Ever since Marjory Stoneman Douglas senior David Hogg began pushing for gun control in the wake of the massacre at his high school, he's been a target for conservatives. An aide to Republican state Rep. Shawn Harrison called Hogg a crisis actor. Laura Ingraham blasted him for "whining" after being rejected from several California colleges. Talk-show host Jamie Allman said he had been "hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David's Hogg's ass."
Now, a member of Parkland's Education Advisory Board, which makes recommendations to that city's commission about its schools, apparently shared multiple memes depicting Hogg as a Nazi. An account that appears to belong to Wayne Alder, who is critical of the #NeverAgain movement's gun-control message, also tweeted an image of Hogg with his fist raised. "Parkland. Here is your future. I won't be wearing the Broward Brown Shirt," he wrote, referencing the shirts worn by Adolf Hitler's stormtroopers.
Another of his tweets reads, "I'm from Parkland. This is what happens when a town decides to back one political party, one political voice. The tyranny of one voice that is David Hogg."
In a phone call with New Times Thursday, Alder oddly claimed he'd never posted about Hogg. He didn't deny the account was his, though, and after New Times shared screenshots of his Twitter account with the Nazi-related tweets and retweets, the account's settings were soon changed to private.
"I haven't posted anything about David Hogg myself," said Alder, an attorney who is a partner at Boca Raton's Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck. "Not a word. He has a right to say what he wants to say. All I say is that when anyone puts themselves in the public forum, they should expect criticism from people."
Alder acknowledged he might have retweeted other people's comments making the Nazi comparison. He says he considers Twitter a way to share different ideas. "Some you agree with, some you don't agree with," he wrote. "It doesn't mean that you're in any way sponsoring that idea."
One of the memes he retweeted shows Hogg with his fist raised while standing behind a lectern. The lectern bears the Obama symbol, peeling away to reveal a swastika. Alder claimed he didn't notice the Nazi symbol, saying he might have gotten caught up in late-night tweeting.
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"If I retweeted that, I probably shouldn't have," he said. "The Nazi thing is not something that should be thrown around easily, and if I retweeted that, it shouldn't have been retweeted."
Alder said he opposed the City of Parkland allowing the March for Our Lives event to be held so soon after the February 14 shootings and called the event political. He said the city would have objected if the NRA had tried to host a rally.
Before hanging up Thursday, he said his tweets have no relation to his work on the Education Advisory Board, where he's been calling for Superintendent Robert Runcie to resign. Alder has argued the school district's 2013 Promise program, which aimed to cut down on expulsions and arrests for minor student misbehavior, contributed to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High.
"There's zero bearing between the two," he said of his tweets and his work on the panel.