Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns has sparked outrage by comparing the relocation of border crossers to idyllic Martha’s Vineyard to the rise of Nazi Germany before the horrors of the Holocaust.
The Brooklyn-born, longtime Democrat donor made the direct comparison Thursday while appearing on CNN to promote his new film, “The US and the Holocaust.”
Without hesitation, he agreed with host John Berman’s suggestion that the doc addressed “some of the same themes” currently seen in Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to send “two planeloads of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard.”
“This is coming straight out of the authoritarian playbook,” Burns, 69, insisted of DeSantis’ relocation of around 50 border crossers to the Massachusetts hotspot.
“What we find in our all films is that the themes that we engage in the past are present today.
“And so, when you look at the story that we’re telling of the US and the Holocaust, you understand that the time to save a democracy is before it’s lost. We promise you,” he warned.
Sitting alongside co-director Lynn Novick, Burns, 69, insisted that sending immigrants to one of the ritziest vacation spots in the US was actually “the abstraction of human life.”
“It’s basically saying that you can use a human life that is as valuable as yours or mine or Lynn’s and to put it in a position of becoming a political pawn in somebody’s authoritarian game,” he insisted.
“This is what’s so disturbing about DeSantis — to use human beings, to weaponize human beings for a political purpose,” he claimed.
“It’s like when somebody disagrees with him in Florida — like the Walt Disney Company — he punishes them,” Burns continued.
“This is not the actions of a person participating in a democratic process in which there’s an exchange of ideas.
“This is about punishing political enemies, putting on shows, political shows, political theater. And in this case, this is with the lives of human beings.”
His comments quickly sparked outrage and derision online, including memes showing an aerial shot of the exclusive enclave that has long been home to left-leaning celebrities and Democratic pols, including former President Barack Obama.
“This? This is Auschwitz?” the meme asks alongside the postcard-worthy scene.
A writer on Twitter also noted increduously, “Ron DeSantis giving migrants free food, water, and plane tickets to Martha’s Vineyard is like the Holocaust. WHAT?“
“He sent them to a place that is a bucket list for us little people,” another person tweeted.
“You aren’t allowed to compare vaccine passports to the leadup to the Holocaust but Ken Burns can compare sending illegal immigrants to a vacation island to the Holocaust,” one podcaster tweeted.
Fox News’ host Tucker Carlson also skewered Burns during a monologue on his show late Thursday.
“The horrors! This is genocide!” he said sarcastically.
He then insisted, “Martha’s Vineyard may be a modern-day death camp, but compared to where illegal aliens usually go, it doesn’t look that bad.”
He showed footage from this week of dozens of border crossers in El Paso, Texas, saying it showed “chaos, violence and filth” in the border towns “now completely overrun under [President] Biden’s border policy.”
It was followed by footage of Martha’s Vineyard. “It’s hellish, perhaps, but in a very different way,” Carlson quipped of the leftist hotspot.
“Families eating together on balconies overlooking the water; women doing their shopping in quaint little towns on their bicycles; couples strolling on the boardwalk; Sailboats. It doesn’t look that bad,” he said.
Carlson also suggested they house the new arrivals in Obama’s house there.
“There is no reason Obama needs that much space — nobody needs that much space,” he said.
“You can probably fit a dozen immigrant families and Barack Obama’s pool house, and another five or six in the pantry,” he quipped.
“As [President] Biden often reminds us — illegal immigration is a gift,” he said.