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


  • Oscar O.
    09/01/2019 20:49

    AOC for president!

  • Robin M.
    08/19/2019 21:50

    Piss off republicans

  • Don C.
    08/16/2019 18:51

    she understands better than this vapid airhead

  • Gloria C.
    08/11/2019 19:01

    They spin and create sound bites meant to distract and blind people from the truth. Same as they lied about what Colin Kaepernick’s taking a knee was about.

  • Rob C.
    08/09/2019 05:06

    I think you need to apologize to your Mother for wasting her time raising a fool like you. AOC is a hero.

  • Dale H.
    08/05/2019 02:19

    And y’all but good American Japanese concentrated camps.

  • Kim F.
    08/04/2019 04:05

    STFU👺💔🇺🇸VOTE BLUE 🇺🇸

  • Richard B.
    08/02/2019 02:09

    FU old man

  • Karen W.
    07/31/2019 23:47

    AOC is correct in calling our southern border detention centers “concentration camps.” She owes no apology for speaking truth to power. Conditions in our detention camps are clearly violations of the human rights of all detainees.

  • Linda L.
    07/31/2019 23:21

    The professor speaking here has totally misdirected the topic at hand .... He is salivating over the definition of “death camps” and missing the point— whether Nazi or not— the detention centers are not concentration camps, and AOC s comparison is a logical fallacy.

  • David F.
    07/31/2019 10:20

    AOC for president!!

  • Vincent S.
    07/30/2019 07:29

    If anybody needs to apologize to our NATION AND THE WORLD it’s TRUMP AND THE MORONS who follow him!!!!!

  • Kevin R.
    07/30/2019 04:57


  • Michaelsen F.
    07/29/2019 14:29

    Trail of tears were mobile concentration camps.

  • Karen Z.
    07/28/2019 06:09

    I think she understands history very well. Trump is separating families and putting them in cells with atrocities no one deserves. He’s doing this to only Mexicans, Hitler did it to the Jews.

  • Natalie K.
    07/27/2019 22:43

    The British invented concentration camps - see the Boer War as the sociologist points out- stop talking nonsense so you can slag someone off because they are black and please stop bringing the Jews into it as it is insulting to the 5 million other non-Jewish people who were murdered in Nazi concentration camps during WWII. I am sick of all the polemic and complete disregard for historical facts. Own up to it America you are racist.

  • Pat E.
    07/27/2019 01:39

    Right on commentary

  • Kimarie W.
    07/25/2019 16:19

    Why don't you all apologize to her....for all these people saying what not to do put their kids in their and see what happens

  • John L.
    07/25/2019 04:15

    Blah blah bla! Another meat head!🤡

  • Diane G.
    07/24/2019 20:39

    Human rights organizations across the globe are saying the same thing. Hard to face the fact that y’all are simply despicable human beings who are racist and xenophobic.

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