Human Rights

 Rep. Madison Cawthorn Made a Holocaust Joke While Selling Campaign Merch and People are Disgusted

Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) managed to fire off a tweet that is simultaneously anti-Semitic and tasteless in an act of selling his own merchandise that also turned into a magnificent self-own. This is on the heels of his apparent switcheroo from echoing former president Donald Trump’s complaints of “election fraud” to suddenly condemning him for his rhetoric in the aftermath of the deadly Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol building.

That behavior earned him a steep scolding from the editorial board of The Charlotte Observer. The editors called him an “embarrassment” and I’m here to say that things haven’t improved, especially considering this recent bit of dumb behavior.

According to DailyDot, Cawthorn, without the tiniest bit of irony referenced a famous poem about the Holocaust while promoting his political merchandise page.

Let me assure you, this is really, really offensive.

“First they came for our Free Speech, then they came for our Free Markets, next they’ll come for our Free Shipping on orders of $50 or more with promo code: FREEDOM50.”

See? I told you this is offensive. It’s a hamfisted and thoughtless reference to a poem by German Lutheran Pastor Martin Niemöller that references the cowardice among German intellectuals (including himself) under Nazi rule. What’s even worse is he did this right before Holocaust Remembrance Day. Because that’s the kind of guy Cawthorn is. He’ll probably try to say he was “joking,” but as DailyDot notes:

“…generally jokes about the Holocaust that also promote your merch page are considered to be in poor taste, to make an extreme understatement.”

But here’s the part where the self-own comes in. The merchandise he’s trying to sell, accompanied by the offensive tweet, is a white face mask that’s emblazoned in black with just one word: “Useless.”

Well, that description’s apt, isn’t it folks? Obviously, it’s an attempt to imply that wearing a mask is “useless” for preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus or catching it, as a brand new strain that’s more almost certainly contagious strikes the U.S. But a lot of people are having a difficult time looking at the mask-wearing woman in the photo without somehow thinking the term “useless” is actually referring to the wearer.

At any rate, it looks like the mask has been removed from the merchandise page. But don’t worry the page contains plenty of other stupid things: shirts that say “Taxation is theft,” and “The Real Virus Is Communism.” Haha.

Needless to say, the Twitterati is having a field day with Cawthorn. Enjoy!

meet the author

Megan has lived in California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida and she currently lives in Central America. Living in these places has informed her writing on politics, science, and history. She is currently owned by 15 cats and 3 dogs and regularly owns Trump supporters when she has the opportunity. She can be found on Twitter at and Facebook at


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