Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the young progressive lawmaker with a penchant for calling attention to herself, kicked off a firestorm on Tuesday by calling migrant detention facilities on the southern border between the U.S. and Mexico “concentration camps.”
“This administration has established concentration camps on the southern border,” she said — then doubling down on those comments in an Instagram live video.
Many people reacted almost immediately with outrage and condemnation — including the World Center For Holocaust Research.
The group responded to the New York Democrat by explaining to her that “concentration camps assured a slave labor supply to help in the Nazi war effort [during World War II], even as the brutality of life inside the camps helped assure the ultimate goal of ‘extermination through labor.'”
Others have also condemned her remarks — even NBC’s Chuck Todd. The “Meet the Press” host said her comments do “a tremendous disservice” to migrants by comparing U.S. detention camps at the U.S.-Mexico border to Nazi concentration camps.
Todd said on Wednesday that Nazi death and concentration camps are “not comparable in the slightest” to what’s going on at the border.
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AOC is refusing to apologize and on Wednesday tweeted out in part: “I will never apologize for calling these camps what they are. If that makes you uncomfortable, fight the camps — not the nomenclature.”
To see what some of today’s college kids think of the issue, Campus Reform’s Cabot Phillips went to George Washington University on the streets of Washington, D.C., with a copy of Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet.
As the publication noted, “It soon became clear that students on both sides of the aisle found the congresswoman’s comparison appalling.”
“You can’t be throwing that word around.”
“I think it’s a bit extreme,” one student responded.
“I think she owes a major apology to the American people for comparing detainment camps [on the border] to one of the most horrific events ever in human history,” another student said.
Another added, “You can’t be throwing that word around.”
And still another young person said the phrase might cost AOC support among her constituents — that people “who who would normally support her [might] be a little annoyed” at those remarks, as Campus Reform reported.
As of this writing, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has not rebuked the young Democrat. Instead, she’s gone after Republicans for exploiting the AOC remarks.
“Understand that while Republicans have no interest in holding the president accountable for his words,” Pelosi said, “they will misrepresent anything that you say, just if you have one word in a sentence they can exploit.”
Nadler, who is Jewish, retweeted a message by Ocasio-Cortez that doubled down on her remarks.
He added that failure to call out the Trump administration’s “inhumanity” is akin to failing to learn the lessons of “never again.”
See these tweets — and share your own thoughts below.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy: "I think Congresswoman AOC needs to apologize, not only to the nation but to the world. She does not understand history. She does not understand what's going on at the border at the same time." https://t.co/WMua71TEMJ pic.twitter.com/kDZwQAOcfF
— The Hill (@thehill) June 20, 2019
I liked @AOC a lot more when she was pushing wacky economic ideas out of a passionate desire to help underprivileged or even stop climate change. This "concentration camp" noise has to stop. It's a despicable attempt to portray America that's 100% the antithesis of who we are.
— Charles V Payne (@cvpayne) June 20, 2019