Saturday in Marshall, MN, a video went viral after a couple walked into a Walmart store wearing masks that displayed swastikas, the symbol made famous by Nazi Germany in WWII. The symbol, which has been associated with hate and racism since it was adopted by the Nazis, was widely denounced including by others in the store at the time.
Monday on the Chad Hartman show, Twins' radio announcer Cory Provus was asked his feelings on the masks, which he tweeted about over the weekend. Provus, who is Jewish, talked about why it bothered him so much to see this happen in Minnesota.
"So for the last nine years, I've been on Marshall radio. I go on every Monday morning, we've done this with that station and it's really fun. While I physically haven't spent much time, I've been there for (Twins) Caravan and things like that, but I just felt like a connection with Marshall because I'm on that station and on in that town every Monday for the last nine years. So that struck a nerve with me too. And then when I saw those swastika masks at that Walmart, it took me back to when I was 17 years old."
He went on to describe a trip when he was a kid that had a big impression on him.
"I'll never forget my 17th birthday. I was lucky enough to spend a summer in Israel, but before we got to Israel, the group I was with got a chance to visit concentration camps in Poland. I was at one of the camps and I walk into barracks and you see separated areas of belongings and hair clippings and shoes and uniforms. And those are images you never forget."
Provus says there is no place for the symbol in our society today.
"So when I see that image, I see genocide, I see hatred. I see something that is just, you cannot have that today. And if you think that the rise of antisemitism is not existing in this country and across the globe, you're ignorant. Look at the studies, look at the news. It is so prevalent today. I'm just bothered by it and considering everything that's happening in our world. We're looking for allies right now. And for me, Chad, I think I feel the same way about that. We're looking for allies for all of us to be better and do better."