WTF Border patrol Facebook group smears Latinx pols, jokes about migrant deaths, and more

Bartholomew Gallacher

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I'm not advancing her in opposition to your position. Rather, I wondered if you wanted to respond to any of the points she makes in her article.
I disagree with Lauren Duca. There are several characteristics which are tied to the term concentration camp, which the camps in America have not met yet.

The first significant concentration camps in history (there were some before) were erected by the British Empire during the Second Boer war around 1900-1902 in South Africa.

The first German concentration camp, which became the blue print for all others, was opened up in Dachau in 1933. It was operational for over 12 years. There's a big difference between the British and German variant; some kind of development.

Well, typical for Dachau and others are high death rate (25% of the prisoners died), low hygiene standards, forced labor, inhumane medical experiments without agreement, abuse by the guardians of the camp, standing cells and other stuff. Their main purpose was to keep the prisoners away from society for a life time, more or less.

The next level of horror so to speak then where the extermination camps, like Auschwitz-Birkenau. Those were built explicitly to kill people in the gas chambers with Zyklon B, most notably the Jews, on an industrial level and unprecendented scale.

So while the American camps might share some similarities and inhumane practices, they have clearly not reached the inhumane practices yet which are being part of a WWII concentration camp, and people normally link to the term. So using this term for what's going on in America right now means nothing more and nothing less than a belittlement of the historic concentration camps during WWII.

The more proper word for what's going on would be internment camp.
 
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detrius

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It's in the form of a syllogism, but it's not a well-founded one. The one you give there looks perfectly well founded except the major and minor premises are switched round. I think it should be

All liberals are evil.
All Democrats are liberals.
Therefore all Democrats are evil.


An equivalent one to my fallacy would be something like

All liberals are evil.
Donald Trump is evil.
Therefore Donald Trump is a liberal.

All members of A have quality B in common.
X is a member of A.
Therefore X has quality B


works but

All members of A have quality B in common.
X has quality B.
Therefore X must be a member of A


doesn't work. It would have to be

Quality B is unique to members of A.
X has quality B.
Therefore X must be a member of A.


I think called it's "the fallacy of the undistributed middle," but I know there's a very similar one which I always confuse with that one, so I am not certain.
Cum hoc ergo propter hoc?
 

Innula Zenovka

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I disagree with Lauren Duca. There are several characteristics which are tied to the term concentration camp, which the camps in America have not met yet.

The first significant concentration camps in history (there were some before) were erected by the British Empire during the Second Boer war around 1900-1902 in South Africa.

The first German concentration camp, which became the blue print for all others, was opened up in Dachau in 1933. It was operational for over 12 years. There's a big difference between the British and German variant; some kind of development.

Well, typical for Dachau and others are high death rate (25% of the prisoners died), low hygiene standards, forced labor, inhumane medical experiments without agreement, abuse by the guardians of the camp, standing cells and other stuff. Their main purpose was to keep the prisoners away from society for a life time, more or less.

The next level of horror so to speak then where the extermination camps, like Auschwitz-Birkenau. Those were built explicitly to kill people in the gas chambers with Zyklon B, most notably the Jews, on an industrial level and unprecendented scale.

So while the American camps might share some similarities and inhumane practices, they have clearly not reached the inhumane practices yet which are being part of a WWII concentration camp, and people normally link to the term. So using this term for what's going on in America right now means nothing more and nothing less than a belittlement of the historic concentration camps during WWII.

The more proper word for what's going on would be internment camp.
Very long two-part post here, for which I apologise, but this is something I've been thinking about for a long time.

If you look at -- for example -- the Encyclopedia Britannica, which I choose as a politically neutral reference source, they define the term "concentration camp" thus:

Concentration camp, internment centre for political prisoners and members of national or minority groups who are confined for reasons of state security, exploitation, or punishment, usually by executive decree or military order. Persons are placed in such camps often on the basis of identification with a particular ethnic or political group rather than as individuals and without benefit either of indictment or fair trial. Concentration camps are to be distinguished from prisons interning persons lawfully convicted of civil crimes and from prisoner-of-war camps in which captured military personnel are held under the laws of war. They are also to be distinguished from refugee camps or detention and relocation centres for the temporary accommodation of large numbers of displaced persons.

