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Weiner writes: "On Tuesday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez set off a firestorm of backlash when she tweeted a simple fact: the U.S. government is keeping asylum-seekers and migrants in concentration camps on the southern border."

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (photo: Getty)
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (photo: Getty)


AOC Calls Trump's Migrant Facilities 'Concentration Camps' and Conservatives Lose Their Minds

By Sophie Weiner, Splinter

19 June 19

 

n Tuesday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez set off a firestorm of bullshit when she tweeted a simple fact: the U.S. government is keeping asylum-seekers and migrants in concentration camps on the southern border.

Linked in her tweet was an article from Esquire that compared ICE detention centers to their historical precedents.

“What’s required is a little bit of demystification of [the term],” Waitman Wade Beorn, a Holocaust and genocide studies scholar at University of Virginia, told Esquire. “Things can be concentration camps without being Dachau or Auschwitz. Concentration camps in general have always been designed—at the most basic level—to separate one group of people from another group. Usually, because the majority group, or the creators of the camp, deem the people they’re putting in it to be dangerous or undesirable in some way.”

Republicans, including Rep. Liz Cheney—completely ignoring the content of the article—immediately derided the tweet as offensive to Jews and the memory of the Holocaust. Ocasio-Cortez came back strong against those criticisms.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of the news cycle.

Most of the backlash came from conservative commentators (you know, those famous defenders of the oppressed). But later in the day, Jewish groups including the Republican Jewish Coalition and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York released statements condemning Ocasio-Cortez’s comparison.

Others backed up Ocasio-Cortez, including Jewish organizations like J Street and Rep. Jerry Nadler, who is Jewish.

In his tweet, Nadler brought up the catchphrase “Never Again,” a slogan meant to remind us to remain vigilant of any oppression so we never repeat the horrors of the Holocaust.

“I want to talk to the people that are concerned enough with humanity to say that ‘Never Again’ means something,” Ocasio-Cortez said in an Instagram Live video later in the night. “The fact that concentration camps are now an institutionalized practice in the home of the free is extraordinarily disturbing and we need to do something about it.”

“I don’t use those words lightly,” she added. “I don’t use those words to just throw bombs. I use that word because that is what an administration that creates concentration camps is. A presidency that creates concentration camps is fascist.”

The conservatives (and they were almost all conservatives) who were responding to Ocasio-Cortez’s use of “concentration camps” clearly don’t know what “Never Again” means, or they just don’t care. If we wait to call out abuses until people are dying by the millions, respecting the memory of the Holocaust is useless.

When they weren’t calling her comment offensive, commentators downplayed the severity of migrant detention on the U.S.-Mexico border. But all the evidence we have shows that things really are that bad. People, many of them children, are dying, and being held in horrific conditions, often for weeks or months at a time. Children are being abused, and many have been exposed to irreparable psychological harm. Just last week, it was announced that some unaccompanied migrant children would be held in a location that was formerly used as a Japanese internment camp.

It’s also worth remembering that the term “ethnic cleansing” doesn’t just mean gas chambers. On Monday, Donald Trump threatened to round up “millions” of immigrants and deport them. That is, in itself, a form of ethnic cleansing. Just like keeping people in camps, without trial, for undefined periods of time, makes those places concentration camps. That’s all there is to it. Those who refuse to see this reality and do something about it may feel good about themselves now, but they sure aren’t going to be judged kindly in the hindsight of history.

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+13 # BetaTheta 2019-06-19 14:50
Concentration camps have been utilized far beyond the confines of the Holocaust. Those Japanese "internment" camps," for instance.
 
 
+10 # wilhelmscream 2019-06-19 18:01
THEY ARE CONCENTRATION CAMPS!! (emphasis on “are”)
 
 
+10 # wilhelmscream 2019-06-19 18:14
George Takei and family were in a Japanese Interment camp; wich is beyond EVIL!! Are we reliving the dark days of WWII Nazi Germany? YES!!
 
 
+5 # johnescher 2019-06-19 18:49
Shouldn't this be the CENTER father than the periphery of impeachment hearings?
 
 
+12 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-06-19 19:24
"AOC Calls Trump's Migrant Facilities 'Concentration Camps' and Conservatives Lose Their Minds"


I thought they lost their minds long ago. The US treatment of many minority groups is a holocaust. Africans brought to the US as slaves experienced a holocaust. Native Americans were subject to a holocaust. The US has committed holocausts all over the world -- most recently in Iraq, Syria, Libay, Afghanistan.

These conservatives are holocaust deniers. They are out of their minds.


Keep going, AOC. Don't lose your strength. As someone in high school used to say -- "illegitimus non carborundum."
 
 
-1 # jsluka 2019-06-19 23:59
The Latin slogan of Trump supporters: "Hebes sum et suffragia fero." And one for RSN readers: "Odimus duces nostros improbos pravosque!"
 
 
0 # lorenbliss 2019-06-19 22:37
"...Conservativ es Lose Their Minds": best headline of the year thus far.

Outstanding report, too. Shows us the venom for which -- if we are to prevail -- we must find a proper antivenin.
 
 
0 # video4315 2019-06-20 07:09
It seems that her description was accurate to me...
From Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
concentration camp noun
Definition of concentration camp
: a place where large numbers of people (such as prisoners of war, political prisoners, refugees, or the members of an ethnic or religious minority) are detained or confined under armed guard —used especially in reference to camps created by the Nazis in World War II for the internment and persecution of Jews and other prisoners
 
 
+4 # librarian1984 2019-06-20 07:40
This is how the establishment derails criticism. They get hung up on terminology so you're arguing about words instead of the FACTS -- that there are human beings dying, there are children being abused, and that taxpayers are paying psychopaths to run rampant. (That goes for the CIA too.)

Shame on those Jewish organizations that act as if they're the only people who suffer, and who choose to politicize their experience to attack a perceived enemy.

And as far as no funds coming in, here's an idea: end the censorship, which has destroyed the comments section.
 
 
+1 # jwb110 2019-06-20 09:36
In this country during WW2 there were Concentration Camps, by the definition of separating one group from another, not only for the Japanese but for Germans and Italians as well. None of this is new. The Holocaust is and industry and it has led to the market being cornered by a single group. If anyone took the time to just look up the badges that designated people in the German camps it is clear that many more "types" were sent there. The Republicans clearly believe that only one group was sent and in an effort to garner those votes has promoted their own version of "fake news". Some of the very people that their base would eliminate, and for much of the base that includes Jews, are the same as those in the German Camps. Not much has changed since WW2.
 
 
0 # PABLO DIABLO 2019-06-20 17:23
AOC is guilty of the Supreme Act of Civil Disobedience by being herself. I would take 100 more like her.
 

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