The Jury Talks Back

6/19/2019

Follow-up: Ocasio Cortez Says “I Will Never Apologize” For Concentration Camp Remarks

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 5:59 pm

[guest post by Dana]

After Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez compared ICE detention facilities with Nazi-era concentration camps, saying that “the U.S. is running concentration camps on our southern border, and that is exactly what they are,” there were immediate calls for the freshman lawmaker to apologize. However, no such calls have come from Democratic leadership. To the contrary, Nancy Pelosi essentially brushed it off.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said:

She does not understand what is going on at the border at the same time. But there is no comparison … and to actually say that is embarrassing. To take somewhere in history where millions of Jews died … and equate that to somewhere that’s happening on the border … she owes this nation an apology.

The Jewish Communities Relations Council wrote:

“We are deeply disturbed by the language used in your recent Instagram live video which seeks to equate the detention centers on America’s southern border with Nazi-era Concentration Camps,” the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York wrote in a letter. “The terms ‘Concentration Camp’ and ‘Never Again’ are synonymous with and evocative of the atrocities committed by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany, in which 6 million European Jews were systematically denied civil and human rights due to their race and ultimately murdered in a state-sponsored genocide.”

CNN commentator John Avlon said her comments were “unacceptable” and called for her to apologize as well:

“Holocaust metaphors are beyond problematic,” he argued.

“And it’s clear,” he continued, “because she said ‘never again means something,’ that she was referring to it [the Holocaust]. She said later that she meant to make the comparison to internment camps. Look, internment camps are horrific, the key difference being millions of people systematically murdered by a state,” the journalist said.

“When we start to rationalize and put it in context, we’re [did she says this or ‘we’] say words don’t matter anymore in politics,” Avlon went on. “We’ve become numb to it. This is across the line. It’s not that hard to apologize. She should do it. It’s unacceptable.”

In spite of calls for her to apologize, Ocasio-Cortez dug in her heels, and responded with a firm “no”:

Untitled

DHS ripped 1000s of children from their parents & put them in cages w inhumane conditions.

They call their cells “dog pounds” & “freezers.”

I will never apologize for calling these camps what they are.

If that makes you uncomfortable, fight the camps – not the nomenclature.

Ocasio-Cortez knows that Pelosi is unlikely to pursue this any further, let alone demand she apologize. And that’s because she doesn’t have to: Remember, Pelosi jumped to Rep. Omar Ilhan’s defense after the freshman lawmaker used anti-Semitic tropes, saying “I don’t think our colleague is anti-Semitic. I think she has a different experience in the use of words, doesn’t understand that some of them are fraught with meaning, that she didn’t realize.” Well, Pelosi was exampling a successful strategy for Democrats to employ when one of their colleagues really steps in it. Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas learned the lesson well:

Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, explained during a CNN interview Wednesday that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez compared the migrant detention centers to concentration camps because she has a different “usage” and “perception” of words.

“With all due respect to her, she has a different usage of words, maybe a different perception. I live at the border, I’ve been to those detention centers, I’ve been to those shelters, as you know. There are adults in detention centers, but if they’re children, they are put in shelters that are run by nonprofits,” Cuellar said.

That Pelosi is one clever fox. It’s a great strategy. It provides cover, and allows a Democrat to say well, anything.

–Dana

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