A couple of weeks ago, Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene lashed out against the House mask mandates instituted by Speaker Nancy Pelosi with the worst comparison imaginable:
“You know, we can look back in 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,” Greene said on the right-wing network Real America’s Voice. “And this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about.”
Later, she took a swipe at businesses that required employees to be vaccinated:
Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazi’s forced Jewish people to wear a gold star.
Vaccine passports & mask mandates create discrimination against unvaxxed people who trust their immune systems to a virus that is 99% survivable.https://t.co/6X6VNolcA7
— Marjorie Taylor Greene �� (@mtgreenee) May 25, 2021
Besides the fact that it wasn’t technically a “gold star” — suggesting a reward of sorts — the comparison of mask mandates to Nazi cruelty, and the comparison of people who have gotten their shots to victims of the Holocaust, was so beyond the pale that even other Republicans rebuked her for it. (That’s all they did, though. It was symbolic criticism, not substantive action.)
Still, no matter how you slice it, Greene downplayed the seriousness of the Holocaust and perpetuated conspiracy theories about the power of vaccines.
Maybe even she realized she crossed a line because yesterday she visited the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum — arguably as part of a PR stunt to make amends and tamper down criticism from her own party. Afterwards, she issued a pseudo-apology for her ignorance.
Marjorie Taylor Greene: “I have made a mistake… this afternoon I visited the Holocaust Museum. The Holocaust is- there’s nothing comparable to it.” pic.twitter.com/skrF6YyC3u
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) June 14, 2021
“I have made a mistake,” Greene told reporters. “I wanted to say that I know that words that I’ve stated were hurtful, and for that I am very sorry.“
Took long enough…
Imagine being a member of Congress and calling a press conference to admit you just now realized how bad the Holocaust was. (For that reason, “She’s 47” was trending on Twitter last night.)
Forbes offered the highlights of that “apology”:
Greene kicked off the press conference by saying she is “very much a normal person” and “made a mistake,” adding that there is “nothing comparable” to the Holocaust.
Normal people don’t have to say they’re “very much a normal person.” That should be obvious through their actions.
Greene also insisted her trip wasn’t simply to fend off a censure, claiming she went because she thought it was “important” and noting that she previously visited the Auschwitz concentration camp when she was a teenager.
… and apparently learned nothing from that trip.
Asked if she still believes mask and vaccine mandates are comparable to the yellow stars Jews were forced to wear to identify themselves, Greene said she is “removing that statement completely away” from her repudiations of mask mandates.
Congratulations on doing the absolute bare minimum, Marjorie.
She still has more learning to do:
“I believe that forced mask and forced vaccines or vaccine passports are a type of discrimination, and I’m very much against that type of discrimination,” Greene said when asked if she believes her past comments, adding that there’s “no comparison to the Holocaust” and “that’s what I’m sorry for.”
When a virus has taken the lives of more than half a million Americans, requiring people to do the bare minimum to protect themselves and others is a reasonable request. (Keep in mind that many of the same people who share Greene’s politics — and don’t want business owners making up these rules — have no problem when Christian owners refuse to serve gay or trans customers.)
As several people pointed out online, the whole incident also raises another question: What exactly did Greene think occurred during the Holocaust before her museum visit?
Whatever the case, this controversy isn’t just an indictment of Greene’s scientific illiteracy but also the school system that apparently failed her. Every history teacher she’s ever had should be apologizing as well.