OLYMPIA – State Rep. Melanie Morgan (D-Parkland), chair of the House Democratic Members of Color Caucus, released the following statement following the Seattle Times report of Rep. Jim Walsh (R-Aberdeen) wearing a yellow Star of David and comparing vaccination efforts to the Holocaust:
“I am deeply offended by Rep. Walsh’s recent actions and comments and stand in solidarity with the Jewish Caucus and the people of Washington state who see this for what it is: offensive, repugnant, and a gross mischaracterization and comparison of one of history’s biggest atrocities. Every member of the Legislature should be concerned that a state representative would make these types of comparisons, especially when we are still battling a deadly pandemic.
“When hatred and bigotry are spread in communities, it is like wildfire and destroys everything in its path. That is why we must all stand up and oppose these hurtful and dangerous comments and behaviors whether it be regarding the Holocaust, Black Lives Matter, Asian Hate, LGBTQ+, or immigration. It is not enough for Rep. Walsh to apologize: He must make amends through education of the history of the Holocaust, listening to those impacted, and doing the necessary work to show he is willing to change.
“That is not an outrageous ask. In 2019, the House voted unanimously — with Rep. Walsh’s support — to encourage Holocaust education for every public junior high and high school student (Senate Bill 5612). Our students should get Holocaust education and so should Washington state’s legislators if they are going to abuse the memory of the Holocaust.”