Anti-Defamation League responds to Aurora city council candidate’s …

Posted By on February 11, 2023

A candidate running for Aurora City Council stood by comments he made last year likening cancel culture to Nazism despite the Anti-Defamation League warning that such comparisons trivialize the Holocaust while causing survivors and their families pain.

In August 2022, Jono Scott made a Twitter post stating: Two suggestions: 1. search nazi brown shirts. 2. Consider if there are any similarities with what is happening in 2020-2022 America (cancel culture, etc), Scott wrote.

Scott, also a candidate in 2021, is seeking an at-large council seat in the 2023 council elections and announced his campaign Monday.

The brownshirts were a violent paramilitary group that Hitler used to intimidate political opponents during and after his rise to power in Germany, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

They were also instrumental in carrying out Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, which in November 1938 unleashed a devastating attack on Jewish homes, businesses and synagogues, Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League Mountain States Region Scott Levin said.

Levin called comments such as Scotts hurtful to people affected by the Holocaust.

I just think that any time people make these kinds of disturbing comparisons, that it is really challenging, Levin said. Reasonable people can disagree about political issues without drawing inappropriate comparisons to the Holocaust.

Levin urged people to express their political beliefs in a way that is not so deeply offensive to Holocaust survivors, their families, as well as those who fought valiantly against the Nazi regime.

It appeared Scott aimed to criticize woke ideology by using the Holocaust, Levin said, and added that asking people not to trivialize a genocide is not woke.

I really think people need to stop using the Holocaust as fodder for social or political commentary, he said.

He urged people to really demand more from candidates for office and elected officials who have unique positions in our society, where much attention is given to them.

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I would appeal to their better angels to not use that power and attention in ways that are so negative, he said.

Scott is a firm believe in free speech and intended the post to be thought-provoking, he said.

In many different ways, people have been cancelled or people have been mischaracterized or emotionally or physically or verbally attacked based on beliefs, he said. When we saw the BLM (Black Lives Matter) riots and we saw the other things, there is a double standard.

Scott condemned the Holocaust as one of the worst events in history and said, what happened to the Jewish people is beyond horrible.

Educational experiences about the Holocaust from his childhood became foundational moments for him, he said.

In addition to reacting to the national political climate, Scott said he posted the comment in response to a personal experience. He recalled feeling verbally abused by Twitter users last year who had opposed comments he made regarding gun control, saying their responses called him everything in the book.

The comparison is, when you have a dissenting view from the mainstream, and you just get hammered and hammered and hammered, he said.

Scott spoke about how the Nazi party enforced new cultural norms while in power and said he has not Tweeted since August because he felt silenced by aggressive users.

Asked for his response to the ADLs stance and warnings against Holocaust comparisons, Scott said: I would stand by this statement: Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and instead of silencing history, we need to learn from it."

If there are baby steps that are heading in that direction, we dont need to ignore it, Scott said, although he declined to elaborate on what he has considered as those baby steps.

Its far from the first time the ADL has condemned invoking brownshirt or other Holocaust comparisons. Levin said that while he cant fully understand any one individuals thinking, he believes the Holocaust tends to serve as an archetype for what they consider to be evil.

Unfortunately, they dont really apply any scale, or the relative nature of the evil of the Holocaust, to what are essentially political or societal differences that are taking place right now, he said.

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Anti-Defamation League responds to Aurora city council candidate's ...

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