Kosair Charities chairman resigns over posts linking teen protesters with Hitler Youth
Jerry Ward reportedly compared protesting students to Hitler Youth and made posts about Parkland, Fla., school massacre survivor and activist Emma Gonzalez.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The chairman of Kosair Charities said Thursday he is resigning from the role after he reportedly shared a meme on social media that compared protesting students to Hitler Youth and made posts about Parkland, Fla., school massacre survivor and activist Emma Gonzalez.
The recent Facebook posts by Jerry Ward, first disclosed by Insider Louisville on Wednesday, prompted Kosair board member and Jefferson Circuit Court Clerk David Nicholson to call for an emergency board meeting.
Nicholson said on Twitter last night that the “views expressed in these posts do not align with the mission of Kosair Charities and must be addressed.”
In a statement announcing he was stepping down, Ward said he regretted sharing “personal opinions without considering my leadership role at Kosair Charities and others. As a result, I apologize to anyone who was offended or hurt by my comments.”
He said he didn’t intend for his posts to have a “negative impact on children or Kosair Charities. At the end of the day, my motivation has always been to improve the lives of children.” He also said he “must strive to be more conscious of the words I share.”
The posts included a split-screen meme with a caption that read, “STATE SPONSORED KIDS PROTESTING THE 2ND AMENDMENT!” and showed a color photo of students at a rally. Below it is a black-and-white photo of children, including some giving a Nazi salute, in front of Adolf Hitler. A caption reads: “ARE YOU SCARED YET?”
According to the Insider Louisville story, Ward also commented on Facebook on someone else’s post about Gonzalez having a Cuban flag on her sleeve, writing: “if she does not like the American laws she can return to Cuba where nobody but the government has guns!”
In an unsolicited email sent Wednesday to a WDRB News reporter who had tweeted the original story, Ward wrote: “My personal views on my personal Facebook page have resulted in some reactions. It is my intention to have discussions with friends on trending topics.
These are my opinions only and not associated with any organization.
The welfare of differently blessed children shall continue to be my top priority.”
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