“Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the liberal freshman Democrat from New York who has made fighting for immigrants’ rights a signature issue, on Tuesday described the Trump administration’s border detention facilities as ‘concentration camps,’ provoking backlash from Republicans who said she was minimizing the Holocaust.” — New York Times, 6/18/19
Currently, thousands of people who fled unfathomable violence and sought asylum in the United States of America, the greatest country on Earth, are being housed in Immigration Detention Centers. This is extremely cool of us — we are essentially letting the world crash on our couch — but for some weird reason, the American public has responded to this generous offer of free housing with outrage.
Some people are even saying that these centers aren’t centers at all, but are “concentration camps.” Monday night, during an otherwise chill Instastory, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said, “The U.S. is running concentration camps on our southern border, and that is exactly what they are.”
Yikes! Concentration camps? Like the Nazi kind? Uh oh. Time to clear the air, everybody: These detention centers are not concentration camps, because technically Auschwitz is trademarked.
Everyone knows that concentration camps only existed for a finite amount of time (between 1933 and 1945) within clear geographic parameters (Europe NOT America) and also that they only count if they were specifically used for Jews (Japanese internment camps are a whole other thing). Don’t let the “experts” tell you otherwise: Adolf Hitler invented the concentration camp as we know it, and it died with him, never to be seen again.
We don’t know why everyone is so confused. These fun border centers are super different from concentration camps. For instance, in a real concentration camp, nobody gets to keep their shoes. In our Not A Concentration Camp, nobody gets to keep their shoelaces. See the distinction there? Now that we’ve told you, it’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?
In a real concentration camp, people have uniforms — you know, the ones with the stripes. You’ve seen them. They’re like pajamas, but sad. In our centers, we let everybody wear the clothes they brought with them. Mostly because we don’t have a wardrobe budget.
If our centers were really concentration camps, all the news footage would be in black and white. Yet all the photographs from these detention centers are in vibrant color. How do you explain that? You can’t, that’s how. And the people who are in these centers can’t explain it either, especially not the children, because we aren’t teaching them English anymore. It’s fine! They like the language they came with! What do they need English for? To navigate the convoluted asylum process? Couldn’t their parents help them with that?
Look, here’s the thing: in order for these immigration detention centers to be concentration camps, they would have to be run by Nazis. That’s a given. But most of the real Nazis are dead now, or they live in Argentina. In America, we only have neo-Nazis, which is a totally different kind of Nazi. It’s like a JV Nazi. Hardly anything to worry about, as far as we’re concerned.
We would hate for America’s brand (“give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”) to be confused with the Nazi brand (“work will set you free”), just because we’re doing something that is alarmingly similar to, but — crucially! — completely different from, what the Nazis did. We must vow to never forget not to confuse these two things — you know what they say about people who forget history.