Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Tucson Opinion: Stop comparing the Holocaust with COVID-19 vaccines or masks
editor's pick
Tucson Opinion

Tucson Opinion: Stop comparing the Holocaust with COVID-19 vaccines or masks

The following column is the opinion and analysis of the writer:

This column isn’t about whether you are fully vaccinated from COVID-19 or not. It is about dangerous false equivalencies. It is about analogizing torture and persecution to getting a vaccine or wearing a mask. It is about doing your part to help the common good and having proof to hopefully stop the spread of a highly contagious and deadly virus.

There is absolutely no comparison and it trivializes the horrors of many who perished in an orchestrated genocide that killed 6 million Jews and countless others.

I should know. My maternal grandparents were a couple of the lucky ones that survived, while the majority of my ancestors were not so lucky. I’m fortunate to be here today and accord myself to the freedoms of this great country. However, with freedom comes responsibility. We are all responsible to helping one another.

Several months ago, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read that a Nashville hat shop was selling yellow stars in the shape of the Star of David that said “Not Vaccinated” on them.

I thought to myself, “is this really how low we have gotten in our society? That some believe its appropriate to compare the Holocaust to being vaccinated or wearing a mask?”

I was dismayed and angry.

Then came Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene and her own misguided analogies to the Nazi-era badges. My frustration boiled over, but at least I don’t hear much of this nonsense in Arizona. That is until a couple days ago…

Dr. Kelli Ward is the chair of the Arizona Republican Party. Within that role she has a responsibility to the citizens of Arizona to not perpetuate anti-Semitic tropes. Earlier this week she shared a tweet from Dr. Simone Gold which asked “What’s the difference between vaccine papers and a yellow star? 82 years.” In the body of her own tweet, Dr. Ward wrote “Exactly #WakeUpAmerica.”

This sort of rhetoric is unconscionable. I heard stories throughout my life about how my grandparents were forced to wear a yellow star as a means of division.

They were tattooed with numbers to dehumanize and further terrorize them. They narrowly escaped death from camps such as Bergen-Belsen and Auschwitz.

Asking people to get vaccinated and carry proof of such or wearing a mask is not even comparable to the Holocaust. It is an act of kindness. It is an act of generosity. It is an act of unity. Frankly, I don’t care if you get the vaccine or not. I wish you would, but I am not in position to demand it. That noted, there is no comparison between a yellow star and anything we have experienced as Americans during the past 82 years.

Dr. Ward and others: Please stop trivializing the Holocaust. Retract your abhorrent statements. They are dangerous and uncalled for.

Immigration Attorney

Subscribe to stay connected to Tucson. A subscription helps you access more of the local stories that keep you connected to the community.

Catch the latest in Opinion

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

OPINION: "While the majority of Americans support this bill, a loud minority see it as the dawn of socialism. One thing is for certain: this legislation, along with the recently-passed infrastructure bill, will change the way Americans live. It will be interesting to see if it changes our attitudes towards Congress as well," writes Star regular contributor Terry Bracy.

  • Updated

OPINION: "As we move boldly, yet with humility, into our next 100 years, we’re guided by our successes over the last century. We do so with the understanding that today’s needs still require the same spirit of collaboration, the duty for which I believe we’ve been called, and the confidence that we can continue to bring systemic positive change to our community by uniting people, ideas, and resources," writes Tony Penn, president of United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona.

OPINION: "These are the sorts of things that happen when the political philosophies and goals of the two major political parties become so disparate that there can be no cooperation and compromise, just an ongoing, seemingly endless street fight," writes regular Star contributor Jonathan Hoffman.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News