Florida county official apologizes for social media post invoking Hitler 

Florida county official apologizes for social media post invoking Hitler 
© Broward County Clerk of Courts

A Florida county court official apologized for sharing a Facebook post that falsely attributed a quote to Adolf Hitler.

Clerk of Courts Brenda Forman (D) issued an apology to the Jewish community after the local congressional delegation condemned her remarks, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.

“I sincerely apologize to the Jewish community,” she wrote in a statement posted to Facebook, adding that she deeply regrets “the pain that it has caused to members of your community. It was never my intention to hurt or offend anyone.”

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Forman initially shared the post on Monday night that falsely attributed a quote to the Nazi leader and was accompanied by a doctored image of former British Prime Minister David Cameron, according to screenshots.

The fake quote, incorrectly attributed to Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” calls for freedom to be removed slowly over time “to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions” until it is too late.

The passage has circulated on social media in the past, the outlet noted, and Reuters and Politifact concluded it wasn’t from Hitler’s autobiography.

The image was reportedly flagged by Facebook’s independent fact-checkers and labeled with a warning about containing false information.

SEE UPDATES BELOW I've reached out directly and asked Broward County Clerk of Courts, Brenda Forman, why she posted...

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Posted by Rabbi Andrew Jacobs on Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The Sun Sentinel also noted that Forman is facing two opponents in her August election who are Jewish — retired judges Paul Backman and Mark Speiser.

The post quickly started gaining criticism, and Forman deleted it on Tuesday night without acknowledging it, according to the outlet.

A group of Florida Democrats serving in the U.S. House quickly called on Forman to apologize.

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Andrew Jacobs, rabbi at Ramat Shalom Synagogue in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., wrote in a post that he reached out to Forman after seeing the image shared without context.

“I do hope Ms. Forman heard our concerns and realizes how dangerous it is to share this hate without any explanation - how it empowers this hate,” he wrote. “Sharing Hitler's words, especially when you do not clearly frame why you are doing so, can be so dangerous.”

Forman released an apology on Thursday, saying she takes “full responsibility for resharing this un acceptable post.”

“In retrospect, there were better ways I could have expressed my thoughts on how important it is for our society to work together to ensure that no one is deprived of their rights,” Forman wrote. “As a woman of color and an elected official, I have worked hard to use my platform to advocate for a variety of community causes. Most of my efforts have met with success.”

She was sworn into office in January 2017 and was the first African American and the first elected female clerk in the history of the Broward County Clerk of Court's Office, according to the city's website.