Pro-Trump U.S. Senate hopeful Herschel Walker has canceled a fundraiser because an event organizer reportedly included offensive imagery on a social media account profile.
The host, Texas-based film producer Bettina Sofia Viviano-Langlais, grouped syringes in a swastika pattern as part of her Twitter profile as a form of symbolic opposition to mandatory COVID vaccinations. She has subsequently removed the picture and replaced it with a sign that reads “God bless Texas.”
Walker was scheduled to appear on Saturday at Viviano-Langlais’ Dallas-area home to raise money for his bid in Georgia to unseat radical Democrat Raphael Warnock before the Atlanta Journal-Constitution broke the story.
On behalf of the candidate, Walker spokesperson Mallory Blount strongly disavowed the symbolism. “Herschel is a strong friend of Israel and the Jewish community and opposes hatred and bigotry of all forms. 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.”
Also in the Jolt this am, one of the hosts for a weekend fundraiser for @HerschelWalker this weekend appears to have a swastika as her profile pic. We have reached out for a response from the Walker camp. pic.twitter.com/MynCVfvn93
— Patricia Murphy (@politicalinsidr) October 13, 2021
For political reasons, Democrats were quick to pounce on the controversy, as you would expect, and the media is running with the story.
The Anti-Defamation League, which critics say has devolved over the years into an arm of the Democrat Party, also weighed in: “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,” an official of the organization declared in a statement. “We’re glad to see the fundraiser was cancelled, and the behaviors of the host were denounced as offensive.”
“My biggest disappointment is that yet again another Conservative has decided to succumb to the outrage mob, cancel culture, and cancel the event. I specifically chose that symbol as an artistic protest against those that seem to think it’s okay to violate human rights,” Viviano-Langlais told the Daily Mail. “Our entire country is under economic attack and is being held hostage by the vaccine mandate.”
She separately said that “I regret that the symbol caused hurt, which was clearly not my intent. However, I stand on my principles, regardless of the cancel culture authoritarians.”
Free speech is one thing, but as the Walker campaign concluded, using imagery that conjures up Germany’s genocidal World War II regime or its brutal dictator to advance a cause is a very bad idea on so many levels. Some activists on the left and the right continue to go there, though.
Watch a report on the controversy from CBS46 Atlanta:
Those attending the Dallas reception for Walker would have paid $500 for a ticket. A private VIP meet-and-greet was set at $5,800.
Any candidate can solicit campaign donations from anywhere in the country, not just his or her home state. Candidates also often raise money through out-of-state fundraising appearances, although it’s more common with Democrat office-seekers who disproportionately tend to rake in the dough from liberal Hollywood.
Walker has raised nearly $4 million in the third quarter of 2021 alone.
According to polls, the ex-football star who won the Heisman Trophy while playing for the University of Georgia appears to have a big lead over his GOP primary rivals, and his one-on-one 2022 contest with Warnock is a toss-up.
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