I would like to register my appreciation for Patou Lehoux’s response to my previous letter to the editor (“Mask cartoon worse than troubling,” Interior News, Dec. 31, 2020), while also offering a clarification.
In the previous letter I expressed concern about a cartoon that argued the best solution to deal with anti-maskers is to suggest they suffocate themselves. I found the cartoon quite disturbing, and saw it as confirming the fears of some in my community.
Ms. Lehoux quoted me to say: “I have navigated through conversations with people with deep concerns that policymakers are taking steps that are reminiscent of those in Nazi Germany.”
Ms. Lehoux believed that this was disrespectful and an inaccurate comparison. I agree. In that quote, I was not representing my own view, but rather a view expressed by some of my conversationalists.
To the extent that I was not clear, I apologize.
There is no comparison between that context and ours, which is why I have no reservations about compliance with current public health orders.
I was also grateful for Ms. Lehoux’s vulnerability in sharing the horrific experiences of her father-in-law and others who suffered grievously at the hands of Nazis — a poignant reminder and illustration of the stark difference between that context and ours.
As Ms. Lehoux notes, we must keep that perspective. Yet we must also hold on to one of the great lessons learned from that difficult time in history: the grave consequences that occur when we begin dehumanizing others in our discourse.
This can happen quickly in times of stress, fear, and anxiety — as exemplified in the aforementioned cartoon.