I don’t like Jake Tapper one bit, but I have to stand up and clap my hands at the questions he had for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has referred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facilities as “concentration camps” recently.
Those words have caused a significant uproar among Americans, but she doesn’t see any problem with it. She has not only doubled and tripled down on her remarks, but she’s also quadrupled her stance despite adverse reactions from her constituents and some on the right.
Members of the media have turned their head on the conditions that illegal aliens faced under a Barack Obama presidency, but on Wednesday, Tapper pressed AOC on why she didn’t use this type of rhetoric while Obama sat on the throne.
Tapper: “Two questions here. One, you’re taking credit for calling these camps, detention centers — you’re taking credit for those developments by using the term ‘Concentration camp.’ And two, what do you say to Americans, especially survivors of the Holocaust or individuals who are related to survivors of the Holocaust who say, look, academically you’re right, the term concentration camp did not necessarily mean death camp, but colloquially, when most people hear it, they think ‘death camp,’ they think, Holocaust and ‘you’re undermining your argument and you’re hurting us. You’re hurting our feelings, hurting our emotions, hurting our memories.’”
“What do you say to those Holocaust survivors?”
Ocasio-Cortez: “Absolutely. Well, you know, I have many in my district and our Jewish community has kind of rallied around this issue, because when we talk about concentration camps, if we do not also talk about Japanese internment, if we don’t talk about the Boer war, if we don’t talk about the many times this has happened in the history of humanity, then we also erase the suffering of those people.”
“We have to learn from the slow process, the slow dehumanizing process that leads to horrible things happening to people. And I know that my folks back home and in my district in Queens and the Bronx, our community has rallied around it. We absolutely and absolutely have communicated with survivors to indicate that this is not the same thing, as you have mentioned, academically, as an extermination or death camp.”
“In fact, this is an opportunity for us to talk about how we learn from our history in order to prevent it from ever happening in any form, at any step, whether it’s a concentration camp, or whether it is the final steps of that phase, from happening and even at the earliest steps we have to make sure that dehumanizing, and that never again means never again for everyone,” she said.
Tapper: “When you retweeted a story from Esquire magazine discussing all this, talking about the academic definition versus the definition that most people think of, the colloquial definition, that doesn’t mean the concentration camp but just a concentration of individuals, but a Nazi death camp,”
“One of the points that was made in that very story was that, using that definition, there were also concentration camps under Obama and under Bill Clinton. That is in the story that you retweeted. So, did you call them concentration camps at the time, when Obama was President?
Ocasio-Cortez: “Well, at the time I was working in a restaurant. But I do — I absolutely was outspoken against Obama’s immigration policies and the detention of families then. I think it’s a remarkably consistent position, and I’m not here to defend wrong actions just because they happened under a democratic administration. I’m here to speak truth to power. And if it’s wrong, it’s wrong. I frankly don’t care what president does it.”