As we get closer to the day when ICE starts mass murdering Latine migrants (or to the day when we discover they've already been doing that), the controversy over the term "concentration camp" is popping up more and more. I'm white and not Jewish, so there's that. But some Jewish individuals object to calling the prison camps for undocumented migrants concentration camps because it's a term very much associated with the Nazi internment camps for Jewish people and other people the Nazis didn't like.
I'm going to be honest about my thoughts here. It's pretty clear that I'm panicking about what's going on at our Southern border right now. I feel like this is happening right before our eyes and yet not nearly enough people have decided to care enough to do anything for us to stop it. And I Don't Know How To Explain To You That You Should Care About Other People.
My thought is that, if we evoke concentration camps, will that wake people up? Will that make them care? Or will we just be disrespecting Jewish people for no reason?
Another question is whether most or many or hardly any Jewish people really think that calling our current overcrowded, disease-ridden people cages "concentration camps" is a problem. Liz fucking Cheney attacked AOC over this today, implying that the young Representative doesn't know that 6 million Jewish individuals were murdered in these camps. Other Jewish people have pointed out that said concentration camps didn't start with mass murder. Those were specifically death camps.
We can talk about the "definition" of concentration camps, but pretending that there is only one definition of a term as emotionally charged as "concentration camps" helps nobody. What's really at issue here is that many thousands of Latine migrants are being funneled into prison camps or internment camps or whatever you want to call them and conditions are rapidly becoming worse. What's at issue here is that thousands of children are being moved to military bases where they can deny anyone entry to check up on those kids. If you haven't read this thread yet, you absolutely must:
IF YOU CARE ABOUT WHAT TRUMP IS DOING AT THE BORDER, you need to read and share this thread. @jacobsoboroff @JuliaEAinsley please read this.— Elizabeth C. McLaughlin (@ECMcLaughlin) June 13, 2019
I have just gotten off the phone with a friend who is a legal volunteer in Border Patrol facilities.
Don't look away.
At this point we're one step away from death camps. All they need is a way to efficiently mass murder these kids, and the adults. Can we stop that from happening? Will calling these prison camps "concentration camps" shock enough people into paying attention that we'll be able to save them?
Maybe they won't mass murder these undocumented migrants. But does that make what's happening any more acceptable? What about the thousands of kids being traumatized by separation from their families and internment in horrible conditions, not knowing if they'll ever see their families or freedom again? What about the fact that deaths are already accelerating just because overcrowding and terrible conditions will inevitably kill people? Can we save these people without disrespecting Holocaust survivors and harming the Jewish population in general?
And because I can't help being a self-centered asshole, can I avoid siding with Latine people at the expense of Jewish people or vice versa? Again, complete honesty, there's a voice in my head that says "fuck this SJW respectability shit, people are dying." How fucked up is that? But I'm writing this down so I must be worrying that that voice is right.
I'm scared, I'm panicked, and I don't know what to do anymore. I just want to help those people. I want to end whatever kind of camps they may be, I want to free all of them, and I don't know how. Part of me hopes that one day I snap and just head to the border with a heavy duty wire cutter and, I dunno, a pickaxe? I know I've said this before.
I do know one thing for sure. Fuck Liz Cheney and her torture-loving Darth Vader dad.