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Two Florida Senate bills take aim at white nationalism

The proposed resolutions are filed for consideration during the 2020 legislative session, which will start in January.
Neo-Nazis, alt-Right, and white supremacists march the night before the "Unite the Right" rally, on Friday, Aug. 11, 2017 through the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. (Zach D Roberts/NurPhoto/Zuma Press/TNS) 1245560 [MICHAEL NIGRO/PACIFIC PRESS  |  TNS]
Neo-Nazis, alt-Right, and white supremacists march the night before the "Unite the Right" rally, on Friday, Aug. 11, 2017 through the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. (Zach D Roberts/NurPhoto/Zuma Press/TNS) 1245560 [MICHAEL NIGRO/PACIFIC PRESS | TNS]
Published Sep. 5, 2019

Senate Republicans and Democrats filed separate legislation Wednesday to condemn white nationalism and white supremacy after high-profile incidents such as a mass shooting at a Walmart store in Texas.

The proposed resolutions are filed for consideration during the 2020 legislative session, which will start in January.

While the resolutions both say white nationalism and white supremacy contradict the “values” of the people of Florida, they differ in length and detail.

One of the proposals (SR 222), filed by Sen. Wilton Simpson, a Trilby Republican who is slated to become Senate president in November 2020, is a one-page resolution that says, in part, “the Florida Senate rejects white nationalism and white supremacy as hateful, dangerous, and morally corrupt and affirms that such philosophies are contradictory to the values that define the people of Florida.”

Senate Rules Chairwoman Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers, and Senate Appropriations Chairman Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, have signed on as co-introducers of Simpson’s proposal. Meanwhile, Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez, D-Miami, proposed a four-page resolution (SR 214) that goes into more detail, quoting Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr. and Ronald Reagan and citing three mass shootings, including the Texas massacre last month.

Rodriguez’s proposal says, in part, that “white nationalism and white supremacy are rejected and condemned as hateful expressions of intolerance which contradict the values that define the people of Florida and the United States.”

Sen. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, has joined Rodriguez as a co-introducer of the resolution.

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