Since becoming a U.S. Congresswoman earlier this year, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has seemingly thrived on courting controversy, and last week was no different.
During an Instagram livestream video outburst on the night of June 17, 2019, the liberal lawmaker likened Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE, detention centers holding illegal aliens at the U.S. southern border to “concentration camps.” Unsurprisingly, the fallout from the right was fierce. Responding to her insane “concentration camp” claim, radio host and conservative political commentator Glenn Beck said Ocasio-Cortez was “living in a prison of self-imposed ignorance.”
So, what exactly did the Democratic socialist say? During her bizarre video rant, Ocasio-Cortez remarked, “The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border, and that is exactly what they are. They are concentration camps.” The freshman Congresswoman urged “people that are concerned enough with humanity to say…that ‘never again’ means something.”
The Daily Mail maintained that “the phrase ‘never again’ has strong ties to the aftermath of the Holocaust and some conservatives accused Ocasio-Cortez of ‘trivializing’ the term by applying it to Trump’s policy.”
The freshmen Congresswoman went on to comment, “The fact that concentration camps are now an institutionalized practice in the ‘Home of the Free’ is extraordinarily disturbing and we need to do something about it. This is a crisis on if America will remain America in its actual principles and values, or if we are losing to an authoritarian and fascist presidency.”
Ocasio-Cortez quipped, “I don’t use those words lightly. I don’t use those words to just throw bombs. I use that word because that is what an administration that creates concentration camps is. A presidency that creates concentration camps is fascist and it’s very difficult to say that.”
When numerous politicians and others like Beck rightfully rebuked the democratic socialist’s assertion, she tweeted, “And for the shrieking Republicans who don’t know the difference: concentration camps are not the same as death camps. Concentration camps are considered by experts as ‘the mass detention of civilians without trial.’ And that’s exactly what this administration is doing.”
Defending her stance, Ocasio-Cortez also tweeted that the Department of Homeland Security, DHS, shouldn’t be given “one dime” for constructing the facilities “as they detain children and families.”
Regarding Ocasio-Cortez’s latest outlandish outburst, Beck proclaimed, “She’s living in a prison of self imposed ignorance. I think we should discuss having her obtain a license to be able to walk around with this much stupidity, because she is becoming extraordinarily dangerous to the truth.”
“She just is so filled with her own self, and surrounded by people who always agree with her, that she doesn’t realize just how stupid she is,” Beck added. “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, do some homework. For the truth to be so distorted, you are either a moron and there’s nothing that can be done, or something seriously is wrong with you and your priorities…How is it you can be this stupid on something so important?”
The conservative political commentator went on to say, “A concentration camp is in North Korea. A concentration camp is currently going on in China. It’s not happening on our border. And if you really cared, you would have been down there with me, at the border, when Obama was putting people in cages, and I begged for anybody to pay attention.”
In addition to Beck, U.S. Representative Liz Cheney, a Republican from Wyoming, was appalled at Ocasio-Cortez’s comparison of ICE detention centers to “concentration camps.”
Addressing the Democratic socialist in a tweet, Cheney said, “do us all a favor and spend just a few minutes learning some actual history. 6 million Jews were exterminated in the Holocaust. You demean their memory and disgrace yourself with comments like this.”
Challenging Cheney, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “Hey Rep. Cheney, since you’re so eager to ‘educate me,’ I’m curious: What do YOU call building mass camps of people being detained without a trial? How would you dress up DHS’s mass separation of thousands children at the border from their parents?”
Many scoffed when Ocasio-Cortez, a former bartender, was elected to Congress last year. While her tenure has been short, the Democratic socialist has displayed an uncanny knack of grabbing headlines. She’s also seemingly making an indelible mark on the Democratic Party that appears to be continuously veering to the extreme left.