Was AOC Right to Call Detention Centers Concentration Camps?

"The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border — and that is exactly what they are." This historian says the backlash over Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calling migrant detention centers "concentration camps" ignores their history.

Historian on AOC Calling Migrant Detention Centers "Concentration Camp"

The United States is running immigration concentration camps on our southern border. According to Congresswoman Alexandria Octavia Cortez that is exactly what they are — they are concentration camps. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) thinks Congresswoman AOC needs to apologize, not only to the nation, but to the world. He does not believe she understands history. AOC's comments were also criticized by Fox News. She's using concentration camps to describe what's happening on the southern border. Does she owe every Jewish person of the faith on the planet an apology?

A lot of people in the current debate are saying AOC is obviously wrong because she's saying that these camps are the same as death camps, and the key point here is that firstly: Concentration camps existed long before the Nazi state. They existed for over 30 years before the Nazi state. It's important because if making a comparison. When someone says "concentration camps" — one might not be necessarily implying Nazi death camps.

Secondly, Nazi concentration camps were not initially death camps in a systematic sense, even though large numbers of people were killed, it wasn't part of an actual policy of mass killing in the way that it was later. What the British decided to do is to take the women and children out of the farms and also a lot of the African farm laborers off those farms and put them in camps. They don't provide enough in the way of food. There is very poor sanitation and the result is the epidemic diseases, and anything in the region of 50 to 60,000 people die mainly of diseases and a majority of them were children. The situations in the Spanish war against the Cuban rebels, the American war against the Filipinos, the German war against the Namibians is essentially very, very similar.

Jonathan Hyslop is a sociology professor and author of "The Invention of the Concentration Camp: Cuba, Southern Africa and the Philippines, 1896–1907" gives his historical perspective on the context of this controversial comparison towards a humantarian crisis. Hyslop says an increase in the number of people held in immigration detention is cause for humanitarian concern, no matter the rhetoric.


06/22/2019 12:00 PMupdated: 06/24/2019 5:41 PM
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  • Harvee B.
    06/22/2019 12:02

    They are the one who doesn't know history.

  • James S.
    06/22/2019 12:03

    She got fight.

  • Mark W.
    06/22/2019 12:04

    truth to power lady has MOXY!!!!!!!!!👍👍👍👍

  • Jason K.
    06/22/2019 12:05

    Yeah, but good luck convincing these pro-camp folks that they are on the wrong side of history on this one. Their God Emperor has said it's okay/shifted the blame to Obama, so they'll die on this hill rather than admit to being wrong.

  • Joe C.
    06/22/2019 12:06

    Do you know who caged kids before trump.?? ADOLF HITLER

  • Norain M.
    06/22/2019 12:07

    My heart is with you AOC..

  • Joshua P.
    06/22/2019 12:07

    Not to mention America did this before with the Japanese.

  • Dot B.
    06/22/2019 12:08

    Then do something constructive. Like build the wall

  • Jon G.
    06/22/2019 12:09

    How does this badly researched line of slander make international news

  • VaRun P.
    06/22/2019 12:10 Richest people 2019

  • Clyde C.
    06/22/2019 12:10

    If people listen to this nut they are as crazy as she is

  • Tazelaar R.
    06/22/2019 12:11


  • Elizabeth T.
    06/22/2019 12:11

    When AOC called them concentration camps and said “never again” the implication is strong she was making a reference to German concentration camps. It’s disgusting that AOC, the dems, and the guy in this video are attempting to normalize this term. Trump has been repeatedly and mercilessly ridiculed by the left for far less. Just when you think this young socialist could sink no lower, there you go. SMH

  • Judy H.
    06/22/2019 12:14

    She is right! What extent will we allow this to go on, I don't see to many trying to solve this !

  • Derick T.
    06/22/2019 12:17

    AOC is right! Admire that young lady. She and Rep Omar are the conscience of America.

  • Diana I.
    06/22/2019 12:19

    AOC is right!

  • Mattie C.
    06/22/2019 12:24

    Trump do not understand history!!!

  • Leandro C.
    06/22/2019 12:25


  • David J.
    06/22/2019 12:29


  • LadyChae T.
    06/22/2019 12:35

    Republicans and Racist Love The Bitter Taste of Lies and Denial instead of The Sweet Taste of Morally and Humanely Right. We are all Humans and the Fact that History Has Always Dehumanization and Criminalized Everyone Who is Non White Is The Reason Racism and Hate Will Continue To Exist....Lies Told By Government, Media, and Hateful People.