What do you think when you hear the words ‘concentration camps’?
I’d say 99.999% of people, like me, would assume something to do with the Nazi Holocaust during World War 2.
Why would we all think that?
Well, try putting ‘concentration camps’ into Google search and see what comes up on the results page. When I did that today in preparation for writing this column, every single entry that appeared on my screen alluded to the Nazis.
So when freshman Democrat congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez used that term to describe what President Trump is doing with illegal immigrants pouring over the Southern border, she knew exactly what she was doing.
The freshman Democrat congresswoman used the term ‘concentration camps’ to describe what Trump is doing with illegal immigrants pouring over the border
The firebrand young ‘progressive’ politician wanted the world to know she thinks Trump is the new Hitler.
That’s why she posted an Instagram live-stream video to her millions of followers yesterday stating the US government is ‘running concentration camps on our southern border.’
To emphasize the link to Hitler, she said she wants to talk to people “who are concerned enough with humanity to say that ‘never again’ means something.”
Ocasio-Cortez, or ‘AOC’ as she likes to call herself, added: ‘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.’
The New York representative claimed Democrats are ‘losing to an authoritarian and fascist presidency’ and clarified: ‘I don’t use those words lightly. I don’t use those words just to 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 and it’s very difficult to say that.’
And lest anyone didn’t get the message loud and clear, she declared: ‘Asking to be a refugee and applying for status isn’t a crime. It wasn’t for Jewish families fleeing Germany.’
Every part of this emotive tirade, and the language deployed in it, was specifically designed to draw an analogy between Trump and Hitler.
She knows it, and we know it. In fact, everyone with even a slither of knowledge of modern history knows it.
Reaction to Ocasio-Cortez’s comments was fast and furious.
Rep. Liz Cheney tweeted: ‘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.’
Fox News host Bill Hammer was even more enraged.
‘Has she ever been to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem?’ he demanded to know. ‘Or Auschwitz in Poland ? Or Dachau in Germany? “Never Again” is the phrase that Jews all over the world use to make sure that the extermination between 1939 and 1945 never happens again and she’s using concentration camps to describe what’s happening on the Southern border? How in the world is that acceptable? Does she not owe every Jew on this planet an apology?’
Yes, she does.
I shudder with dismay every time a Trump-loathing liberal compares the President to Hitler.
The firebrand young ‘progressive’ politician wanted the world to know she thinks Trump is the new Hitler
It is outrageous to even mention him in the same breath as one of the worst genocidal monsters of all time.
And every time this lazy, repellent trope is pumped out, it does a further cruel disservice to the Jewish people.
When asked for comment, the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. referred media to an essay entitled ‘Why Holocaust Analogies are Dangerous’. It included these words: ‘It is all too easy to forget that there are many people still alive for whom the Holocaust is not history but their life story and that of their families. These are not abstract tragedies to win an argument or an election. They carry the painful memories of the brutal murder of a cherished baby boy, the rape of a beloved sister, the parents never seen again…Careless Holocaust analogies may demonize, demean and intimidate their targets. But there is a real cost for all of us because they distract from the real issues challenging our society.’
As anger mounted over Ocasio-Cortez’s outburst, she doubled down by tweeting a link to an Esquire article quoting a University of Virginia lecturer saying ‘things can be concentration camps without being Dachau or Auschwitz.’
And that’s perfectly true, it was a term originally used for camps where people from one group were separated from another, usually, as the lecturer told Esquire, ‘because the majority group or creators of the camp deem they’re putting in it to be dangerous or undesirable in some way.’
But ever since World War 2, its meaning has been very singular.
The Trump administration has held thousand of migrants and their families at detention centers such as this tent encampment built near the Tornillo Port of Entry in Texas
AOC’s comparison likens the holding centers to concentration camps like Auschwitz, seen above in 1941 during the Second World War
Ocasio-Cortez didn’t intend us to think of her comments in a more general manner, she intended us to think of the Nazis and the systematic slaughter of six million Jews.
She wants us to view Trump as the new Hitler.
Her deeply inflammatory and grotesquely unhelpful rhetoric comes at a time when America faces, by almost unanimous consent across the fractious political divide, a very real and genuine crisis on the southern border.
For the second consecutive month, over 100,000 migrants crossed the border seeking a new life in America.
In May alone, the figure was 144,000 – the highest monthly total in 13 years. One group held at the border comprised 1,036 people, the largest ever apprehended.
These are staggering numbers of people and the system is creaking at the seams under the intense pressure.
Asylum applications are backed up so badly it’s taking some a year or more to get processed.
So this is clearly a crisis, and one that is the result of decades of poor immigration policy by Democrats and Republicans alike.
Yet rather than Congress do its damn job and sort out a wide-ranging immigration reform that can actually tackle the escalating problem once and for all, it’s too busy engaging in pathetic point-scoring of the kind now being spouted by Ocasio-Cortez.
And as so often with ‘AOC’, her words weren’t just factually inaccurate, they were rankly hypocritical.
As part of her evidence for Trump’s alleged fascism, she said ‘immigrant children were moved to the same internment camps where the Japanese were held in the early 20th century.’ Yet Trump’s predecessor, President Obama, placed illegal immigrants and children into the exact same military base during HIS presidency.
Where was the Democrat outrage then?
Every time this lazy, repellent trope is pumped out, it does a further cruel disservice to the Jewish people who endured the horrors of the Holocaust
As I’ve often reminded people, Obama smashed all records for deportations, throwing over three million illegal aliens out of the U.S.
His draconian measures earned him the nickname ‘Deporter-in-chief’ in Mexico.
And yes, he also operated policies that kept many illegal immigrants in glorified cages, and separated some parents from children.
So let’s cut all the partisan bullsh*t, shall we?
Trump tweeted today that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would next week ‘begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in.’
President Trump who is due to formally announce his re-election bid tonight, yesterday tweeted threatening to remove millions of people living in the country illegally
A White House official clarified this move would be focused on the more than 1 million people who have been issued final deportation orders by federal judges but remain at large in the country.
But as for those being held in detention centers, let’s be very clear: they’re kept in conditions where they’re given food, water, healthcare, clothing and shelter.
For many, these conditions are considerably better than the ones they’re fleeing.
Yes, some have very sadly died, almost all of them reportedly from health issues sparked by the long, lethal journeys they have made to the border.
But one thing’s for sure: they’re not being systematically tortured, abused, raped, used for scientific experiments and sent to gas chambers in their millions to be murdered.
Either Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is ignorant of the horrors of the Holocaust or she knows them perfectly well but is choosing to deliberately twist them to suit her agenda against President Trump.
The first charge makes her a woeful idiot.
The second makes her a duplicitous, cynical disgrace.