If ignorance is bliss, we are living in joyful times

If ignorance is bliss, we are living in joyful times

Gary Nachman, ADL Plains States Regional Director

If ignorance is bliss, it would seem we are living in joyful times.

I read an article this weekend about a small group of individuals demanding UNL ease their COVID prevention policies, decrying voluntary proof of vaccination, and refuting the efficacy of a vaccine itself in favor of natural immunity. The article featured a photo of a woman wearing a yellow Star of David used in the Holocaust by the Nazis. It is a symbol that decries the pain, suffering and execution, of over six million Jews. The woman’s star read: “Second Class Citizen.”

Jews were not treated as second-class citizens, they were treated as sub-human, unworthy of citizenship, of life. The symbol, worn in this manner, is an insult to the memory of those who perished in the genocide of the Holocaust.

Besides the ignorance, the impudence of someone casually associating the annihilation of an entire people with the personal choice of respecting others’ frailty and taking a life-saving vaccine, goes beyond the free expression provided under the first amendment. The self-serving intent behind the act and the alarming nature of it, distinguish it from actual, thoughtful criticism or conscientious objection. This exercise of freedom of speech requires the use of Holocaust imagery as theatrics because their argument—that they deserve all privileges of society while bearing no responsibility for the well-being of others in that society—is self-pitying and hollow.

I accept while disagreeing, people have the right to use dramatic and often exaggerated examples to amplify the meaning of their message. However, using the death of millions of people to serve one’s social agenda is beyond ignorance. It is hate-filled disrespect. Please, leave Holocaust examples where they belong: with serious, respectful people in the study of history. No one should wear such an image and the media should not give credibility and exposure to such idiocy by featuring it alongside a responsibly written piece of journalism.