During war, civilians have been concentrated in camps to prevent them from engaging in guerrilla warfare or providing aid to enemy forces or simply as a means of terrorizing the populace into submission. During the South African War (1899–1902) the British confined noncombatants of the republics of Transvaal and Cape Colony in concentration camps. Another instance of interning noncombatant civilians occurred shortly after the outbreak of hostilities between Japan and the United States (December 7, 1941), when more than 100,000 Japanese and Japanese-Americans on the West Coast were taken into custody and placed in camps in the interior.
and offer "internment camp" as an alternative term.

I have two major conceptual problems with reserving the term "concentration camp" for camps operated by Nazi Germany during WW2. The first is that, until the full horror of the Nazi concentration camps became widely known, it was a term commonly used as a synonym for "internment camp" or possibly "labour camp" as you suggest.

Doubtless different camps run by different countries at different times and places varied greatly. I'm sure that the experience of being interned as Japanese American in the USA during WW2 was very different from that of being interned as a South African Boer non-combatant in the Transvaal and Cape Colony during the Boer War some 40-odd years earlier, but the fact that conditions in the US camps were far better than those in the British ones doesn't make internment in the American ones any less unacceptable.

So this brings me to my first problem. OK, I can accept that words change their meaning over time, and clearly there's a difference between simply interning someone in a camp of some sort outside the normal penal and legal system and interning them in a camp as part of a campaign of genocide. But this leaves me wondering what the actual distinction is between a labour or internment camp (as opposed to a death camp) run by Nazi Germany for non-Jewish political prisoners, gay men, Polish resistance workers, slave labourers and so on and a similar institution run by the Soviet Union, or between a German concentration camp in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s and one in Namibia in the 1900s. And if we're going to call the institution in Namibia a "concentration camp," what distinguishes it from a British-run one in South Africa a few years earlier, except that the conditions in the German ones were probably even harsher than the British ones?
 

Innula Zenovka

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Very long two-part post here, for which I apologise, but this is something I've been thinking about for a long time.

If you look at -- for example -- the Encyclopedia Britannica, which I choose as a politically neutral reference source, they define the term "concentration camp" thus:



and offer "internment camp" as an alternative term.

I have two major conceptual problems with reserving the term "concentration camp" for camps operated by Nazi Germany during WW2. The first is that, until the full horror of the Nazi concentration camps became widely known, it was a term commonly used as a synonym for "internment camp" or possibly "labour camp" as you suggest.

Doubtless different camps run by different countries at different times and places varied greatly. I'm sure that the experience of being interned as Japanese American in the USA during WW2 was very different from that of being interned as a South African Boer non-combatant in the Transvaal and Cape Colony during the Boer War some 40-odd years earlier, but the fact that conditions in the US camps were far better than those in the British ones doesn't make internment in the American ones any less unacceptable.

So this brings me to my first problem. OK, I can accept that words change their meaning over time, and clearly there's a difference between simply interning someone in a camp of some sort outside the normal penal and legal system and interning them in a camp as part of a campaign of genocide. But this leaves me wondering what the actual distinction is between a labour or internment camp (as opposed to a death camp) run by Nazi Germany for non-Jewish political prisoners, gay men, Polish resistance workers, slave labourers and so on and a similar institution run by the Soviet Union, or between a German concentration camp in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s and one in Namibia in the 1900s. And if we're going to call the institution in Namibia a "concentration camp," what distinguishes it from a British-run one in South Africa a few years earlier, except that the conditions in the German ones were probably even harsher than the British ones?
Very long post pt 2

My second problem is that the history of the Holocaust and the history of the Nazi Concentration Camps are two separate, though interwoven, narratives.

This isn't the place to review the history at any length but the Nazi genocide of the Jews, and the Roma and the Sinti peoples fell into three distinct phases. Initially the Nazi policy was deportation -- they wanted people they considered racially undesirable out of the Reich, and didn't really mind where they went. Initially that meant forcing people out of Germany by simply deporting them or making conditions so unpleasant they were forced to leave for wherever would take them, but after the invasion of Poland that became very problematic and they started rounding people up and dumping them in the "General Government," the part of Poland left over after Germany had annexed the parts of Poland it wanted, and put them in concentration camps and ghettos when they got there.

