Concentrate Real Hard On This, America: Here Is Why They Are Called ‘Concentration Camps’

MSNBC news host Lawrence O’Donnell does an excellent job of running down the shameful history of concentration camps in the United States, supposed home of the free.

Link to 5-Minute Video

(Commoner Call illustration by Mark L. Taylor, 2019. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to )


How Trump Administration’s Border Camps Fit Right Into The History Of Concentration Camps

When it comes to this kind of detention, even when a government isn’t plotting a genocide, shocking numbers of people can still end up hurt—or dead.

By Andrea Pitzer
GQ (6/18/19)

In February 2018, U.S. border agents took a four-month-old baby from his father, who was deported overseas. Last May, a 16-year-old boy died from influenza after being held in a detention processing facility in McAllen, Texas. Earlier this month, a transgender migrant died hours after being paroled from custody.

As more unaccompanied minors and other asylum-seekers arrive on the southern border, alarming accounts continue: reports of rotten food causing illnesskennel-style fences holding migrants in El Paso, Texas, and another facility in the same city holding more than six times its capacity of detainees. This week, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it would handle the influx of unaccompanied minors by housing some of them at Fort Sill, an Army base in Oklahoma that held detainees of Japanese descent during World War II, a bleak reminder of another time when America failed to live up to its values.

A camp in a country in which the leader openly expresses animosity toward those interned, in which a government detains people and harms them by separating children from their parents or deliberately putting them in danger, is much closer to a concentration camp than a refugee camp.

Beyond each individual crisis, we should ask, what are these places? Are they refugee camps, or are they something else? History provides the answer.

People today tend to think of Nazi death camps as defining the term “concentration camp.” But before World War II, this phrase was used to describe the detention of civilians without trial based on group identity. During a rebellion in Cuba in 1896, the Spanish Empire swept rural peasants—mostly women and children—off the land. Declaring them a threat, Spanish forces held them behind barbed wire in fortified cities. Around 150,000 people died. Three years later, America opened its own concentration camps for women and children as part of an effort to suppress a revolt in the Philippines during the Philippine-American War.

Around the globe in southern Africa, the British government opened its own concentration camps in the new century, embracing civilian detention as a civilizing force for an “uncultured” people. Unsanitary camp conditions and inadequate food triggered medical crises. By the time the British moved to address the disaster they had created, it was too late for many detainees. Tens of thousands of children died. …

(Andrea Pitzer is the author of One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps.)

Read the Rest

  • Are Immigration Detention Centers Concentration Camps? — Aviva Chomsky discusses the reality of refugees coming to the U.S in light of the controversial statement of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that refugees are kept in concentration camps: Link to 14-Minute Video


Expert On Concentration Camps Says That’s Exactly What The U.S. Is Running On The Border

“Let’s say there’s 20 hurdles that we have to get over before we get to someplace really, really, really bad. I think we’ve knocked 10 of them down.”


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez TORCHES Chuck Todd

The Young Turks (6/20/19)

“On Meet the Press Daily, host Chuck Todd singled out Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez‘s recent comments about “concentration camps” on the US Southern border and castigated “sheepish” Democrats who didn’t call them out as proof that both sides of the political spectrum “cannot talk about right and wrong anymore.”

Playing a video post from Ocasio-Cortez’s Instagram feed, Todd took aim at the freshmen Congresswoman for grossly distorting history for her recent use of that loaded term to describe the Trump administration’s immigrant detention camps.

“She just did the people there a tremendous disservice,” Todd intoned, referring to undocumented immigrants being detained in what have been documented as sometimes inhumane conditions at the border. “Be careful comparing them to Nazi concentration camps because they’re not at all comparable in the slightest.”

Ocasio-Cortez did not invoke the Nazi regime in her original comments about the Trump administration detention camps, although she did tweet #NeverAgain, which is commonly understood to specifically reference the Holocaust. She then later tweeted follow-up messages that specifically distinguished between the two as historically distinct and cited analysis that supported her argument.”

Link to Story and 4-Minute Video


Trump Evangelicals Failing The Test

Ruth Peitz@chicopeitz 

2:32 PM – 22 Jun 2019 from Chico, CA