Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is dolling out opinions and lessons once again. This time, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham is the one being offered a lesson from the Puerto Rican’s break down of politics and history.
The Twitter row started on Sunday after Ocasio-Cortez pointed out parallels between the Holocaust and the current migrant crisis at the border.
Asking to be considered a refugee & applying for status isn’t a crime.
It wasn’t for Jewish families fleeing Germany.
It wasn’t for targeted families fleeing Rwanda.
It wasn’t for communities fleeing war-torn Syria.
And it isn’t for those fleeing violence in Central America. https://t.co/qhv7Rr1itn
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 25, 2018
Highlighting the historical similarities of families fleeing violence in Nazi Germani and Rwanda, the Bronx-born politician wrote on Twitter that “Asking to be considered a refugee & applying for status isn’t a crime. It wasn’t for Jewish families fleeing Germany. It wasn’t for targeted families fleeing Rwanda. It wasn’t for communities fleeing war-torn Syria. And it isn’t for those fleeing violence in Central America.”
On Monday, Graham responded to Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet writing that she ought to “take a tour of the Holocaust Museum in DC. Might help her better understand the differences between the Holocaust and the caravan in Tijuana.”
As many on Twitter pointed out, it’s clear that the soon-to-be congresswoman’s tweet wasn’t suggesting that the situations currently marring the U.S. border, or Central America from which the caravan sprouted was comparable to the horrific mass murders of Jews in Europe. Instead, it did well to highlight the importance of sanctuary and defense– a protection that only nazi-sympathizers will deny Jewish families of the Holocaust needed and one many will recognize people and families at the border gravely need now. It’s a right that the United Nations underlined in the 1951 Convention Related to the Status of Refugees and that U.S Congress has agreed to under certain acts.
It didn’t take long for Ocasio-Cortez to respond to Graham in a tweet that read “The point of such a treasured museum is to bring its lessons to [the] present day. This administration has jailed children and violated human rights. Perhaps we should stop pretending that authoritarianism + violence is a historical event instead of a growing force.”
In response to Graham’s tweets, Ocasio-Cortez also offered a few museums for Graham to visit on his own time.
While we’re recommending museums @LindseyGrahamSC, I heard your “joke” about ethnic DNA preferences last month.
Perhaps you would enjoy a visit (or revisit) to the Smithsonian Museum of African-American History and Culture (@NMAAHC). It’s a great educational experience.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 27, 2018
Referring to Graham’s appearance on “Fox & Friends” in October, in which he joked that a DNA test could reveal he could be Iranian to which he called “like, terrible,” Ocasio Cortez wrote “I heard your ‘joke’ about ethnic DNA preferences last month. Perhaps you would enjoy a visit (or revisit) to the Smithsonian Museum of African-American History and Culture… It’s a great educational experience.”
Politicians and experts have long used the Holocaust as a moral touchstone when it comes to dates concerning state terrorism.
The mass murder of Jews during the Holocaust has been brought to the forefront of discussions anew as countries debate intervention in the war in Syria, as nationalism trends at home and abroad and as anti-Semitic attacks seem to increase by the day. In 2017, in response to Trump’s travel ban the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum issued in a statement that “During the 1930s and 1940s, the United States, along with the rest of the world, generally refused to admit Jewish refugees from Nazism due to antisemitic and xenophobic attitudes, harsh economic conditions, and national security fears.”