Paul Milde, the Republican candidate for Virginia’s 28th district in the House of Delegates, is coming under fire for a meme he posted on his Facebook that mocked comparisons of migrant camps to concentration camps.
The story, first reported by Washington Jewish Week, includes a screenshot of the since-deleted meme, which shows a child in a playpen with the caption, “Install your very own concentration camp in the comfort of your own home!”
The image also features Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who has likened migrant detention facilities to concentration camps, on a TV screen.
Milde then commented “Too much! Lol”.
Milde, who is running for the Stafford County-area seat as a hard-line, anti-choice conservative, received immediate backlash for the post.
Eileen Filler-Corn, the Democratic minority leader in the House of Delegates, who is Jewish, was among those to criticize Milde.
Filler-Corn also spoke to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and re-iterated her disgust. “I was shocked, I was disgusted, it’s anti-immigrant, anti-human and anti-Semitic,” she said.
Milde also came under fire from Ron Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington. Halber told Washington Jewish Week that Milde feeling “comfortable sharing that image is incredibly disturbing…. He thinks that’s it’s OK to mock the inhumanity of others and that it’s all right to trivialize the Holocaust. It is also extremely insensitive to the dehumanizing treatment and suffering that many people are being subjected to at our southern border.”
When asked about the meme, Milde told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he posted it because Ocasio-Cortez’s comparison offended him, and noted that he had visited some of the concentration camps in Germany and Poland.
Halie Soifer, director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, told Washington Jewish Week there are times when the comparisons between the detention camps at the border and concentration camps are appropriate and that Milde’s post “makes fun of those analogies and it makes fun of concentration camps in general.”
Milde is running against Democrat Joshua Cole this November in what is expected to be a tight race.