I try not to comment on every ridiculous, uninformed bubble of babble that drops out of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s mouth because (A.) I’m too nice and (B.) there are only 24 hours in a day. But this one went so far over the line of decency, it deserves widespread public condemnation.
In her zeal to attack our immigration authorities who are forced to deal with an unprecedented crisis at the border created by her own Party’s policies and stubborn refusal to do their job, AOC declared:
“The U.S. is running concentration camps on our southern border and that is exactly what they are… ‘Never Again’ means something…”
Yes, it does mean something. It refers to never again allowing a repeat of the kind of horror represented by the Holocaust, in which 6 million Jews were brutally murdered by the Nazis. When rightly called on this outrageous slander, AOC instead doubled down, suggesting that it's her critics who are ignorant of history:
“And for the shrieking Republicans who don’t know the difference: concentration camps are not the same as death camps. Concentration camps are considered by experts as ‘the mass detention of civilians without trial.’ And that’s exactly what this administration is doing.”
No, this Administration, and all the towns along the border, are coping with an unprecedented invasion of illegal entrants who came here by their own choice, encouraged by people like you. It isn’t rounding up citizens and putting them into concentration camps. The deaths you refer to are not mass executions by firing squad or gas chamber, but deaths from diseases that the migrants are bringing with them, and to which our border guards and other American citizens are being exposed (thanks for that, too, by the way.)
Asked to respond, the Holocaust Museum offered a link to this essay about the dangers of careless analogies to Nazism, the Holocaust and concentration camps:
I’ll grant that AOC is sort of correct about one detail: there was initially a difference between a “concentration camp” and a “death camp.” For instance, Auschwitz started as a group of concentration camps, then became the largest of the extermination centers. I’ve visited there several times. You can feel the pain and terror in the very air around you.
For those who were sent to the Nazi concentration camps, this kind of hair-splitting is a distinction without a difference. To compare the brutality, starvation and threat of extermination at any moment that were suffered by Jewish concentration camp prisoners to the treatment of illegal immigrants that our officials are struggling mightily to deal with is not only slanderous to our immigration and border officials, it’s a stunningly ignorant and callous insult to the victims, both dead and still living, of the Nazi concentration camps.
To try to end on a conciliatory note, the next time I visit one of those camps like Auschwitz or Birkenau, or Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, the memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, perhaps AOC would like to join me? I find that's usually an excellent way of breaking anyone of making flippant Nazi analogies. Or if that’s too inconvenient, I’d suggest taking a visit to the Holocaust Museum in Washington before tweeting out any more nonsense comparing Americans whose political views she disagrees with to the people responsible for the Holocaust.