While they were in the ghettos and camps, the Germans had no hesitation in working them till they dropped, in unsafe and unhealthy conditions with inadequate food, clothing and medical care, but the intention at that point wasn't to murder them out of hand.

Then came Operation Barbarossa, and the invasion of the Soviet Union. That's when the second phase of the holocaust began, the "holocaust by bullets." Then Jews were rounded up and murdered all over German-occupied territories in the East, but camps weren't involved. The Germans, whether the SS or the regular Wehrmacht, or local SS Police Auxiliaries under German control, simply descended on towns and villages in pre-planned operations, rounded up all the Jews (whether by force or deception, sometimes telling them they were to sent to labour camps), marched them out of town to pre-dug pits and machine-gunned them on the spot. No trains and no camps involved.

Later on, at least particularly in Belarus, they started clearing whole areas of civilians, with the Jews murdered on the spot and the non-Jews deported to concentration camps in Poland and Germany as slave labour.

It was only later on, in 1941, that the Germans started building extermination camps, such as Belzek, Sobibor and Treblinka, with gas chambers intended for the murder of Jews on an industrial scale. But even these were nothing like the image of a Nazi concentration camp we have from newsreels and the testimony of survivors, since they weren't camps designed to accommodate people -- the vast majority of Jews who were taken there were murdered by gas and then cremated all within hours of arrival. The only actual detainees there were Jews whose murder was postponed for a few months as they were forced to work as slave labourers on tasks necessary to the smooth running of the death camp and the disposal of the victims' bodies and personal effects.

It was only towards the end of this hideous story, in 1942, that gas chambers were opened at Auschwitz, which thus became a combined slave labour and extermination camp, with Jews divided on arrival between those who were murdered right away (as they had been at Treblinka and the other death camps) and those who were kept as slave labourers, under even harsher conditions than their non-Jewish counterparts, and then gassed when they became too ill to work or when the camp authorities needed to make room for more deportees.

So most of the people actually murdered as part of the Holocaust never entered a concentration camp and those who did didn't survive for more than a few hours after their arrival.

Meanwhile, millions of non-Jewish victims of the Nazis -- political prisoners, Jehovahs Witnesses, gay men, Polish workers and intellectuals -- spent years in concentration camps as slave labourers working under very harsh conditions (though not as harsh as those endured by the Jewish inmates) that were likely to kill them, but weren't subject to the regime of "selections" for murder by gassing. What are we to call the institutions in which they were incarcerated?

My big concern, I think, is that, for very understandable reasons, our culture has taken the testimony of the least typical concentration camp inmates and victims of the Holocaust -- the Jewish prisoner who survived -- and turned it into the archetype of the experience of Nazi concentration camps and holocaust victims.

It leaves out the the story the experiences of most Jewish victims (most of them didn't survive to give their testimony, most of them were murdered by shooting and never went anywhere near a concentration camp, and the vast majority of those murdered in camps were murdered within hours of arrival) and of most surviving concentration camp inmates, who weren't there because they were Jewish and, consequently, while they could be murdered at whim, pretty much, by their captors, weren't subject to a deliberate programme of genocide.
 
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Beebo Brink

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ETA: Crossed posts with Innula. This isn't a response to her posts, it's to the ones above objecting to the use of the term "concentration camp".

Comparing any event with the end-stage result of Nazism entirely misses the progression that led up to the final solution.

Of course our immigrant detention centers aren't body-strewn concentration camps...at least not yet. But then, most German people didn't know (or claimed not to know) that their concentration camps were anything more than detention/work camps either. They were perfectly fine with Jews, Gypsies, and homosexuals being rounded up and taken "away" and didn't worry about the details. Today, we hold that generation accountable for turning a blind eye to what we feel was an obvious situation.

So here WE stand at the start of something... but we're not quite sure where it's going to lead. So we let it slide, just as the Germans let it slide. They didn't feel that death camps were the inevitable result of their actions or inactions. At every step of the journey, the future was not a known outcome toward which they marched resolutely, it was a choice and each small choice seemed justified.... until they reached an endpoint that was not.

Using the word "concentration camp" reminds us where this can lead. We may not be there yet, but the spectre of final solutions dances up ahead. It's the path we're on now, so the question is just when we'll decide to get off of it.
 
