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Oklahoma Republican Party Doubles Down On COVID Vaccine Policy-Holocaust Comparison

Oklahoma Republican Party
Oklahoma Republican Party Chair John Bennett doubles down on comparing COVID-19 vaccine requirements to the treatment of Jews during the Holocaust in a video posted to the party's Facebook page on Sunday.

The Oklahoma Republican Party is refusing to back down from an offensive Facebook post made Friday in which they compared private employers requiring their workers be vaccinated against COVID-19 to the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany.

The Friday post, which suggested unvaccinated Americans are being treated the same as the Jews murdered during the Holocaust, drew rebukes from Jewish groups and some Republicans, but party officials not only left it online but attempted to use it to raise funds.

"This form of appropriation by the Oklahoma Republican Party is hugely inappropriate and offensive," the Jewish Federation of Tulsa said in a statement. "Using this symbol trivializes the six million Jews slaughtered in the Holocaust.  It is simply wrong to compare the plight of the Jews during the Holocaust to that of anti-vaxxers.  Those interested in pushing their social or political agenda about the pandemic should be able to find another way without trivializing the memory of the six million Jews that were murdered and the survivors of the Holocaust."

In a video posted to Facebook on Sunday, party chair John Bennett dug in.

"This is totalitarian, and if we don't do something now, it's going to end in the same exact result as we saw when nobody stood up when the Jews were told they had to wear that star," Bennett said.

Bennett, who has a history of bigoted remarks and once suggested Hillary Clinton should be executed, was chosen to be party chair by his fellow Republicans in an election this year.

This is not the first time this year Oklahoma Republicans have used Holocaust imagery to oppose public health measures related to the pandemic. In January, Lori Gracey gave a presentation before the Broken Arrow City Council which used images of Holocaust victims' corpses to attempt to make a point against mandatory mask policies. She was later named to a leadership position in the Tulsa County GOP.

Chris joined Public Radio Tulsa as a news anchor and reporter in April 2020. He’s a graduate of Hunter College and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, both at the City University of New York.
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