fbpx

Kansas Protesters Wear Yellow Stars to Protest Vaccine Mandates

The protesters wore the yellow stars during a Special Committee on Government Overreach hearing discussing proposals for those who have lost their jobs as a result of the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate to receive unemployment insurance and for employers to accept religious exemptions to getting the vaccine.
[additional-authors]
November 15, 2021

Three people protesting COVID-19 vaccine mandates wore yellow stars while in the Kansas state legislature on November 12.

The protesters wore the yellow stars during a Special Committee on Government Overreach hearing discussing proposals for those who have lost their jobs as a result of the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate to receive unemployment insurance and for employers to accept religious exemptions to getting the vaccine. One of the protesters, Daran Duffy, said during public comment that the star signifies that Adolf Hitler acted “in accordance with the laws of his country” and that the star is not meant to be offensive.

During the hearing, Democratic State Senator Pat Pettey denounced Duffy’s use of the yellow star, accusing him of “desecrating” the memory of those who perished during the Holocaust. “Millions of people were killed,” she said. “We are not talking about millions of people being killed here.”

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, a Democrat, denounced the use of the yellow stars as “profoundly offensive” and “an insult to those who died in the Holocaust” in a tweet. “Antisemitism has no place in Kansas.”

State Republican lawmakers also rebuked the use of the yellow stars.

“Senate Republicans reject, in the strongest possible terms, any analogies to the Holocaust,” Kansas Senate President Ty Masterson tweeted. “Such comparisons are inappropriate and bear no resemblance to the issues we are debating today.”

Speaker of the Kansas House of Representatives Ron Ryckman similarly tweeted, “It’s disappointing that analogies to the Holocaust are being perpetuated. Let me be clear: the issues being debated today are important to [Kansas], but they are in no way comparable to what millions of Jews endured who were ripped from their families, & marked for death by the Nazis.”

Jewish groups also condemned the use of the yellow stars.

“The appropriation of the Yellow Star of David by anti-vaxx protesters is repulsive and should be condemned by all,” the American Jewish Committee tweeted. “There is no comparison between public safety measures and the genocide of six million Jews.”

Anti-Defamation League Plain States Regional Director Gary Nachman told The Kansas City Star, “To use the analogy of a genocide that you have no control over to a mandate that helps the betterment of all people is just a bizarre stretch.”

Lucy Lipiner, a Holocaust survivor, tweeted that she was “repulsed” by the use of the yellow stars. “They went to that meeting at their own free will. They appear well fed! They can go back to their comfortable homes [and] are free to refuse the vaccine. How dare they pretend their so-called plight is comparable to the Holocaust!”

Did you enjoy this article?
You'll love our roundtable.

Editor's Picks

Latest Articles

Sacrifice Works Both Ways

If Israel is to recognize a Palestinian state, then the Palestinians should be obligated to recognize Israel – as a Jewish state.

More news and opinions than at a
Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.