An Alaskan mayor has apologised since he caused controversy by claiming that protesters wearing Star of David symbols were doing so in tribute.
The protesters were objecting against the proposed citywide mask mandate while wearing Star of David symbols. However, the mayor of Anchorage, in Alaska, said they had been doing so to ‘credit’ Jewish people.
In response to their criticism, Bronson said that the ‘borrowing’ of such a symbol was ‘actually a credit to [Jewish people]’.
He claimed that what the star ‘really mean[t]’ was that ‘we will not forget, this will never happen again’.
One member of the audience at the meeting who was Jewish spoke out and asked for the protest to not include reference to the horrific event. According to the Associated Press, Forrest Dunbar read a letter from his rabbi in response to seeing the symbols adorned by the protesters.
For myself and most Jews, seeing the yellow Star of David on someone’s chest elicits the same feeling as seeing a swastika on a flag or the SS insignia on a uniform.
I believe it is a constitutional right to protest for your values. But I request that you do not use symbols that diminish the 6 million Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust,
Bronson subsequently apologised for his controversial comments, explaining he understood that ‘we should not trivialise or compare what happened during the Holocaust to a mask mandate’.
Bronson concluded by apologising ‘for any perception’ that his statements ‘support or compare what happened to the Jewish people in Nazi Germany’.
The crowds of protesters who had the Star of David symbols on them also shouted insults. Several arrests were made and a person was found to have also been in possession of a firearm, as per the Alaska Landmine.
The new citywide mandate law was proposed by Assemblywoman Meg Zaletel and would require all individuals to wear masks or a face covering over their mouth and nose, ‘when they are indoors in public settings or communal spaces outside the home’. They would also be required to wear them ‘outdoors at large crowded public events’.
Bronson is not alone in opposing the mandate, as other citizens have shared their views too. On Tuesday, Bronson said he opposed the rule ‘because it is based on inconclusive science’, calling it ‘bad policy’.
‘It is an unconstitutional infringement on the freedom guaranteed to every Anchorage citizen by our federal and state constitutions,’ he said.
Bronson concluded that the ordinance ‘pits neighbour against neighbour, shop owner against customer and friend against friend’ and that was why he opposed it most of all.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk
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