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Bartholomew Gallacher

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I have two major conceptual problems with reserving the term "concentration camp" for camps operated by Nazi Germany during WW2. The first is that, until the full horror of the Nazi concentration camps became widely known, it was a term commonly used as a synonym for "internment camp" or possibly "labour camp" as you suggest.
Concentration camp nowadays is in the public perception so closely tied to the Nazis, that you cannot avoid them being dragged in. That there might have been some before and some after is not part of the public perception. So if you are using this terminology, you are aware of that in the public perception the WWII events are being brought in sooner or later, it will happen.

In my mind one of the best comments on the whole topic has been made by Rabbi Jeff Salkin, Hollywood, CA, about OC:

"Her first error was in assigning a dysfunctional metaphor and not simply condemning what is happening in those camps. The controversy over her language has sidelined the conversation over what is really happening — children don’t have soap. Children are going to die. That’s bad enough. You don’t have to drag Dachau into this. But because some people are deaf, sometimes you have to scream."
 

Eunoli

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I would have to wonder, why would it take them so long to see and recognize what is going on for what it is.
Because it isn't yet this. It could get there. But, it isn't. It doesn't matter that the technical definition is broader. It matters that this term is a part of the psyche of millions of people who think of this in a very personal way. Just because people don't want this particular term used because of the deep cultural meaning it has taken on doesn't mean they in any way dismiss the horror that is happening now. The term "never again" means never letting things get to the point in the pictures below again (though it frankly has in some places around the world).

What's happening is horrible. Its awful and needs to be stopped before it gets much, much worse. Its just not reached the soul-crushing nature of what is happening in the pictures below - and to millions of Americans - it is painful to hear that term used for anything less.



 
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Innula Zenovka

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Concentration camp nowadays is in the public perception so closely tied to the Nazis, that you cannot avoid them being dragged in. That there might have been some before and some after is not part of the public perception. So if you are using this terminology, you are aware of that in the public perception the WWII events are being brought in sooner or later, it will happen.

In my mind one of the best comments on the whole topic has been made by Rabbi Jeff Salkin, Hollywood, CA, about OC:

"Her first error was in assigning a dysfunctional metaphor and not simply condemning what is happening in those camps. The controversy over her language has sidelined the conversation over what is really happening — children don’t have soap. Children are going to die. That’s bad enough. You don’t have to drag Dachau into this. But because some people are deaf, sometimes you have to scream."
Did AOC, in point of fact "drag Dachau into this"? I ask because I do not know, but I'd be a bit surprised if she has actually made any explicit comparisons with any named concentration camps, German or otherwise, since I would have expected to see it more widely reported than it has been.

It may well be that Rabbi Salkin in correct in suggesting that simply using the term "concentration camp" drags Dachau into it whether she intends it or not but that simply assumes the point that I'm seeking to test a bit.

My problem, as someone who cares about history, is that we seem to have taken the experience of the least typical of all Jewish victims of the Holocaust -- those who survived Auschwitz -- and made it stand for the whole of the dreadful history of both German concentration camps and their inmates and of Jewish victims of the Holocaust, when it is, in fact, not typical of either.

A simple example. I don't know if you've ever read Medical Block, Buchenwald, by Walter Poller. He was a German political prisoner -- a socialist -- who was imprisoned by the Nazis for some years in the 1930s for his political activities, and then detained in the Buchenwald concentration camp from 1938 until his family were able to secure his release in 1940. His account of life in the camp and of the crimes and atrocities he witnessed are pretty grim, though he freely acknowledges that the conditions endured by him and his German fellow-prisoners were nowhere near as harsh as those in the Jewish section of the camp. And, of course, he was able to hope his friends and family would be able to secure his eventual release, as they did, which would not have been a realistic hope had he been Jewish.

It seems difficult to claim he was not a concentration camp inmate, though, even though the harsh conditions he endured were nothing like as harsh as those of the Jewish inmates of Buchenwald, whose conditions were, in turn, very different from those endured by inmates of Auschwitz some years later (he writes, for example, about what he witnessed when visiting a friend in the Jewish sector of the camp, which I can't imagine happening at Auschwitz).

