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June 19 2019

Why Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's Nazi Death Camps Smear Shows a Need for Remedial History Course

by Charlotte Hays

Quote of the Day:

“As they decomposed” Conot noted, “the earth rose like a yeasty mixture of dough and bubbled up nauseating gases, which spread for miles.”

--David Harsanyi in “The Problem with Ocasio-Cortez’s Shameful Ignorance of History”

Not a great quote to begin the day, but that's what Nazi death camps were like.

Conot is Robert Conot, who wrote “Justice at Nuremburg,” which describes conditions in real concentration camps. In real concentration camps, rats gnawed at the fingers and toes of the unfortunates in the camps and made off with crumps, as Harsanyi reports.

Nazi death camps were slave camps aimed at exterminating individuals. 

Some of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's pronouncements can be taken with a grain of salt, but comparing what the U.S. is doing to stem the tide of a border crisis to Nazi death camps is not to be dismissed lightly. 

It's trivial to say that it's a slap in the face of all Americans--but it is.

Of the sentence quoted above, Harsanyi writes:

I think of that last sentence whenever some modern-day know-nothing begins comparing the United States to a proto-Nazi state. Maybe it’s because their analogies are embarrassingly ignorant and intellectually lazy, or maybe it’s because people like Ocasio-Cortez, perhaps unknowingly, diminish the suffering of millions of dead. Or maybe it’s because my own grandfather was taken as slave labor in Austria.

Then again, maybe it’s because the comparison itself is a despicable smear of the American people. It’s true that we’re not prepared for the crush of refugees on the southern border (although it should be noted that many Democrats contend any border is immoral). While there is a border, however, we ask migrants who show up to follow existing laws; ones that are subject to the democratic process and the court system.

Sometimes we reacted ham-fistedly, even temporarily breaking up families who are transporting children without any oversight. Some migrants have been abused and some have died in our care. There is no excuse for it. Neither is sanctioned by the state.

If you believe any of this morally equivalent to carting away millions of people to crematoriums for execution because their faith, your moral compass is irreparably broken.

We’re so used to the Hitler-Nazi smear that we forget how despicable it is. We also forget how ignorant and ill-educated it is. Ignorance often is accompanied by smugness. But this smear, delivered in such a cavalier fashion, really demands an apology—after a remedial history lesson for the congresswoman.

This smear also raises a question that has long perplexed me: The United States is far from perfect; we have blots on our history, including slavery. But the U.S. is a haven of safety and freedom (attested to by the millions who desire to live here)—and yet it is not loved by so many who owe it so much.

I can’t help thinking that a lot of this lack of appreciation is sheer ignorance. Twitter responses indicate that Ocasio-Cortez isn’t the only one woefully in need of a remedial history lesson.

 

 





Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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