Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez showed her lack of knowledge about world history on Monday night in an Instagram video that upset a large number of people, including Rep. Liz Cheney.
In the inflammatory, viral video, Ocasio-Cortez likened migrant detention centers on the U.S. southern border to concentration camps. And she wasn’t exaggerating.
She made a direct comparison between the two completely different situations and inevitably sparked a social media firestorm.
“The U.S. is running concentration camps on our southern border, and that is exactly what they are,” she said. “If that doesn’t bother you … I want to talk to the people that are concerned enough with humanity to say that ‘never again’ means something.”
Ryan Saavedra, a Daily Wire reporter, posted the lawmaker’s video.
Ocasio-Cortez falsely claims Trump is operating concentration camps, compares the situation to the Holocaust: “The U.S. is running concentration camps on our southern border and that is exactly what they are. … ‘Never Again’ means something … we need to do something about it” pic.twitter.com/F2MmZ8y2dT
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) June 18, 2019
Cheney shot back at the New York lawmaker’s disrespectful and false claim in a tweet Tuesday morning, excoriating her in the process.
“6 million Jews were exterminated in the Holocaust. You demean their memory and disgrace yourself with comments like this,” she tweeted in response to the video.
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
According to Washington Examiner, Ocasio-Cortez doubled down on her comments Tuesday morning. Hours later, she attempted to walk back her references to the Holocaust and WWII, even though in her original video she invoked the “never again” phrase, which is a reference tied to the aftermath of the Holocaust.
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.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 18, 2019
It should be clear to anyone that Ocasio-Cortez clearly stepped in the mud, big time, with this one.
Sure, she has said pretty ridiculous things in the past, but to compare a legal detention center for migrants to anything related to a concentration camp — whether it be Nazi-era or otherwise — is a slap in the face to those who have experienced such horrors.
That’s especially true for Holocaust survivors, who were subject to extreme torture and back-breaking labor. And yes, eventually death for a majority of them.
Migrant children and their parents at the U.S. southern border are not experiencing anything of the sort. They’re being detained, legally, after doing everything they could to get into the United States — in many cases illegally. And they’re ultimately either released to sanctuary cities or deported back to their home countries.
Toward the end of her video, Ocasio-Cortez reassured viewers that she wasn’t attempting to “throw bombs” by making the comparison or by calling President Donald Trump a “fascist” — but that’s exactly what she did.
Washington Examiner reached out to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for comment on Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks. The museum responded with a link to an essay by Holocaust historian Edna Friedberg, who called such references “careless.”
“At a time when our country needs dialogue more than ever, it is especially dangerous to exploit the memory of the Holocaust as a rhetorical cudgel. We owe the survivors more than that. And we owe ourselves more than that,” Friedberg wrote.
Ocasio-Cortez can disparage the president and his administration all she wants. That’s expected from her side, and we see it happen every day.
But what she did in this instance crossed a line. And she should be ashamed of herself for essentially making light of what concentration camp survivors endured and the millions of family members and friends who lost loved ones as a result.
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