After Vice President Mike Pence paid an in-person visit to a migrant detention center on Friday, witnessing the overcrowded conditions in which men were forced to sleep on floors and were denied access to shower facilities leading to what CNN called “a strong smell of sweat,” Pence’s stony and unemotional reaction to the heartbreaking scene, that was caught on video and by news photographers, generated a flood of appalled reactions on social media.
In fact, as HuffPost reported, the hashtag #FakeChristian quickly trended on Twitter, a reference to Pence’s self-professed religious beliefs, and how that appeared to conflict with his seemingly icy reaction to the conditions in which migrant detainees were held.
One Twitter user quoted a Biblical passage commanding that “foreigners” must not be mistreated, and should be “treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself.”
“Someone remind #FakeChristian @VP. Please,” the Twitter user implored.
But other Twitter users were far more harsh on Pence, circulating a juxtaposition of two photos — one showing a stonefaced Pence observing conditions at a detention center, stating just feet away from fenced-in migrants. But the other photo showed the brutal Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler, commander of the ruthless SS stormtroopers, at a prisoner of war camp, also stonefaced, as he stands just feet away from fenced-in POWs.
Among the many Twitter users who posted the photo, activist and former Charmed actress Alyssa Milano attracted the most attention.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) July 13, 2019
Himmler ranked behind only Adolf Hitler as the second-most powerful leader in the Nazi Germany “Third Reich,” according to Britannica.com, first joining the Nazi Party in 1925. Himmler was one of the chief architects of the Holocaust, creating the first Nazi concentration camp at Dachau, Germany, in 1933.
According to The United States Holocaust Museum, Himmler was the “key and senior Nazi official responsible for conceiving and overseeing implementation of the ‘Final Solution,'” the Nazi term for the genocide of the Jewish people.
But the Holocaust Museum has been critical of analogies between the Nazi concentration camps and the conditions in which migrants are held in border detention facilities, according to Slate.com.
“The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum unequivocally rejects efforts to create analogies between the Holocaust and other events, whether historical or contemporary,” museum officials said in a statement, quoted by The Washington Examiner.
Donald Trump also took to Twitter to deny that conditions in the detention centers were as bad as they seemed on television, calling the facilities for adult men “clean but crowded.” Trump also claimed without any evidence that “a big percentage” of the detained men were criminals.