But if we're going to agree to call someone like Poller an inmate of a concentration camp, it seems very difficult to know what to call the sort of very similar camp in which a Russian political prisoner was likely to find himself at the time. What of somewhere like Franco's concentration camps? What should we call those now?

I do see the problem, but I am genuinely uncomfortable with attempts to reserve the term "Concentration Camp" either for only camps operated by Germany in the 1930s and 1940s and even more uncomfortable with attempts to make the Holocaust and Concentration Camps synonymous.
 

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Concentration camps did not start or end with the holocaust. The term dates back to Spanish camps in Cuba in the 1890s. What we have at the border are classic textbook concentration camps. Internationally poor and overcrowded conditions designed punish and stigmatize "others" that the state finds undesirable. To not call them concentration camps is a victory for those running them.
 
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Eunoli

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I do see the problem, but I am genuinely uncomfortable with attempts to reserve the term "Concentration Camp" either for only camps operated by Germany in the 1930s and 1940s and even more uncomfortable with attempts to make the Holocaust and Concentration Camps synonymous.
There were and are concentration camps that weren't death camps. They were and are still far beyond what is happening now. People still starved to death. People were and are still put to extreme forced labor in some of them. Trump's pal in North Korea is still running them. This is not that. There is no starvation (only very bad nutrition). There is no forced labor. There aren't beatings and torture.

At a time when people are sensitive to language used in any way that might offend or hurt any particular minority or social group, the complete lack of sensitivity in this and the attitude of "put your big boy pants on Jews" has me frightened.

Some people seem to think that by asking people to not use that term, the camps are being excused. That is not the case. They can be exposed for the terrible thing they are without appropriating that particular term.
 

Innula Zenovka

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There were and are concentration camps that weren't death camps. They were and are still far beyond what is happening now. People still starved to death. People were and are still put to extreme forced labor in some of them. Trump's pal in North Korea is still running them. This is not that. There is no starvation (only very bad nutrition). There is no forced labor. There aren't beatings and torture.

At a time when people are sensitive to language used in any way that might offend or hurt any particular minority or social group, the complete lack of sensitivity in this and the attitude of "put your big boy pants on Jews" has me frightened.

Some people seem to think that by asking people to not use that term, the camps are being excused. That is not the case. They can be exposed for the terrible thing they are without appropriating that particular term.
I'm sorry, but while I do understand your sensitivity and the distinction you want make, I have real problems with making the distinction between concentration camps and internment camps depend on the severity of the regime imposed on the inmates.

To my mind, once you have civilians deprived of their liberty and confined to an secure institution -- be it a prison or a tent city or converted factory or warehouse -- other than as part of the regular criminal justice system and outside the reach of the courts and the normal bounds of law, then that's a concentration camp.

Certainly the treatment inmates receive may vary very widely, and inmates at some institutions may enjoy comparatively lenient conditions, at least as compared with some other camps (as, indeed, I understand was the case at the notorious Belsen concentration camp for much of the war, since initially, at least, it was used as a holding camp for high-value Jewish and non-Jewish prisoners whom the Germans hoped to exchange for German civilians interned by the allies, but that's not the point.

To my mind, at least, the problem is with holding people outside the rule of law. When that happens, abuses are almost inevitably going to follow.

I try not to use the term, because I accept that some people whom I have no wish to offend will find it offensive, but I am also very aware that there are plenty of people who purport to be offended on behalf of the victims of the Nazi regime but, in fact, simply want to deflect attention from a comparison they find all too uncomfortably apt.

Put it this way. If it transpired that asylum seekers and their children were being treated this way in the UK then I can name a whole series of agencies with a legal obligation to protect children that would have to become involved, and also a whole series of measures human rights organisations would take on behalf of them and their parents, seeking injunctions from the High Court (and High Court judges here are not accustomed to having their injunctions and orders ignored). The same is true of Germany, I am sure, and anywhere else that the European Convention on Human Rights is in force.

That does not appear to be the case in the USA, and as far as I'm concerned then that is a very major cause for concern, because, when people have no protection save for the goodwill of their captors, things do not usually end well.
 
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Aribeth Zelin

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We had concentration camps in the US in WWII - we didn't actually murder a bunch of people, and we didn't treat them as inhumanely as the German camps, but they were still concentration camps.

