Freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sparked GOP backlash after stating that migrant detention centers were "exactly" like concentration camps.
On Monday night in an Instagram live feed, the 29-year-old Democratic congresswoman called out the detention centers housing immigrants for what they really are.
"The U.S. is running concentration camps on our southern border, and that is exactly what they are."
Wyoming congresswoman Liz Cheney, the elder daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, bristled at AOC's controversial statement and accused her of using the Holocaust for political leverage.
The Republican lawmaker tweeted on Tuesday:
"Please @AOC do us all a favor and spend just a few minutes learning some actual history. 6 million Jews were exterminated in the Holocaust. You demean their memory and disgrace yourself with comments like this."
Ocasio-Cortez reminded Cheney that she needs to brush up on history and vowed to continue fighting against detention housing centers.
AOC later blasted Cheney outside Capitol Hill, accusing her of "co-opting the language" by using the term "extermination."
"She used the term 'extermination' which is co-opting the language, eh, of that. You know, that term implies that the people who died in the Holocaust, it, it doubles down on the rhetoric that justified it. So, I think it's, uh, I mean I think she's the one that needs to do her homework."
Charlotte Clymer–an Army veteran and writer who identifies as a transgender woman–began a Twitter thread siding with AOC while denouncing Cheney for her ignorance on facts pertaining to a reprehensible moment in history.
What follows is a substantiated list of eye-opening facts from someone who was a former employee of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum–the official memorial to the Holocaust that was dedicated on April 22, 1993, and is adjacent to the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
The qualifying expert points out an unsettling pattern indicating that history is on the brink of repeating itself.
Clymer saved Cheney the trouble of doing her "homework" and publicly schooled the Republican congresswoman on the detailed facts and statistics from the Holocaust.
Clymer reminded Cheney that Americans turned their backs on those fleeing from persecution before.
Clymer, who is currently the Press Secretary for Rapid Response at the Human Rights campaign, further supported AOC's comment about immigrant detention centers with the detailed thread.
She concluded the lesson asserting that the Democratic congresswoman was accurate.
But instead of launching into a diatribe against Cheney for undermining AOC's statement, Clymer encouraged the Wyoming Representative to visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Twitter expressed gratitude for Clymer's history lesson and hoped Cheney will take note.
Even Google and the dictionary agree.
In a Fox News interview, Cheney responded to AOC's "homework" comment by calling her a "left-wing zealot" and the "intellectual leader" of congressional Democrats.
She accused AOC of being ignorant and that her comparison to concentrations camps was a "total disregard for the facts."
"We should never be in a situation where somebody is bringing up the Holocaust in this public discourse, particularly diminishing what happened, particularly demeaning the state of Israel, demeaning the memory of the people who were lost."
Art Del Cueto, the vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, also pushed back on AOC's claim.
He told host Bill Hemmer on Fox's "America's Newsroom":
"It's disgusting to compare concentration camps to what the men and women are doing here protecting our country."
AOC doubled down on the backlash by clarifying once and for all that:
"concentration camps are considered by experts as 'the mass detention of civilians without trial.' And that's exactly what this administration is doing."
Concentration camps did not begin or end in Germany or with the Nazis. Adolph Hitler referenced the United States government and Presidents like Andrew Jackson's handling of Native Americans as inspiration for his own version of reservations/concentration camps.
To learn more about the definition of concentration camps and their world history, the book One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps is available here.
"This is a wide-ranging (to put it mildly) look at the history of concentration camps. Pitzer opens with "Butcher" Wyler in Cuba and takes us to present day iterations (Guantanamo Bay). In between, she offers incredibly lucid looks at camps in Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, as expected, but also in China, Chile, Argentina, and The United States." ~ George Cotkin/Amazon