Marc Stanley, a founding board member of the Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA), issued the following statement regarding a social media post on Monday by State Rep. Valoree Swanson:
“Monday, Texas state representative Valoree Swanson (R) posted an image to her Facebook page comparing Holocaust victims to children killed by gun violence, attempting to connect gun control advocacy to the Holocaust. The post featured an image of 7,000 pairs of shoes left outside the U.S. Capitol representing all the children who have been killed by guns since the Sandy Hook shooting. The image included the words, ‘Shoes left by gun control supporters, 2018.’ Below was a picture of Holocaust victims’ shoes and the caption, ‘Shoes left by gun control supporters, 1945.’ Swanson deleted the image, which was reposted from the Ted Cruz Meme Page. Facebook removed the original post on Tuesday.
Rep. Swanson’s repost of this meme is abhorrent and is an affront to the memories of the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis. Claiming that gun control led to the Holocaust is historically inaccurate and ignores the complex industrial system the Nazis used to kill millions of people. As the number of hate crimes in America targeting Jews increases, it is worrying to see political leaders deflect blame for the Holocaust away from the Nazis. It was wrong when Ben Carson said it, it was wrong when Congressman Don Young (R-AK) said it, and it was wrong when Valoree Swanson said it. It insults the memory of all those killed in the Holocaust, and the American people deserve better from their leaders.
JDCA calls on Rep. Swanson to issue an immediate apology and to pursue Holocaust education from her local Jewish community. We will not allow the Holocaust, the greatest modern tragedy of the Jewish people, to be used as a political prop to push a pro-gun agenda. America needs a fact-driven and respectful discussion to create common sense gun safety reforms.”