Also, as someone who is supposed to be 1/8th Rom, Roma were there too, and we were treated as badly as any other minority ethnic group. We're rarely ever acknowledged, but we were put in there first - because its real easy to test public sentiment when you start with the group no one else likes. Also, a smaller group, I guess, so makes it easy there too.

And I'm sorry, but how many babies and small children need to be broken; how many women have to be sexually abused and told to drink from a toilet for it to be bad enough? Its a minority group who have commited NO crimes, yet they are locked away and treated like animals? How much worse does it need to be for its to be a concentration camp? Or is it, long enough to become emaciated? Is it a time thing? Just how much worse does it need to be?
 

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I just want to mention that labor is happening in *some* detention centers. No, it doesn't look like the forced labor of the WWII camps, but it does look exactly like prison labor. Why wouldn't it? The very same private for-profit prison companies have their hands in both barrels.

From 2017:
Big Money As Private Immigrant Jails Boom

The forced labor allegations are part of two class-action lawsuits in federal court.
GEO "strongly refutes" these claims and plans to fight them. In an emailed statement, the company says detainee labor is voluntary and immigrant workers are paid a dollar a day because that's the rate set by ICE.
"I don't get the impression that the Trump administration has any interest in implementing new detention reforms. If anything it looks like they may be eliminating some safeguards," says Kevin Landy, who was director of the Office of Policy and Planning at ICE for six years. That office tried to reform federal oversight of immigrant jails during the Obama administration. He also advocated for raising the pay rate of a dollar a day, which was set in 1974.

"I believe contractors save a lot of money by using detainee labor because they're performing work that would otherwise have to be performed by paid employees," Landy says. That work includes cooking and cleaning the facility.

But now, ICE is shutting down Landy's old office and moving the functions elsewhere in the agency.
"It is incredibly scary to contemplate the notion that ICE would be removing even the dysfunctional oversight that currently exists," says Carl Takei, senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union's National Prison Project.
 

Eunoli

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I try not to use the term, because I accept that some people whom I have no wish to offend will find it offensive, but I am also very aware that there are plenty of people who purport to be offended on behalf of the victims of the Nazi regime but, in fact, simply want to deflect attention from a comparison they find all too uncomfortably apt.
I get that. Its a conundrum for me and others that feel as I do. I appreciate that you and some others that step because you know the word is hurtful to some. I get that others will use complaining about it as a bludgeon to deflect. But, that doesn't change that it /is/ hurtful to a lot of people. Words matter. Terminology matters and there are a lot of others on this forum who know how it can hit like a gutpunch when you hear one used in a way that's personal. All I am asking is that people are aware that they are affecting some people that way when they choose that particular word. I am not by any far stretch of the imagination suggesting that they don't call it out for the child and human rights abuse that it is.
 

Jolene Benoir

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I personally have no problem using the word "internment camps" rather than concentration camps out of deference to those who have family that perished in the latter and those who survived them.

I will continue to call the perpetrators nazi's, though. Their belief system is wrapped up in supremacy through and through and while their action haven't YET reached the horrific levels committed by the nazi's their acts of dehumanization and detention are clearly of the same mindset. It is up to us to prevent it from becoming worse, because they sure as hell aren't going to police themselves. Quite the opposite. They are seeking less oversight, to hide the conditions in the camps and to defiantly pursue their own agenda, legal or not.

Their actions have already led to deaths and to abuses (such as sexual abuse) Deaths that would not be happening if not for them and their behavior. I'm not willing to handwave those deaths away as the price of what they are doing. They are, giving even the very best benefit of the doubt, which I do not, acts of extreme disinterest in the welfare of those they have taken upon themselves to be in charge of their care. Like any other prisoners, they are at the mercy of our care, or lack of it.

Edit: I spent some time this weekend with a lady whose grandfather was one of the 10,000 or so children who escaped Nazi Germany on the Kindertransport trains. The rest of her family perished in the camps. She calls what is happening at the border "concentration camps". Of course many others would disagree with her assessment. I think we should allow those who have history to pick their own words, while we are careful to be aware of any hurt that arises from casual usage of such a loaded term.
 
