Commentary: In comparing COVID-19 vaccines to the Holocaust, the idiots have outdone themselves

Protestors hold a banner saying,
Protestors hold a banner saying, "No Nazis in Nashville" outside hatWRKS in Nashville during a Saturday protest. (Photo: John Partipilo)

It should go without saying that one should never trivialize the Holocaust.

The Holocaust, after all, was the systemic —and damn near successful—effort to wipe out the Jewish people by Adolph Hitler’s Nazi government. Six million Jews were marginalized, herded into ghettos, tortured and murdered—some by firing squads until Nazi officers realized that was too upsetting to their junior murderers and not efficient enough; hence, gas chambers. 

To equate being asked to get a COVID-19 vaccine with being a German Jew persecuted by the Nazi government? And to emblazon yourself with a yellow Star of David, just as Jewish citizens were required to by the Nazi government? 

And on Memorial Day weekend, the time we honor military veterans who gave their lives, many to liberate the world from facism in WWII? 

Man. The idiots have really outdone themselves this time. Talk about not knowing how to read a room.

Gigi Gaskins, the Nashville store owner who proudly posted on Instagram that she was selling replica yellow Stars of David marked ‘not vaccinated’ has made national news. There were protests at her store, hatWRKS. (The parodies just write themselves, don’t they?) Several vendors, including the All-American brand Stetson, have ceased to work with her. 

A crowd gathered Saturday in Nashville to protest outside Gigi Gaskins' store after she announced she would sell yellow Stars of David, similar to the ones Nazi Germany forced Jewish citizens to wear. (Photo: John Partipilo)
A crowd gathered Saturday in Nashville to protest outside Gigi Gaskins’ store after she announced she would sell yellow Stars of David, similar to the ones Nazi Germany forced Jewish citizens to wear. (Photo: John Partipilo)

But she’s not the only person who thinks using the hated emblem for political purposes is appropriate. 

A small crowd of people gathered near the Franklin town square Saturday morning, holding signs illustrated with the Star of David, saying instead of ‘Juden’, ‘Not vaccinated.’ Some of the adults had brought their young children with them. The kids were holding signs.

This didn’t go over well with an acquaintance who happened to be walking by. My friend’s grandfather enlisted in the U.S. Army to fight Nazis. After being a German prisoner of war for 15 months, he was marched to the gas chambers himself on VE Day. He somehow escaped execution but weighed only 87 pounds when he was rescued by Allied troops. 

My friend had strong words for the sign holders but how he didn’t hurt one of the schmucks is beyond me. 

I might not have had such restraint, although my old man fought on the other side of the world, with the U.S. Marines in the South Pacific. The only time he spoke of combat in front of me was on May 28, 1997, when he was dying. He was hallucinating, and he thought he was back on Guadalcanal in 1942, talking into an imaginary radio and telling someone he was surrounded by Japanese and going to die. 

That was 24 years ago. Memorial Day. I always get a little raw around this time thinking of what he went through as a 19-year-old in the service of his country. 

And my friend and I aren’t even Jewish. I can’t imagine the anger and pain and fear my Jewish friends feel. Some have parents and grandparents who carried the scars of the Holocaust in the numbers tattooed on their arms. Others remember family members who didn’t survive the atrocities of the Nazis. 

So to today’s star-wearers, be they the deranged Georgia  Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene or Tennessee’s local yokels: You think the government is compelling you to get a shot you don’t want? Cajoling maybe. Offering incentives, yes. Not compelling. Not forcing. Not closing your businesses, not rounding up those of you not vaccinated and murdering you. 

You think the American government under President Joe Biden is in any way like the government of Adolph Hitler? Give me a break. Pick up a copy of Mein Kampf, Hitler’s 1925 manifesto in which he writes of his plans to destroy the Jewish people and makes evident how wrong you are.  

Don’t get the COVID-19 vaccine if you don’t want it. Nobody is making you. But please —cut the act with the stars. It’s highly offensive, it’s disrespectful, it’s stupid, and it places you on the wrong side of history.