Covid-19 vaccination certificate app on the mobile phone at the airport
This week the Libertarian Party of Kentucky was called to an extremely poor comparison of vaccination record programs with the yellow Star of David that Jews had to wear during the Holocaust. Such comparisons on social media never seem like a good idea, but are especially annoying during Passover, which began on Saturday.
In a tweet, the Libertarian Party of Kentucky (@lpky) wrote, “Will the vaccination records be yellow, star-shaped, and sewn onto our clothes?”
While it was retweeted more than 800 times by Tuesday afternoon and even liked more than 6,300 times, there was quick backlash. The term “Holocaust” began to develop. More than 33,000 tweets indicated that they found little to no humor in such posts.
In fact, many users saw the comparison as completely wrong.
“The anology [sic] doesn’t even work, Jews were targeted, labeled and rounded up. The vaccination pass is a two-tier economic system where passport holders have MORE freedom, “@SZzatee wrote.
Researcher Chad Gibbs (@ Chad_G101) exclaimed the political party, “The Holocaust is not a punch line. It comes from a blue check from an actual political party.”
Rabbi Josh Yuter (@JYuter) was among those who simply asked that such comparisons not have to be made: “Please: I would really appreciate it if people could please please stop applying Covid restrictions and requirements with the Holocaust to compare.”
Yuter’s tweet was liked more than 18,000 times and shared more than 3,000 times – suggesting that many agreed with him on the issue.
Jewish actor Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) was even more direct in his colorful response: “F *** same with that s ***.”
The group tried to defend their analogy, however, and responded to Jeff Deist (@jeffdeist) who wrote, “No private company or industry would need vaccination records without government sanction and strong support from Lapdog media to make the horrific PR look to overcome.”
Perhaps this should serve as a lesson that while there are reasons to draw such historical analogies, one must consider the reaction and the audience. It is all too common these days for groups to label anything restrictive as comparable to the Nazis, while those who endure hardship suddenly create the Holocaust.
While it may be true that some states, as well as some companies, including airlines, require some form of vaccination record, this is not the topic that can be properly discussed in the context of social media. But here’s the problem with how Twitter and other social networks have become broadcast tools.
It’s clearly easy to get the message across to the masses, but the problem is that instead of having a strong argument that encourages deep debate, we instead have a quick opinion and possibly a few memes. In this case, the Libertarian Party of Kentucky hasn’t even argued or explained much why they oppose such vaccination cards – which Newsweek reported could allow for larger crowds and gatherings.
Instead, only both sides were agitated, so that a meaningful conversation is now at best impossible.
As one user, @bmislow, remarked, “It’s never a good thing when ‘Holocaust’ is on trend. Yeah, I just saw why.”