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Eunoli

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I will continue to call the perpetrators nazi's, though. Their belief system is wrapped up in supremacy through and through and while their action haven't YET reached the horrific levels committed by the nazi's their acts of dehumanization and detention are clearly of the same mindset. It is up to us to prevent it from becoming worse, because they sure as hell aren't going to police themselves. Quite the opposite. They are seeking less oversight, to hide the conditions in the camps and to defiantly pursue their own agenda, legal or not.
I don't have a big issue with this. Some of their supporters already identify as nazis. The trajectory they are following is in some ways similar to that of pre-war Germany. I think the main difference is that those being made the first victims are without any legal status at all. Its a head start.

I just keep wondering how long and/or how bad a thing must happen before Americans take to the streets in numbers. It feels like we're being worn down until no one will bother.
 

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2002
I just keep wondering how long and/or how bad a thing must happen before Americans take to the streets in numbers. It feels like we're being worn down until no one will bother.
As long as most do believe in the American dream, and are convinced that this will only happen to illegal immigrants but never to themselves then there's still a long way to go before this happens.

Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller, who first was a supporter of the Nazis and later became an opponent, and was a "personal prisoner" (which means let him suffer hell on Earth, but keep him always barely alive) of Hitler from 1938 - 45 in KZ Sachsenhausen, put it into these words - which basically is the story of his life to that time so far:

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Ah by the way the official wording is "detention center", as being confirmed by a well known expert:

 
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Innula Zenovka

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Edit: I spent some time this weekend with a lady whose grandfather was one of the 10,000 or so children who escaped Nazi Germany on the Kindertransport trains. The rest of her family perished in the camps. She calls what is happening at the border "concentration camps". Of course many others would disagree with her assessment. I think we should allow those who have history to pick their own words, while we are careful to be aware of any hurt that arises from casual usage of such a loaded term.
One of my godmothers was a young teenager when her parents put her on one of the last Kindertransport trains out of Vienna after the Nazi occupation (the fact at some point in the previous century the family had converted to Catholicism didn't really count for much as far as the Nazis were concerned). Her four-year-old brother did not accompany her because, while her parents were all too alive to the dangers a young teenage girl faced from the Nazis and their Austrian sympathisers, they mistakenly thought that his youth would protect him.

He, and they, were last seen together in Belsen, and while the International Red Cross were able after the war to confirm both her parents were murdered at Auschwitz (people who knew them saw them selected for immediate murder by gassing on arrival) no one ever saw her brother again. She always hoped he survived and ended up alive and well and happy in Tel Aviv but no one knows.

It's very much because of my Auntie Lisl, as I knew her, that I'm so concerned about maintaining and defending, through the law, the human rights of the defenceless.
 
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Jolene Benoir

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SL Rez
2007
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Dec 2010
One of my godmothers was a young teenager when her parents put her on one of the last Kindertransport trains out of Vienna after the Nazi occupation (the fact at some point in the previous century the family had converted to Catholicism didn't really count for much as far as the Nazis were concerned). Her four-year-old brother did not accompany her because, while her parents were all too alive to the dangers a young teenage girl faced from the Nazis and their Austrian sympathisers, they mistakenly thought that his youth would protect him.

He, and they, were last seen in Belsen, and while the International Red Cross were able after the war to confirm both her parents were murdered at Auschwitz (people who knew them saw them selected for immediate murder by gassing on arrival) no one ever saw her brother again. She always hoped he survived and ended up alive and well and happy in Tel Aviv but no one knows.

It's very much because of my Auntie Lisl, as I knew her, that I'm so concerned about maintaining and defending, through the law, the human rights of the defenceless.
I was quite embarrassed when she mentioned the trains, as I didn't have any previous knowledge of them. I know that we were not taught of them, despite having a *fairly* thorough education of the holocaust, and despite having read, but not heavily, of the holocaust, I was completely unaware of them prior to her telling me about them. I didn't think to ask where her grandfather boarded, having no knowledge of them. I looked it all up when I got home, as she instructed me to do. I was dumbstruck at how few made it out in this manner and in what manner they were received.

She is my aunt's best friend and it was our first meeting, though this conversation took place well into the weekend. We stayed at the same hotel in the same room.We were having this, not so light, conversation over breakfast at Perkins. My jaw was dropping at her loss and at the sheer improbability of even being able to have her sit across from me given her family history.

Edit: Thank you for expanding on this and why you feel as you do.
 
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