Dozens of immigrants have died in ICE detention centers over the last two years alone. Cruelty, freezing cold temperatures, abuse, harassment, illness, filth – all are words that have been used to describe what happens inside of the secretive camps along, near or far from the southern border.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is refusing to stay silent about it and the “shrieking Republicans,” as she called them, are in an uproar over her calling out the migrant detention camps. Though the circumstances are slightly different, both the migrant camps and the concentration camps are where people will suffer for long periods of time before their release, or they die.
On Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez cited the terrible conditions of overcrowded migrant detention facilities. She also pointed out the decision to hold some children at an Oklahoma Army base, which was used as an internment camp for Japanese Americans during World War II.
“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,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Instagram live. “I don’t use those words to just throw bombs. I use that word because that is what an administration that creates concentration camps is. A presidency that creates concentration camps is fascist, and it’s very difficult to say that.”
To defend her point, Ocasio-Cortez used a recent Esquire article that quoted historians saying the facilities meet the definition of a “concentration camp.” They also said that not every concentration camp is intended as a death camp.
People who actually experienced the Japanese internment camps in the U.S., and Jewish historians themselves, are defending Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter. Republicans try to tell her she needs a history lesson. Ah, how quickly the tables turned on Twitter as actual historians took the reins.
“Hi! Jewish historian here. The history of concentration camps is actually not the same as the history of Nazi death camps and includes the use of camps on native populations in places like … Minnesota. Also South Africa during the Boer war. I.e.,” David Perry wrote on Twitter.
Hi! Jewish historian here. The history of concentration camps is actually not the same as the history of Nazi death camps and includes the use of camps on native populations in places like … Minnesota. Also South Africa during the Boer war. I.e. https://t.co/FmrFkpMgUy
— David M. Perry (@Lollardfish) June 18, 2019
It’s weird how many people these days appear to have a hard time grasping that not every concentration camp is an extermination camp, and then get really angry with the people who don’t have a hard time grasping that.
— John Scalzi (@scalzi) June 19, 2019