WASHINGTON — Today, more than 300 scholars (some from our area) signed an open letter. They’re urging the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to retract its statement rejecting comparisons between the immigrant detention centers and concentration camps.
The museum posted a statement to their website, "unequivocally rejecting efforts to create analogies between the Holocaust and other events, whether historical or contemporary."
So we want to know. Do you feel it is fair to compare US detention centers with concentration camps? You can weigh in on our poll below.
On June 18, after visiting a detention center at the border, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, "This administration has established concentration camps on the southern border of the United States for immigrants, where they are being brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying. This is not hyperbole. It is the conclusion of expert analysis."
House minority leader Levin McCarthy along with many on Twitter vehemently disagreed with her. At a press conference he said, "I think congresswoman AOC needs to apologize. Not only to the nation, but to the world. She does not understand history. She does not understand what’s going on at the borders today, but there is no comparison and to actually say that is really embarrassing."
But AOC isn’t the only person drawing comparisons between the detention centers and the Holocaust concentration camps. In her tweet, she linked an article from Esquire.com in which an expert on concentration camps confirmed her assessment explaining that there is a difference between concentration camps and death camps.
So then what is a concentration camp? According to the dictionary, "it is a place where large numbers of people, especially political prisoners or members of persecuted minorities, are deliberately imprisoned in a relatively small area with inadequate facilities, sometimes to provide forced labor or to await mass execution."
So that brings us back to the original question.
Do you feel it is fair to compare US immigration detention centers with concentration camps?