Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez keeps insisting that detention centers for illegal immigrants are somehow ‘concentration camps.’ Arguably, the only thing worse than wanting open borders is comparing everything to Hitler.
The freshman Democrat from the Bronx has always had a penchant for hyperbole – remember the world “ending in 12 years”? – but she chose to take it to the next level this week, arguing that the US has established “concentration camps” for immigrants where they are “being brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying.”
“This is not hyperbole. It is the conclusion of expert analysis,” she said.
What followed was a sordid war of words, in which conservatives called AOC out on diminishing the Holocaust, while her allies in the media defended the congresswoman with takes by hair-splitting whether “concentration” and “death” camps were the same thing, and trying to argue she didn’t really refer to the Holocaust when she said “never again.”
It wasn’t long before Yad Vashem and the Auschwitz museum got involved, lecturing both AOC and her media allies that they should not take the name of the Holocaust in vain. Nevertheless, she persisted.
There are two very important issues at stake here. One is whether the US has the right to control immigration, with AOC and her cohorts clearly on the side of “open borders or you’re a racist” argument. The other is whether the US can recover from decades of propaganda labeling the targets of its military interventions as Hitler seeping into its domestic politics now.