NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd has become the target of online attacks for admonishing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez not to compare detention centers at the U.S. southern border to Nazi concentration camps.
In an Instagram video posted on Monday, Ocasio-Cortez said that the federal government is “running concentration camps on our southern border. And that is exactly what they are.”
“I want to talk to the people that are concerned enough with humanity that ‘Never Again’ means something,” she continued. “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.”
“Never Again” is the rallying cry for Jewish survivors of the Holocaust and their supporters, who never again want humanity to allow such atrocities — resulting in the imprisonment, impressment into slave labor, starvation and mass execution of millions of innocent Jews — to happen to anyone.
“If you want to criticize the shameful treatment of people at our southern border, fine,” Todd said in response to Ocasio-Cortez’s video. “You’ll have plenty of company. But be careful comparing them to Nazi concentration camps because they’re not at all comparable, in the slightest.”
The “Meet the Press” host also chastised House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler and other Democrats for defending Ocasio-Cortez’s comparison.
Nadler tweeted that people fail to learn the lesson of “Never Again” by not opposing the “dehumanization of people” and “violation of basic human rights.”
“I’ve no doubt Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez cares deeply about what’s happening at the border,” Todd said. “But she just did the people there a tremendous disservice by distracting from their plight.
“She said she didn’t use those words lightly,” he concluded. “Well, neither did I.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s comparison of ICE detentions to concentration camps did border detainees “a tremendous disservice” #MTPDaily
“She said she didn’t use those words lightly,” Chuck Todd said. “Well, neither did I.” pic.twitter.com/5CIOfWn7BQ
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) June 19, 2019
Thousands responded on Twitter to Todd’s chiding of the freshman lawmaker.
“I promise you no one at Fox News is keeping score for how many times you’re blatantly wrong in order to ‘give the other side some slack,'” one wrote.
“You got more energy for AOC calling them concentration camps than you do for what’s happening in those camps,” another tweeted.
The Sacramento Bee columnist Marcos Breton responded, “But they are concentration camps @chucktodd. @AOC never used a Nazi reference @chucktodd. Kids have died in the camps @chucktodd. Kids are being traumatized for life in the camps @chucktodd. Why are you pandering @chucktodd? False equivalencies made Trump possible @chucktodd.”
“Todd goes out of his way to distinguish between labor camps and death camps here, but suggests that ‘concentration camps’ were run only by the Nazi regime and thus to invoke the term is to invoke the Nazis. But that’s just not true,” Quinta Jurecic, Lawfare managing editor, wrote.
Republican members of Congress shared Todd’s assessment that there is no comparing American detention facilities, used to process migrants crossing the U.S., to Nazi concentration camps.
Arizona Congresswoman Debbie Lesko, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, told The Western Journal, “Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s comments reveal her lack of historical knowledge and insensitivity to those in concentration camps and their families.”
The Republican added that the Trump administration is responding to a humanitarian crisis at the border caused by the “huge influx of illegal immigrants,” which is putting tremendous strain on the resources of communities in her home state. Meanwhile, “House Democrats are doing absolutely nothing to help.”
Texas GOP congressman Dan Crenshaw tweeted at Ocasio-Cortez, “Your comments reveal total disregard for our sovereignty & a deep ignorance that belittles the horrors of the Holocaust.”
“If you’re worried about conditions at the border, why don’t you do something about it & support @RepMikeRogersAL’s bill securing billions in humanitarian aid?” Crenshaw asked.
Your comments reveal total disregard for our sovereignty & a deep ignorance that belittles the horrors of the Holocaust.
If you’re worried about conditions at the border, why don’t you do something about it & support @RepMikeRogersAL’s bill securing billions in humanitarian aid?
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) June 18, 2019
He also pointed out that “in concentration camps, people are unjustly sought out and confined,” while migrants are coming to the U.S. in most cases to make asylum claims.
If the migrants decide they do not want to wait for their claims to be processed, they are certainly free to return to Mexico or other countries of origin.
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