Clip shows Rep. Tony Gonzales' GOP rival making Nazi jokes, marching to German song

In the 2022 video, vlogger-turned-political hopeful Brandon Herrera jokes that a German submachine gun was the 'original ghetto blaster.'

click to enlarge Far-right YouTuber Brandon Herrera is facing U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales in a May 28 runoff. - Wikimedia Commons / Gage Skidmore
Wikimedia Commons / Gage Skidmore
Far-right YouTuber Brandon Herrera is facing U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales in a May 28 runoff.
Brandon Herrera — the gun-loving social media influencer running against South Texas U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales — made Holocaust jokes and marched to a World War II-era German song in a resurfaced YouTube video first reported on by news site JewishInsider.

Herrera, known to followers as the "AK Guy," will face off with Gonzales in next month's Republican primary runoff to represent the 23rd District, which includes part of San Antonio and much of the U.S.-Mexico border. Herrera is running to the right of Gonzales, a moderate who lost some GOP support after he voted in favor of a major gun-control package and a bill protecting gay marriage.

In the 2022 clip from Herrera's YouTube channel, the vlogger reviews the German MP-40 submachine gun, calling the World War II weapon the "original ghetto blaster," presumably because Nazi troops used it against residents of Jewish ghettos.

The video also shows Herrera and a masked companion marching to the German song "Erika." Although the song's lyrics aren't political, it was strongly associated with the German military during the Nazi era.

Herrera’s campaign was unavailable for immediate comment on the clip.

During the video, Herrera gives the MP-40 the “White Claw penetration test,” firing a bullet into a can of the alcoholic beverage.
Afterward, his masked companion asks Herrera in a lousy attempt at a German accent if he's “hiding any White Claws under the floorboards.”

The joke appears to reference a scene from the Quentin Tarantino film Inglorious Basterds where an SS Officer nicknamed "The Jew Hunter" menacingly asks a French farmer if he’s hiding any Jews under his home.

At another point in the review, the masked companion starts to perform a Nazi salute before Herrera stops him and points to the camera.

Toward the end of the video, Herrera explains he's "not really a big fan of fascism" and adds that he's trying to impart a history lesson.

"The best way not to repeat history is to learn about history," he says, jamming a magazine into the submachine gun. "And the best way I know to get you guys to learn about history is to make really fucked-up jokes about it."

The clip is the latest controversy to percolate up around Herrera, a political novice, since he launched his underdog campaign against Gonzales. The gun aficionado has also faced criticism for poking fun at veteran suicides, mocking former President Donald Trump’s teenage son and joking about “overweight feminists.”

Although Herrera, who only pulled 25% of the vote in the March primary, is vying to consolidate right-wing support in the May 28 runoff,  Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, one of the state's most prominent far-right figures, recently threw his endorsement behind Gonzales.

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Michael Karlis

Michael Karlis is a Staff Writer at the San Antonio Current. He is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., whose work has been featured in Salon, Alternet, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, Orlando Weekly, NewsBreak, 420 Magazine and Mexico Travel Today. He reports primarily on breaking news, politics...

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