Thursday, June 20, 2019

It's Time to Call Them What They Are: Concentration Camps

It's time to call the camps on our Southern border what they are: concentration camps. If six children have died in DHS custody can we call them death camps? Jews, myself included, are reluctant to use words that evoke the holocaust when the comparison is of lesser significance. On the other hand, we remain vigilant in using the words "never again." I believe the word "never" is slowly being ripped of its meaning as the conditions along our Southern border worsen.

I've read several articles today about what was occurring there. But, it was one word that a friend of mine used that made me sure the comparison was apt. It was the word "cattle."

Specifically she said, "To be honest, when I first heard that 900 were being kept in a space meant for 125, my first thought was of the cattle cars the Nazis used. No, these poor people are not being sent to a certain death, but their treatment, like cattle, is just as dehumanizing and inhumane. No civil country should be treating anyone like this. Ever. We are no better than the regimes we deplore. There are always alternatives."

She had just read a Washington Post opinion article entitled, "Never Again means nothing if Holocaust analogies are always off limits." I similarly read an article from the New York Times about the anti-refugee movement in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The Muslim Ban that Trump tried to enact before the second week of his Administration may have faded in our memories. Still, we need to recall both or "never again" will have no meaning.

Co-author, Wendy Kalman,

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