Republicans are going after Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez again, this time for an Instagram Live video she made on the subject of the increasingly crowded and deplorable prison camps in which the U.S. government is keeping undocumented migrants and refugees from the southern border. In the video, Ocasio-Cortez explicitly calls these camps “concentration camps” and says that “a presidency that creates concentrations camps is fascist.”
“I don’t use those words lightly. I don’t use those words to just throw bombs,” she says. Republicans, of course, are not convinced.
Please @AOC do us all a favor and spend just a few minutes learning some actual history. 6 million Jews were exterminated in the Holocaust. You demean their memory and disgrace yourself with comments like this. https://t.co/NX5KPPb2Hl— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) June 18, 2019
Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President and avid waterboarding fan Dick Cheney, seems to claim that Ocasio-Cortez is unaware of the well-known and often-evoked Holocaust. “You demean their memory and disgrace yourself with comments like this,” says Cheney.
Daily Wire reporter Ryan Saavedra, who originally posted a clip of the video, calls the assertion that the migrant prison camps are, in fact, concentration camps a false claim.
Ocasio-Cortez responded to these attacks in her usual Twitter-expert fashion.
Hey Rep. Cheney, since you’re so eager to “educate me,” I’m curious:— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 18, 2019
What do YOU call building mass camps of people being detained without a trial?
How would you dress up DHS’s mass separation of thousands children at the border from their parents? https://t.co/OOfrrfa1Ew
And for the shrieking Republicans who don’t know the difference: concentration camps are not the same as death camps.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 18, 2019
Concentration camps are considered by experts as “the mass detention of civilians without trial.”
And that’s exactly what this administration is doing.
The controversy has already caught on, with “Holocaust” trending on Twitter. Other Jewish individuals have come to the defense of Ocasio-Cortez, agreeing with her characterization of the detainment of thousands of migrants from South and Central America.
Jew here. @AOC’s point is exactly why we say “Never forget.” The Holocaust did not begin with the murder of 6 million Jews. It began with the same dehumanization, deportation, and internment we see today. You, sickeningly, invoke the Holocaust to minimize their suffering. Shame.— Bess Kalb (@bessbell) June 18, 2019
My grandpa’s entire family was murdered in the Holocaust. I’m 100% comfortable with @AOC and anyone else referring to the current situation as concentration camps. The Holocaust didn’t come out of nowhere—it was a slow build, like now. People who understand history know this. https://t.co/agIBjPMNLz— marisa kabas (@MarisaKabas) June 18, 2019
Insisting that the Holocaust was uniquely evil and can't be compared to anything else is a ploy to place it outside of history & politics.— Leah Greenberg (@Leahgreenb) June 18, 2019
People who do this are trying to distract from the obvious parallels with the campaign of escalating dehumanization happening here and now.
For those criticizing @AOC’s remarks on U.S. concentration camps, this sworn court declaration from last year is from the director of the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education.— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) June 18, 2019
She shares the fears of survivors in this testimony from last year. ???? https://t.co/noTYsLr863
Liz keep the Shoah out of your mouth. Every member of the GOP-Nazi Party demeans the memory of the six million as you knowingly retread the worst horrors of Jewish history. These are concentration camps and you are a Holocaust revisionist. https://t.co/P5rsZHFK48— Eli Valley (@elivalley) June 18, 2019
Others are pointing out the hypocrisy of Republicans, who often evoke the Holocaust when talking about abortion, objecting to the use of the term “concentration camps.”
Noting that people who have no objection to abortion being called a Holocaust and a genocide - the implication being women are committing genocide against our own children - are very up in arms when a camp where people are detained without trial is called a "concentration camp."— Jill Filipovic (@JillFilipovic) June 18, 2019
I wonder how many of the people who are saying that locking thousands of detainees in internment camps in the desert shouldn't be compared to the Holocaust have compared abortion to the Holocaust.— Michael, unlike Jack, despises Nazis (@thepmann) June 18, 2019
Curious how it's always "Christians" who dare say abortion is worse than the Holocaust while completely ignoring that Jews HATE that comparison, including those who survived those f*cking concentration camps. It's like where's the respect?! pic.twitter.com/b9QxFz9JF5— Kim Varod ???? (@kimvarod) June 18, 2019
Indeed, if you search for “abortion Holocaust” on Twitter, you can see that they’re still doing it right now.
Meanwhile, history experts are pointing out to Liz Cheney and other Republicans that the Holocaust and concentration camps didn’t start with mass murder. Including the Onion.
Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.— BrooklynDad_Defiant! #HappyFathersDay (@mmpadellan) June 18, 2019
The Holocaust didn't just happen overnight. It was a PROCESS in which Jews were dehumanized with scapegoating and hateful rhetoric. Just like what's happening NOW.
Do yourself a favor, Liz Cheney, and learn some actual history. https://t.co/qVyOb7TP0j
Hey, Liz - I'm glad you want to learn history. Let's start.— JRehling (@JRehling) June 18, 2019
The Holocaust began in Hitler's ninth year in power, after years of Hitler saying the things Trump is saying now.
Kristallnacht would be in 2022 if we keep on the same pace, which we have so far.
Thanks for listening. pic.twitter.com/K9sMMkOavm
"Things can be concentration camps without being Dachau or Auschwitz. Concentration camps in general have always been designed...to separate one group of people from another group." - Waitman Wade Beorn, Holocaust and genocide studies historian at the University of Virginia https://t.co/1gaFpj0pwK— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) June 18, 2019
fuck it sure let's talk about the holocaust (cw!!!). hey remember when the red cross was allowed to inspect concentration camps towards the beginning of the atrocities and they saw jewish people playing games and eating well and having ""fun""? wanna guess how long that lasted? https://t.co/1eTyo0G2LO— Mark Blaho (@MaximumOverDerp) June 18, 2019
Eric Rauchway, who has written multiple books on U.S. history, also notes in a thread that this is not the first time the country has featured something that could be characterized as concentration camps.
Franklin Roosevelt referred to the camps for Japanese Americans as “concentration camps.”— Eric Rauchway (@rauchway) June 18, 2019
Regardless of what you want to call them, conditions in the camps, warehouses, and cages in which the U.S. government is keeping migrants are steadily worsening, and something needs to be done before we reach a point that makes future generations compare us all to the worst things they can think of.