Rep. Ben Carpenter
Rep. Ben Carpenter
Photo: Ben Carpenter official Facebook page

Of all the strange hills people choose to die on, the “coronavirus protections are like Nazi Germany” hill has to be among the most absurd. One Alaska lawmaker sent an email to dozens of his colleagues expressing that ridiculous comparison and then doubled down on his rhetoric with an equally preposterous claim that Adolph Hitler was no white supremacist.

Advertisement

The Washington Post reports that Republican Rep. Ben Carpenter wrote to 39 of his fellow lawmakers expressing his concerns over a requirement that legislators returning to Alaska’s state capital wear stickers that indicate they’ve been tested for COVID-19 and are cleared for entrance into the building.

“If my sticker falls off, do I get a new one or do I get public shaming, too?” Carpenter wrote. “Are the stickers available as a yellow Star of David?”

Advertisement

Several representatives responded to Carpenter’s email with appropriate scorn while others defended him. The Alaskan Landmine shared some of the replies.

“This is disgusting. Keep your Holocaust jokes to yourself,” Democratic Rep. Grier Hopkins, who is Jewish, wrote.

Republican Rep. Sarah Vance replied to Hopkins in defense of Carpenter with some “white people want to be oppressed so bad” nonsense.

“This is no joke. We should all be concerned about the implications of being labeled as ‘non compliant’ or wearing a badge of ‘compliance,’” Vance wrote.

Advertisement

Hopkins shot back at Vance saying, “Putting people at risk because someone doesn’t want to get a medical test to make sure they’re not carrying a disease that will kill others is NOT the same as labeling and targeting a group of people for genocide through hatred and ignorance.”

“That was a flippant, ignorant and disgusting remark,” he continued. “If someone wants to comment about their constitutional rights, fine. We can disagree about that. But do NOT joke about how testing for a virus equates to genocide.”

Advertisement

Unfortunately, no amount of logic can dissuade the privileged from pretending to be oppressed, and in an interview, Carpenter backed his bullshit argument with more bullshit.

“Can you or I—can we even say it is totally out of the realm of possibility that COVID-19 patients will be rounded up and taken somewhere?” Carpenter said, which makes me ask: “Do...do you mean like a hospital?”

Advertisement

“People want to say Hitler was a white supremacist,” he continued. “No. He was fearful of the Jewish nation, and that drove him into some unfathomable atrocities.”

Clearly, Carpenter has no idea what white supremacy actually is or that being “fearful” of certain groups and committing “unfathomable atrocities” against said groups are pretty basic tenets of white supremacist activity.

Advertisement

Hopkins echoed similar sentiments in an interview saying, “If those people were not white supremacists, well, I guess I don’t know what a white supremacist looks like,” according to the Post.

Carpenter attempted to clarify his remarks in an interview with the Anchorage Daily News.

Advertisement

“The point was that it was fear that drove him,” he said. “The attention of his fear was undesirables, including Jews. And the larger point is that PEOPLE FOLLOWED HIM.”

What Carpenter doesn’t seem to get is that, in this instance, the only thing “undesirable”—besides right-wing idiots who specialize in false equivalency arguments—is the virus and the only thing people are “following” is public health guidelines.

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

Share This Story

Get our newsletter