Former staffers for Elizabeth Warren have been taken to the woodshed over tattoos meant to memorialize her ill-fated campaign – which just happen to closely resemble markings given to Holocaust concentration camp prisoners. Oops!
Intending to commemorate the Democratic senator’s failed bid for the presidency, at least two former Warren staffers thought tattoos displaying the hex code for the campaign’s “Liberty Green” theme would be a clever tribute – until Twitter caught wind of it. In an avalanche of criticism, netizens wasted no time in pointing out the obvious – albeit accidental – reference to Nazi atrocities proudly displayed by the two ex-employees.
warren staffers getting holocaust-esque tattoos is not something i thought i’d see tell me about bernie’s cult of personality again? pic.twitter.com/Z8CODg8zIr
— p.e. moskowitz (@_pem_pem) March 10, 2020
If you’re thinking of getting a holocaust-style tattoo in honor of your favorite politician, please don’t. Don’t have a favorite politician, either. What is wrong with you
— jon rosenberg: comics boy🥦 (@jonrosenberg) March 10, 2020
warren supporters branding themselves with holocaust tattoos and cryptofascist imagery was not the turn I expected but in retrospect the postmodern world-system is collapsing so https://t.co/xZmXMwlgPF
— gabe (@itsamegabeo) March 10, 2020
Buddy, I can’t even afford to get a holocaust style tattoo of Elizabeth Warren writing hex code.
— jake merch (@jakefm) March 10, 2020
While the comparison should have been immediately clear to anyone who’d seen the design, perhaps the staffers could be forgiven for a simple oversight, not making the connection to the dark imagery the tattoos might evoke. But in addressing critics online, former Warren campaign design director Raquel Breternitz dispelled any notion of a lapse in judgement, noting she had “thought about” the association to concentration camps, and decided to go ahead anyway, placing the ink where “it wouldn’t be seen on the outer arm.”
One of the people who got the tattoo knew that it looked similar to a Holocaust tattoo, and still chose to get it. Notice below the “my partner is Jewish” and “I’m sorry it feels that way for you” cards. Please, folks, be aware of and careful with your privilege.🤦 pic.twitter.com/nzGgoxkkYM
— Rabbi Andy Kahn (@rabbiandykahn) March 10, 2020
A handful of netizens took note of the caption appended to a photo of the questionable ink by former staffer Eric Ziminsky – “First campaign, first tattoo” – giving rise to a number of parodies “inspired by Elizabeth Warren.”
First campaign, first tattoo. It’s inspired by Elizabeth Warren saying we need ICE! pic.twitter.com/50UtmE069l
— Chris Weed Emoji 🌿 (@goodopinionhavr) March 10, 2020
— Wilford Quimley (@friendlykitties) March 10, 2020
First campaign, first tattoo. I won’t forget. pic.twitter.com/zh2RGgPKwm
— steven (@stevanzetti) March 10, 2020
Facing a wave of mockery and derision online, both employees have since apologized for the poorly thought out tattoo idea, admitting to “missing the mark” – presumably no pun intended – and promising to “modify” the design, even thanking critics for holding them “accountable.”
Thanks to all who called me on this. I do not want to evoke or make light of the Holocaust. I apologise for missing the mark. I am here to listen and will strive to be better at living in solidarity with my Jewish friends. I’m sorry, and I will take steps to modify the tattoo.
— Raquel Breternitz ❦ 🩸🦷🌹 (@RaquelDesigns) March 10, 2020
Hey y’all, I’m sorry as well, and will be making modifications. Thank you for holding us accountable on our mistakes. I would recommend for folks who are thinking of a similar tattoo, please look for alternatives such as, pinky promise, logo, persist, or DBFH. https://t.co/3OyGfg6JqL
— eric (@ericziminsky) March 10, 2020