I’d just got back to the swamp after a shopping trip to Philly. Swamp Rabbit was in my shack watching MSNBC’s Chuck Todd badmouth U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocacio-Cortez for using the phrase “concentration camps” to describe ICE detention centers that house migrants from Mexico and Central America.
Todd said, among other things, “If you want to criticize the shameful treatment of people at our southern border, fine. You’ll have plenty of company. But be careful comparing them to Nazi concentration camps, because they are not at all comparable. In the slightest.”
Swamp Rabbit looked at me and said, “What’s this talking head been smoking? She didn’t say nothing about Nazis.”
I told him that Todd the talking head couldn’t really challenge the logic of AOC’s accusation, not if he consulted a dictionary. The detention centers in Texas obviously are concentration camps, in that the government is using them to confine large groups of ethnically similar civilians, including many children, to a small area with inadequate facilities and no legal rights.
But Todd wanted to let viewers know he is a reliably middle-of-the-road talking head who wouldn’t dare take sides with wild-eyed progressives like AOC, or with writers who have pointed out that concentration camps have been around for more than a hundred years and have existed for a while in certain “democracies” as well as in monster states like Nazi Germany.
So he implied it’s anti-Semitic to say “concentration camp” in reference to anything but extermination camps like Auschwitz. (I think that’s what he was implying) As if the real story isn’t the Trump administration committing crimes against humanity along the border with Mexico.
“You ain’t telling me nothing new,” Swamp Rabbit replied. “If I got jailed in a joint where I don’t have no bed or toothbrush or even a bar of soap, I’d know what to call it.”
Footnote: It’s an old story. Journalistic insiders like Chuck Todd would rather distract viewers from painful truths than raise the suspicion that they harbor left-wing bias.