigned effective immediately at the party’s request.”
She added that the state party as well as the county board “apologizes for this disappointing post,” which she also called “vitriolic.”
The post is now gone, and Carnahan asked the local chair to ask the person responsible for the post to resign, state party communications director Jack Tomczak told CNN. The individual who posted the image has not been publicly named.
Jewish Community Action, a Minnesota activist group, posted a screenshot of the image on Monday in a tweet slamming the post.
It featured a black and white image of a Nazi officer and a man wearing a six-pointed Star of David — which those of the Jewish faith were required to wear as identification in Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II. The image was captioned, “Just put on the star and quit complaining, it’s not that hard” at the top of the image, and, “Just put on the mask and stop complaining” at the bottom.
“Given that Minnesota rabbis recently spoke out in favor of a mask mandate, comparing that mandate to the Holocaust feels especially disgusting,” the group tweeted Monday. “We ask the @MNGOP to tell Wabasha Republicans to stop using imagery like this. It betrays a total lack of both empathy and education.”
Carnahan responded to the group Monday, confirming the image and stating that the county board thought it was posted via hack.
“This post was brought to @mngop’s attention today. Immediately we reached out to the Wabasha board,” she tweeted.
She added, “Our party does not support/condone divisive and harmful posts or language of this nature.”
On Saturday, Minnesota began requiring its citizens to wear masks in all indoor businesses in line with Democratic Gov. Tim Walz’s order.
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