Shaw: Tasteless Nazi comparisons and neglected children
"(Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Scott) Jensen’s outrageous comments diminish and minimize the horrors committed by the Nazis," writes InForum columnist Jim Shaw.
There is nothing in the U.S. now that comes close to the atrocities committed by the Nazis.
The Nazis murdered millions of people. The innocent victims were beaten, tortured, starved, shot or gassed to death.
So, to politicians looking to score points by making that comparison, don’t go there. You make yourself look ignorant and insensitive. That’s exactly what Scott Jensen did. He’s the Minnesota Republican candidate for governor, who put his foot in his mouth.
Jensen foolishly equated Minnesota’s mask requirements during the height of COVID-19 to the Nazis. Also, in 2021, Dr. Jensen signed a petition opposing children being vaccinated against COVID. The petition compared the vaccinations to Nazi doctors experimenting on prisoners at the concentration camps.
There’s no comparison. The Nazis deliberately committed mass murder. The masks and vaccines were designed to save lives during a deadly pandemic. More than one million Americans have died from COVID-19. Many more would have died if it wasn’t for masks, and later, the vaccines.
Jensen’s outrageous comments diminish and minimize the horrors committed by the Nazis. Minnesotans who lost relatives in the Holocaust called Jensen’s remarks painful and offensive, and said Jensen desecrated the memories of the victims. Jensen’s opponent, incumbent Democratic Gov. Tim Walz blasted Jensen for his blunder.
Jensen could have made this issue go away if he simply apologized or said he misspoke. Instead, he doubled down by saying, “It’s a legitimate comparison…This is how I think, and you don’t get to be my thought police person.” Jensen will regret the Nazi comparisons. This issue will not go away.
The state of North Dakota has failed its most vulnerable children. It’s inexcusable. It’s shocking. It’s dangerous. According to a state audit, the North Dakota Department of Human Services regularly failed to check on suspected victims of child abuse and neglect. These are children who have been physically abused, sexually abused, or are suicidal.
The department is violating its own policies. Officials are supposed to meet with the children within 24 hours, but often it takes up to two weeks. Imagine how much further damage the abused children are suffering because of the slow responses.
This is excellent work by the office of State Auditor Josh Gallion. Still, why did it take the auditor’s office to uncover this travesty? To make matters worse, this is the third time in five years that the department has been found to be negligent on this issue. Why didn’t things improve after the first or second times?
DHS Director Chris Jones says he has a shortage of workers, but where has Gov. Doug Burgum been? This is one of the state departments he’s supposed to oversee.
Also, where has the legislature been? Where’s the oversight? I forgot. They’ve been saving us from the scourges of critical race theory, transgender athletes and sex education.
Before cutting taxes, the legislature needs to make sure there is enough money for the DHS to properly check on abused children. Those kids need to become a top priority. The state must do better.
Shaw is a former WDAY TV reporter and former KVRR TV news director.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.