Story at a glance

  • Senate candidate Herschel Walker has canceled a fundraising event whose organizer posted an image of a swastika composed of syringes on their social media page.
  • Walker’s campaign called off the event after initially defending the image as a symbol of opposition to vaccine mandates.
  • The Anti-Defamation League condemned the use and comparison of historic symbols of hate to coronavirus policies.

Senate candidate Herschel Walker has canceled a fundraising event whose organizer featured an image of a swastika composed of syringes on their social media page. 

Walker’s campaign called off the event after initially defending the image as a symbol of opposition to vaccine mandates, The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. The paper noted that Bettina Sofia Viviano-Langlais posted the image on her Twitter profile, which she removed after it was revealed by the outlet. 

“Herschel is a strong friend of Israel and the Jewish community and opposes hatred and bigotry of all forms,” campaign spokesperson Mallory Blount said in a statement, per The New York Post. “Despite the fact that the apparent intent behind the graphic was to condemn government vaccine mandates, the symbol used is very offensive and does not reflect the values of Herschel Walker or his campaign.”


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Yet state Democrats said Walker's reversal does not overshadow the campaign's initial apparent defense of the symbol. 

“Herschel Walker defended a swastika, and canceling a fundraiser does not change the fact that he failed to condemn a hateful, anti-Semitic symbol.” Georgia Democratic Party spokesperson Dan Gottlieb said in a statement.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) likewise condemned the use and comparison of historic symbols of hate to coronavirus policies, according to The Associated Press

“Those linking the atrocities committed by the Nazis to modern day public health policies must retract their shameless comparisons, take responsibility, and cease their exploitation of Jewish suffering as a political tactic,” Allison Padilla-Goodman, vice president of the southern division of the ADL, said in a statement. “We’re glad to see the fundraiser was canceled, and the behaviors of the host were denounced as offensive.”

The fundraiser for the Trump-endorsed Republican candidate, who prepares to challenge Sen. Raphael Warnock, required a $500 donation to enter and $5,800 for a VIP reception.


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Published on Oct 14, 2021