Masking is not murder, stop comparing it to the Holocaust

In+an+interview%2C+Congresswoman+Marjorie+Taylor+Greene+compared+House+Speaker+Nancy+Pelosi%E2%80%99s+mask+mandates+for+House+members+to+the+Holocaust.

Photo courtesy of CNN

In an interview, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene compared House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s mask mandates for House members to the Holocaust.

Arianna Heyman, Features Editor

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, American society has borne witness to the strangest displays of human behavior in reaction to this virus. When government officials advised citizens to wear a mask and get vaccinated, some responses have ranged from weird to downright bizarre. One of the most confounding examples of public backlash has been the erroneous comparison of immunization and mask wearing to the Holocaust. 

There have been numerous instances where this offensive narrative has made headlines. The first case of this lunacy was in May of 2021 when a Nashville hat store decided to sell yellow Star of David badges as an anti-vaccination protest. 

When met with backlash, the store responded via Instagram saying, “all unvaccinated people will be segregated from society, marked & must wear a mask. What comes next? There is a historical parallel to fascism to be drawn.”

No, there is not. Asking the public to protect the lives of their fellow citizens and themselves is far from a sign of fascism. The U.S. has lost over 800,000 lives since the start of this pandemic. How many more will be lost because of selfishness and crazed misconceptions?

This issue made headlines once again when Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene was asked to comment on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s mask mandates for House members. 

Greene said: “You know, we can look back at a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star, and they were definitely treated like second class citizens, so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany. And this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about.

Not only is the comparison incorrect, but it is dangerous rhetoric being perpetuated by a member of Congress. Greene has a platform and a voice in government. To make this claim is reckless and does harm to the country she represents. 

A restriction in personal freedoms in order to protect the public health of fellow citizens is not reminiscent of Nazi Germany. Getting vaccinated and wearing a mask is not the same as the dehumanization and extermination of the Jewish people in the Holocaust. 

The U.S. government has a reasonable basis for their policies. There has been historical success in inoculations and other preventative measures to treat illness. Polio and other diseases were not eradicated by a substantial number of citizens opting out of these measures and some of them proclaiming the government facist. Instead, polio and other afflictions were eradicated because nearly 100% of the population cooperated and got inoculated for the welfare of themselves and their fellow citizens. 

Two things are painfully obvious: the first is that many Americans are lacking in historical education. The second — and more frightening prospect — is the lack of trust many U.S. citizens have in their government. If earnest attempts by the government to protect public health are seen as fascist, what does that say about the state of our country? 

The perpetuated claim that attempts by the government to stop the spread of COVID-19 is reminiscent of Nazi Germany is offensive, as well as factually and historically incorrect. A temporary restriction of some personal freedoms cannot be compared to genocide, especially when the suspension of these freedoms are in attempt to save lives, not end them.