Politics

Liberals Defend AOC’s Description Of Migrant Detention Centers As ‘Concentration Camps’

REUTERS/Jeenah Moon/File Photo

Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter

Liberals defended New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s characterization of U.S. migrant detention centers as “concentration camps” Tuesday, saying the U.S. is on a course that ends in another Holocaust.

“The holocaust didn’t start with extermination of Jews,” author and MSNBC contributor Naveed Jamali tweeted. “It started with dehumanizing them and putting them in ghettos. The steady slide towards this bears an eerie similarity.”

“You’re right that this is not the Shoah, and these are not extermination camps, but I’m not sure that the use of the term ‘concentration camp’ to describe these facilities is incorrect or indefensible,” Atlantic writer Adam Serwer tweeted, responding to a tweet from Bradley Moss slamming Ocasio-Cortez for making the comparison.

New York Daily News columnist Brandon Friedman said it’s the critics of Ocasio-Cortez who are historically ignorant. “This historical ignorance must be called out forcefully,” he tweeted. “As [Ocasio-Cortez] knows, the Holocaust did not begin with extermination. It began with exactly the same things the Trump administration is doing now …”

He was quoted tweeting Liz Cheney, who said Ocasio-Cortez’s comments “demean” the six million Jews who were exterminated by the Nazis in the Holocaust. “You demean their memory and disgrace yourself with comments like this,” Cheney tweeted. (RELATED: Ocasio-Cortez Tweets Back At Trump: ‘I’ll Call Your Bluff’)

Ocasio-Cortez made the comparison while conducting an Instagram live-stream out of her living room. “The U.S. is running concentration camps on our southern border and that is exactly what they are,” she said, adding: “I want to talk to the people that are concerned enough with humanity to say that ‘Never again’ means something.” After a backlash, she doubled down on Twitter, referring to those who criticized her as “shrieking Republicans” who don’t know the difference between a “death camp” and a “concentration camp.”

She also retweeted writer Bess Kalb, who said: “Jew here. [Ocasio-Cortez’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.”

“Conservative pundits have nothing better to do than to troll [Ocasio-Cortez] & take anything she says out of context,” conservative-turned-Elizabeth Warren supporter David Weissman tweeted. “All it takes is a little research outside of conservative propaganda and you will see she’s right with her comment, and I as a Jew take no offense.”

Attorney and former director of the Office of Government Ethics Walter Shaub tweeted: “She’s right, and it’s time the media started calling them concentration camps. (A year ago this weekend, I saw [Ocasio-Cortez] in person protesting outside the Tornillo child concentration camp. I didn’t know who she was at the time, but her passion in opposing the horror got my attention.)”

“The Holocaust didn’t come out of nowhere,” writer Marisa Kabas tweeted. “It was a slow build, like now. People who understand history know this.”

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