Signs comparing Democratic governors to Hitler. Nazi and Confederate iconography. Posters claiming that Jews are behind the pandemic.
These aren’t isolated incidents. They’re part of a disturbing pattern from rightwing COVID-19 protests and elected officials — and it’s time for the GOP to be held accountable.
We’ve made a new video revealing the widespread culture of antisemitism, racism, and white nationalism in the right’s response to COVID-19.
This isn’t just about signs at protests — this is about a pattern of far-right organizing that puts all of us in danger.
Like in Idaho, where State Representative Heather Scott said public health measures to fight COVID-19 are “no different than Nazi Germany.”1 Or in Alaska, where State Representative Ben Carpenter compared screening stickers to yellow Stars of David and then claimed Hitler wasn’t a white supremacist.2
Demonstrations from Colorado to Illinois to North Carolina are openly peddling conspiracy theories and lies while demanding politicians compromise public health and safety. At the same time, Republican officials in at least four states have conflated COVID-19 health orders with Nazism or the Holocaust.3
No one is safe when this spreading of hatred and misinformation is allowed to fester and distract us from the pandemic. Essential workers, communities of color, and poor and working class people remain unprotected and disproportionately at risk. Nearly 100,000 Americans have died.
It’s beyond time for the GOP to condemn the toxic culture of antisemitism, racism, and white nationalism — both in the Reopen protests and in their own party.
Disavowing these dangerous protests should be easy.
55% of Americans disapprove of these rightwing protests against public safety, and a clear majority support extending social distancing policies, even in the face of financial hardship.4,5
Plus, a recent study from Carnegie Mellon found that nearly half of the Twitter accounts posting favorably about the protests were bots.6
We made this video and petition because as Jews and allies we cannot be silent. Every single Republican elected official and party leader should be on the record condemning these protests — or we’ll hold them accountable in November.
Thank you for speaking up for what’s right,
The Bend the Arc team
1. Idaho Statesman, Idaho stay-home order comparison to the Holocaust is reckless
2. Washington Post, Alaska lawmaker says Hitler was not white supremacist after comparing coronavirus measures to Nazi rule
3. Philadelphia Inquirer, We shouldn't have to say this: Stop comparing pandemic shutdown to Nazi Germany | Opinion
4. Chicago Tribune, AP-NORC poll: Majority oppose protests against COVID-19 closures
5. Vox, Polls: Americans don’t want to end social distancing policies despite financial devastation
6. Business Insider, Nearly half 'reopen America' Twitter accounts are bots: report