I find it hard to believe that conservatives are currently trying to argue that the USA does not have concentration camps by redefining the term to mean only camps for Jews. No, just stop it and face up to reality. The US has concentration camps. This country has always had concentration camps. We are the world’s greatest master of concentration camps and ethnic cleansing. I wrote about this in 2015.
“Hitler’s concept of concentration camps as well as the practicality of genocide owed much, so he claimed, to his studies of English and United States history,” Toland wrote in his book, Adolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography. “He admired the camps for Boer prisoners in South Africa and for the Indians in the wild west; and often praised to his inner circle the efficiency of America’s extermination—by starvation and uneven combat—of the red savages who could not be tamed by captivity.”
A concentration camp 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.” It’s a general term. Liz Cheney is the one trying to redefine it by claiming a concentration camp doesn’t count as one unless it’s being used to persecute Jewish people.
“Please @AOC do us all a favor and spend just a few minutes learning some actual history,” Cheney wrote on Twitter on Tuesday morning. “6 million Jews were exterminated in the Holocaust. You demean their memory and disgrace yourself with comments like this.”
Hitler used concentration camps in the Holocaust, no one is claiming he didn’t. But America used them to round up and imprison people of Japanese descent in WWII, and we’re also using them now to isolate people of Latin American descent. We are throwing people who have committed no crime into crowded, inadequate facilities on the basis of their ethnicity, and people are dying.
Learn some history, and remember: Hitler’s concentration camps were inspired by an American model.