Viral tweet casts Kansans as extremists

More than 1 million people have seen the photo of Kansans wearing the Star of David at a legislative hearing on COVID-19.



November 22, 2021 - 9:47 AM

Kansas Reflector editor in chief Sherman Smith’s original Tweet is in the center; it was retweeted, shared and copied across the platform by more than 1 million users. (Clay Wirestone illustration/Kansas Reflector, original image by Thad Allton for Kansas Reflector)

It was the tweet seen ’round the world — or at least in the portion of the world tracking anti-vax extremism.

Three people wore yellow Stars of David to a hearing about COVID-19 vaccine mandates at the Kansas Statehouse the morning of Friday, Nov. 12. Kansas Reflector editor in chief Sherman Smith posted a photograph of the group by contributor Thad Allton at 11:16 a.m., in response to a tweet from Rep. Stephanie Clayton, D-Overland Park. By the end of the day, both Smith’s tweet and the photograph had rocketed across the platform.

Legislative leaders ended up denouncing the symbolism, and Paul Samberg tackled the subject in a column on Thursday. Yet the viral tweet offers five important takeaways for those who follow current events through social media.

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