The Vicious Punishment of CJ Hopkins

“American political satirist and humorist, CJ Hopkins, who has lived in Germany for 20 years, was criminally investigated in June and July of 2023 by the Berlin State Prosecutor (District Attorney) and has now been issued a “Penalty Order” or “Order of Punishment” for “disseminating propaganda, the intention of which is to further the aims of the former National Socialist organization (Nazis).” Hopkins has been found guilty without a trial and sentenced to a €3,600 fine (about 3,800 American dollars) or up to three years in jail. Hopkins is an American citizen with a permanent resident visa in Germany. The two tweets for which he is being charged appeared on the Internet in August 2022. The tweets include a picture of a mask, the one used on the cover of his latest book, with a very light depiction of a swastika on the mask. Hopkins’ essays in the book criticize and satirize covid policies and restrictions. The text accompanying the image reads, “The masks are ideological conformity symbols. That is all they are. That is all they have ever been. Stop acting like they have ever been anything else, or get used to wearing them.” The hashtag reads, ‘The masks are not a benign measure.’”

Published by markskidmore

Mark Skidmore is Professor of Economics at Michigan State University where he holds the Morris Chair in State and Local Government Finance and Policy. His research focuses on topics in public finance, regional economics, and the economics of natural disasters. Mark created the Lighthouse Economics website and blog to share economic research and information relevant for navigating tumultuous times.

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