OREGON CITY, Ore. (KPTV) - The Clackamas County Board of Commissioners is once again condemning a fellow commissioner's statements, this time over a Facebook post comparing vaccine mandates to the Holocaust.

Commissioner Mark Shull, who was stripped of some of his commissioner duties in June after comparing vaccine passports to Jim Crow, posted a meme on his personal Facebook page over the weekend that compared the genocide in Germany to COVID-19 response in Oregon.

“We want to state clearly to our Clackamas County residents and employees that there is no place for hatred and bigotry on the Board of County Commissioners or in the county," the board's statement said.

“We recognize the Facebook post dismissed the horror that the Jewish community and so many others experienced during the Holocaust and that it was posted just three weeks following a hate-crime on our campus where a Nazi Swastika was painted on our sidewalk. We want to be clear that our County and we as commissioners, condemn antisemitism, racism and bigotry. Mark Shull’s post does not reflect the values of Clackamas County or this Board."

At a board meeting Tuesday morning, Shull said said he removed the post not long after it was shared when a friend called and told him it was getting attention. But he defended the contents of the meme and said it was "about what happened in Germany when restrictions to civil liberties of a certain group of people occurred over a long period of time, slowly, incrementally, and resulted in the history that we know to be the Holocaust."

The backlash from the post was immediate, most notably from the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland.

It's not the first time Shull has made headlines for controversial comments. He's faced criticism ever since he was elected over what many call racist and xenophobic posts on social media. In June, commissioners voted 4-1 to strip Shull of his liaison committee assignments after he included a reference to Jim Crow laws in a draft resolution that would have effectively outlawed so-called "vaccine passports" in the county.

Jim Crow laws, named after a derogatory slang for a Black man, were put in place in the American south after the Civil War to legalize segregation.

"Your speech has hurt us collectively as a community," Commissioner Sonya Fischer told Shull at Tuesday's board meeting. You can hear the commissioners discuss the controversy in the video below. The discussion starts at 1:08:35. 

“To our Jewish community members and others who are traumatized by Mark Shull’s statements, we will standby you and do everything in our power as a Board to aid in your healing and ensure that Clackamas County is a safe place for all," the commissioners' statement said.

“We appreciate the outreach from the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland and look forward to their collaboration in this matter. We are committed to building a Clackamas County where people thrive, have a sense of safety, connection, and belonging, so that everyone is honored and celebrated for the richness in diversity they bring.”

 

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