Herschel Walker, a GOP candidate running for a Senate seat in Georgia, signs copies of his book, “Breaking Free: My Life with Dissociative Identity Disorder.” Credit: Mary A. Lupo/Shutterstock.
(JNS) — Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker, a 59-year-old retired professional football player, canceled a campaign fundraiser hosted by a filmmaker whose Twitter profile pictured a swastika made up of syringes in protest of Covid-19 vaccine mandates, reported the New York Post.
“Herschel is a strong friend of Israel and the Jewish community, and opposes hatred and bigotry of all forms,” campaign spokesperson Mallory Blount said after the fundraiser was canceled on Oct. 13. “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.”
The event was scheduled to take place on Oct. 16 at the home of movie producer Bettina Sofia Viviano-Langlais in Dallas. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was the first to report on Viviano-Langlais’ Twitter profile picture; at the time, Walker’s campaign described it as “clearly an anti-mandatory vaccination graphic.”
After the story was published, the filmmaker changed the profile picture to a sign that said: “God Bless Texas.”
She tweeted, then deleted, a post saying she took it down because of “the Left’s need to silence free speech.” Viviano-Langlais, who had hosted a mask-burning with the Dallas Jewish Conservatives earlier this year, added, “It’s insane to think that pic was Anti-Semetic (sic). Desperate actually. It was a pic showing what happens when fascists demand people insert foreign material into their body they don’t want.”
Images of a syringe swastika have been used to protest government vaccine mandates around the world.
Allison Padilla-Goodman, vice president of the Southern Division of the Anti-Defamation League, said “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,” according to the New York Post.
She added that “we’re glad to see the fundraiser was canceled, and the behaviors of the host were denounced as offensive.”