Alton Brown is apologizing this morning after a series of tweets last night in which he made multiple references to the Holocaust. In a since-deleted tweet commenting on the state of the country, Brown asked, “Do you think the camp uniforms will be striped, like the ones at Auschwitz or will plaid be in vogue?” When a user replied that it would depend on how much one was “worth” going in, Brown added, more graphically, that he has “no gold fillings.” When yet another user replied, “Yikes dude. Take it easy,” Brown responded with a blunt “Fuck you.”
In his apology message, Brown says that the Holocaust comment “was not a reference I made for humorous effect but rather to reflect how deeply frightened I am for our country. It was a very poor use of judgement and in poor taste.”
Other users pointed out how insensitive the comments were: “If you have to dig in other people’s graveyards for references of pain to relate your discomfort to an oppression you’ve never really known by a longshot, just keep your mouth shut and think deeper before you speak,” offered food writer Michael Twitty, with a thoughtfulness Brown might aspire to.
“I have voted Republican most of my life,” Brown wrote in a tweet that has also now been deleted. “I consider myself a conservative. I want to believe there are still ‘very fine’ people on both sides of the aisle but…if #GOP leaders don’t get their collective noses out of that man’s ass, we’re going to have words.” He then went on to clarify that, despite this conservatism, he voted for and “strongly” supported “#BidenHarris2020 as well as @ReverandWarnock and @Ossoff” in his home state. “It’s time for decency and unity to trump tribalism, racism, and disinformation,” he concluded.
Reactions, as Elazar Sontag observed tactfully at Eater, were “mixed,” with some users praising Brown for “being one of the good ones” — a conservative willing to break with the Republican Party — and others expressing disappointment that someone they had admired had “actively voted for people who created policies that dehumanized you and allowed for violence against you in the form of discrimination and bigotry.”