*(Sidenote: I wish they'd given more explanation of her locking up fire/waterbenders though- was it out of prejudice? Paranoia that they'd fight back? A desire to return the Earth Kingdom to its 'original' state? Personally I prefer to think that somebody else was responsible for that, or there were some specific circumstances leading to it.)
Cross-referencing from the shipping thread! Discussion on how Kuvira's Concentration Camps did or didn't make sense considering everything else we knew about her. Begin!
For as serious as Concentration Camps are, they were really downplayed in the season. It seemed to me as a way to give Kuvira her villain cred. Like, if she had camps where she was locking people up for real or imagined crimes, why did they need the Colossus? Why did she need to invade RC? Weren't the camps enough?
I feel like, because of everything that needed to happen elsewhere in the story, the conditions under which people were put in the camps were limited to the point of incoherence. The writers' apparent reluctance to deal with them outside of the original reveal is probably a result of that -- it's hard to write something when there are limited conditions under which it can make even the vaguest of sense.
I mean, look -- here are a list of all of the foreigners Kuvira doesn't question being around (and can't
question being around, if the story is to work as intended):
1) Bolin, lavabending earthbender from Republic City with Fire Nation heritage
2) Varrick, non-bending Southern Water Tribesman
3) Opal and Kai, airbending Air Nationals of Earth Kingdom origin
4) Jinora, airbending Air Nationals of Air Nomad origin
...which means that it would be inconsistent for her to be opposed to the presence of people of any
ancestry who are a) non-benders, b) earthbenders, or c) airbenders.
In other words, firebenders and waterbenders are the only group which the story doesn't require Kuvira allying herself with or leaving alone, so they end up as the target, as little sense as it makes as a policy.
Seriously, though, locking up only
fire- and waterbenders is probably the most impractical thing Kuvira could have done. It'd obviously radicalize their non-targeted relatives against her, so limiting the targeted group seems both pointless and counterproductive.
On the other hand, it's perfectly consistent with the idea of a rogue general finding an excuse to lock up all the foreigners, because radicalizing non-targets would be really useful for someone who wasn't able to target everyone they wanted to target (i.e. not Kuvira). If Kuvira said, "no, that's ridiculous" to a "lock up all foreigners" plan but was okay with "require the fire- and waterbenders to use their powers for the good of the Earth Empire" plan, a xenophobic general could easily take advantage of that to lock up all of the fire- and waterbenders (and then go after their relatives for being potential traitors). A general who wasn't
raised in Zaofu could even have a backstory reason for feeling that way (unlike Kuvira, who has absolutely no reason to hate fire- or waterbenders given that she worked with at least one as a Zaofu guard).