A Republican candidate in Virginia is facing a backlash after posting an image on his Facebook campaign page that mocked Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)
Paul Milde, who is running for the Virginia state legislature, posted a photoshopped image that mocked comparisons of migrant camps to concentration camps, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
The image featured a mother placing a play pen around her child, with a caption that read: "Install your very own concentration camp in the comfort of your own home!" In the corner of the image, Ocasio-Cortez was shown on a television screen.
“Too much! Lol,” Milde commented. He later deleted the image from his page.
“Jokes such as the one Mr. Milde shared on his Facebook are not light-hearted nor are they harmless-they are anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, horrific, and disturbing, anti-American and dehumanizing,” Virginia House Minority Leader Eileen Filler-Corn, a Democrat who is Jewish, said in a statement.
Some Jewish groups were concerned by the image as well.
"The fact that a candidate for public office feels comfortable sharing that image is incredibly disturbing,” Ron Halber, the executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, told Washington Jewish Week. “It’s not only offensive to Holocaust survivors, I thinks it's offensive to World War II vets who risked their lives to liberate Nazi death camps, and offensive to Americans today."
Milde, however, defended posting the image.
“Having visited Buchenwald and Dachau in Germany, and Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland, I learned what constitutes an actual concentration camp and the unimaginable horrors that took place there,” he told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
“That is why I was profoundly offended when Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez casually compared America’s handling of an immigration crisis she previously claimed did not exist to the Nazi’s crimes against humanity.”