Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA) had a message for America over Independence Day. The venue for said speech, however, isn't a backyard cookout, or a local parade, but rather the site of one of huamnity's greatest shames.
The death complex at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Higgins recorded a video of his trip to the death camp, walking the viewer through various places within the complex, and commentating on the events that took place there, and about how it makes him feel as an elected representative in the United States of America.
"This is why homeland security must be squared away, why our military must be invincible. The world's a smaller place now than it was in World War II. The United States is more accessible to terror like this, horror like this," said Higgins.
The video was originally posted to YouTube on a channel called Lee Johnson Media, which styles itself "A Conservative Podcast looking at America of Today," according to the channel's description.
"It's hard to walk away from the gas chambers and ovens without a very sober feeling of commitment -- unwavering commitment -- to make damn sure that the United States of America is protected from the evils of the world."
While Higgins' message is supposedly a warning to all Americans, many online think that using a gas chamber that killed countless human beings is not an appropriate place to make such a warning.
The Auschwitz Memorial's official Twitter account tweeted out its disapproval of Higgins' actions.
Some, however, think that the video isn't improper, but rather, is in the spirit of the memorial itself.
I do not see that condemnation is appropriate. It may not be a stage but that does not mean that filming there is improper.— Martin Goldblum (@MTGoldblum) July 5, 2017
What's wrong with wanting to remember a visit to such a terrible place?— stephenlesliejones (@stephenlesliejo) July 5, 2017
Isn't that why so many are encouraged to visit these camps?
Higgins later apologized in a statement and said he had retracted the the video "out of respect to any who may feel that my video posting was wrong or caused pain."
Higgins said his "intent was to offer a reverent homage to those who were murdered in Auschwitz and to remind the world that evil exists, that free nations must remember and stand strong."
This isn't the first time Higgins has come under fire for his controversial posts online. In June, he got flak for a Facebook post he made calling for war against Islam.
"Not a single radicalized Islamic suspect should be granted any measure of quarter," he posted. "Their intedned entry to the American homeland should be summarily denied. Every conceivable measure should be engaged to hunt them down. Hunt them, identify them, and kill them. kill them all. For the sake of all that is good and righteous. Kill them all.”
Higgins later told The Washington Post that he was calling for the death of Islamic terrorists, not peaceful Muslims.