The internet has been aflame with people denouncing the inhumanity of conditions in which asylum-seeking families and unaccompanied minors were being held near the U.S. southern border and elsewhere.
Of all the injustices to arouse concern and denunciations of the Trump administration, this was a good choice if people would only have done the short work of asking what the alternatives were, and what Congress could do to alleviate it and get there.
Social media also has been aflame with a discussion of whether Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the socialist from Queens, New York, was making Holocaust analogies in connection with the border mess. She denounced the detention centers as “concentration camps” and vowed “never again” – hardly a dog whistle. When she was rebuked, she refused to apologize, even after the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum weighed in, saying it “unequivocally rejects efforts to create analogies between the Holocaust and other events, whether historical or contemporary.”
Since then, the Trump resistance doubled down on the comparison, countering with lengthy and even scholarly opinions about the provenance of concentration camps, touching on the Boer War, and the views of Spanish Gen. Valeriano Weyler, who was thought to have pioneered the tactic in Cuba before the Spanish-American War – although Weyler got it from studying Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s campaigns in the Civil War while Weyler was a military attaché in the Spanish embassy in Washington.
Even if this learning is all in service to asserting that Ocasio-Cortez is right when she is wrong, that is a lesser aggravation. Learning is always a good thing in itself.