Democrat Congressman Henry Cuellar of Texas thinks his colleague from New York’s recent comments likening border detention facilities to Nazi concentration camps was too much, but he’s using a familiar excuse to dismiss the behavior.
CNN’s Brooke Baldwin confronted Cuellar about comments from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Monday comparing the detention centers to death camps run by Nazi Germany during World War II that were designed to exterminate millions of people.
AOC, Baldwin pointed out, even ended her screed with “never forget” – emphasizing the Holocaust comparison.
Cuellar, who represents a border district, didn’t agree with AOC’s “perception.”
“With all due respect to her, she has a different usage of words … maybe a different perception,” Cuellar said. “I’ve been to those detention centers. I’ve been to those shelters, as you know. If they are adults they are in detention centers, but if they are children they are put in shelters run by nonprofits.
“I would not use the terms that she used and imply anything else after that.”
The cop-out that AOC has a “different perception” and a “different usage of words” is essentially the same lame excuse House Speaker Nancy Pelosi employed just a few months ago, when she dismissed anti-Semitic comments from another socialist congresswoman: Rep. Ilhan Omar, of Minnesota.
Omar invoked anti-Semetic tropes in targeting lawmakers who support Israel and alleged Jewish money controls the government, prompting lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to demand an apology earlier this spring.
Pelosi defended the freshman lawmaker by alleging she didn’t understand what she was saying, essentially arguing she had a different perception and use of words, Real Clear Politics reports.
“It’s up to her to explain. But I do not believe she understood the full weight of the words,” Pelosi said. “I feel confident that her words were not based on any anti-Semitic attitude, but that she didn’t have a full appreciation of how they landed on other people where these words have a history and a cultural impact that might have been unknown to her.”
Instead of censoring Omar or denouncing her racist rhetoric, Pelosi opted to compose a resolution that condemned anti-Semitism, as well as Islamophobia, and white supremacy, with no reference to Omar’s comments.
“I thought the resolution should enlarge the issue to anti-Semitism, anti-Islamophobia, anti-white supremacy – and it should not mention her by name, and that’s what we’re working on, something that is one resolution addressing all those forms of hatred and not mentioning her by name,” Pelosi said at the time. “Because it’s not about her. It’s about these forms of hatred.”
Jewish groups and Holocaust museums condemned AOC’s insensitive comments this week, pointing out how she’s minimizing the organized death of millions in support of a political agenda, The Washington Examiner reports.
“We are deeply disturbed by the language used in your recent Instagram live video which seeks to equate the detention centers on America’s southern border with Nazi-era Concentration Camps,” the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York wrote in a letter.
“The terms ‘Concentration Camp’ and ‘Never Again’ are synonymous with and evocative of the atrocities committed by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany, in which 6 million European Jews were systematically denied civil and human rights due to their race and ultimately murdered in a state-sponsored genocide.”
Regardless, the Justice Democrat has only doubled- and triple-down to insist the reference to concentration camps is accurate.
DHS ripped 1000s of children from their parents & put them in cages w inhumane conditions.
They call their cells “dog pounds” & “freezers.”
I will never apologize for calling these camps what they are.
If that makes you uncomfortable, fight the camps – not the nomenclature. https://t.co/eJpJWeYiot
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 19, 2019
“DHS ripped 1000s of children from their parents & put them in cages w inhumane conditions. They call their cells ‘dog pounds’ & ‘freezers.’ I will never apologize for calling these camps what they are,” AOC posted to Twitter.