The Very Difficult Simultaneous Right And Utterly Wrong Trick

Alexandria “Tide Pod Evita” Ocasio Cortez claimed yesterday that ICE runs “concentration camps” for illegal immigrants, and that makes our treatment of illegals the equivalent of the Holocaust.

MSNBC drone Chris Hedges leapt to her defense:

And he is right on three levels.

Historically and Semantically, the term “Concentration Camp” dates to the Boer War, when the Brits, waging a scorched earth campaign against Boers in South Africa, began rounding up the families of Boer soldiers away at war against them and concentrating them in camps. They were frightfully unpleasant, and a human rights violation at a time when the concept really didn’t exist – but they were expressly intended to kill people (although many died).

Likewise, America’s internment camps were “concentration camps” in that same sense – concentrating those who it was believed needed eyes kept on them at wartime; the camps where German and other Central Power nationals, Turks and Bulgars and Austro-Hungarians, were kept during World War I, and German, Italian and Japanese nationals (and, infamously, US citizens of Japanese birth and ancestry) during World War II.

For that matter, German “concentration camps” – Konzentrazionlslager, or “KZ” camps, were a widely mixed bag, run by a variety of members of the Nazi bureaucracy for a variety of reasons. Most were labor camps, not designed specifically to kill inmates (although they did die in droves, especially at the end of the war when disease, starvation, exposure on forced marches, and last-minute massacre killed people in droves. And some “KZ”s were holding camps for people before they were sent off to the death camps.

Which were another entire wing of the Nazi bureaucracy. Run by the SS-Totenkopfverband, or “Death’s Head Department” – the SS department that ran the Final Solution – they were designed and built for the sole purpose of murdering people in industrial lots, as befitting their name, “Vernichtungslager“, or “Extermination Camp”, abbreviated “VZ”.

The vast majority of people who were sent to “Extermination camps” died. The majority who arrived at a concentration camp left alive (although huge numbers of them were sent to their deaths in VZs).

And the term lost all linguistic nuance in the west – justifiably so – when footage from camps like Buchenwald, Dauchau and Bergen-Belsen showing bodies stacked like logs and emaciated wretches covered in lice, barely recognizable as human, showed in their newsreels – unaware that the Soviets had liberated places far, far worse.

So Hayes is right.

But in modern-day terms, nobody on the southern border is being put to work for 16 hours a day with 400 calories of bread and soup; nobody is shot if they flee; nobody is driving illegal immigrants into gas chambers and choking them to death with diesel fumes.

And hinting as much proves not so much that Ocasio-Cortez and Hayes are stupid and evil, as it indicates they don’t expect their audiences to have the historical, intellectual or moral firepower to check them on such a depraved claim.

And they’re not wrong.

7 thoughts on “The Very Difficult Simultaneous Right And Utterly Wrong Trick

  1. I guess I suffer from the same historical ignorance as most readers. I assumed a “concentration camp” was a place where people were unjustly herded. Japanese internment. Holocaust victims. Families of soldiers. I assumed there was a distinction between rounding up innocents and detaining suspected criminals, such as illegal aliens wrongfully claiming asylum to game the immigration system.

    If “concentration camp” now means “any place where a government holds people,” then we must rename the facility on Olive Street as Ramsey County Concentration Camp, and to the East of us, the Stillwater State Concentration Camp and Oak Park Heights Concentration Camp.

    While we’re at it, should we rename Central High School, and Johnson and Harding? The less discipline administered, the more violence against innocents held in captivity: do public high schools qualify as ‘concentration camps?’

    Why didn’t I hear about concentration camps when Kommandant Obama was the Concentrator in Chief? Is this just a Republican thing?

  2. Right or wrong semantically, this isn’t going well for the reprobates.

    If Memaw Clinton was running, AOC would have been found dead of 4 self inflicted gunshot wounds to the back of her empty head by now.

  3. You know, Mitch, you’re not going to get any points from the left for being reasonable and rational – for acting non-evil. As Vox Day has written in the past, the smartest, most intelligent of the left are simply able to harness more intellectual firewpower when gaslighting or excusing their side’s screw-ups.

    I don’t believe in the least that Ms Ocasio-Cortez knew about the camps from the Boer War – if she even knows what that war was – nor most of any of the other so-called historical-but-not-Nazi concentration camps when she made her comment. Chris Hayes’ White Knight-ing of her exaggerated analogy and follow-up harrumphs in response are just silly.

    And hinting as much proves *exactly* that Ocasio-Cortez and Hayes are stupid and evil because they expect their audiences to ignore any historical, intellectual or moral issues with such a depraved claim but go straight to ranting and raving in hopes of shaming the (Trump) administration into doing their bidding. This is demagoguery.

  4. There is one simple difference between an ICE detention camp and the Boer camps, the Nazi labor/extermination/pow camps and the Japanese-American internment camps….

    It is this: if you want to leave, all you have to do is say, “I want to go home” and ICE will assist you across the border.

    Why everyone has not picked up on this is beyond me.

  5. Discussing the differences between KZs and VL and the like is good for history class, but we all know what AOC was saying, and that she’s Godwinned herself.

    Reality here is that as long as we’re going to try to enforce immigration laws, we are going to need detention centers, and no matter how hard we try, they’re going to be a lot closer to a prison than Motel 6. You need at least a fence and barbed wire, or else people are just going to disappear.

    That AOC does not know and appreciate this says a lot about her, not much of it printable.

  6. In case anyone is still watching, Babylon Bee addressed this.

    Ocasio-Cortez Gets Head Stuck In Bucket, Journalists Rush To Explain Why It Was Actually A Genius Move

    On Wednesday, New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez somehow got her head stuck inside a bucket. She was heard yelling, “Who turned out the lights?” while repeatedly running full speed into walls. Republicans immediately pounced, using this as proof that Ocasio-Cortez is “kind of a dummy.” Many journalists, on the other hand, leaped to Ocasio-Cortez’s defense, saying her getting her head firmly wedged inside of a plastic bucket was further proof of her being an intelligent and dynamic politician.

    Pounced. Heh.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.