Water is wet, fire is hot, sugar is sweet, the sky is blue and…
Florida has a Nazi problem.
Gov. Ron DeSantis will never admit to this simple truth, of course. He’ll dismiss the notion as “woke” gobbledygook, despite the fact that, even after the racist mass shooting in Jacksonville, he can’t seem to stop white supremacists from marching outside of Disney World and staging demonstrations on his behalf. Not that Nazis weren’t staging protests in the Sun Shine state long before one of their own targetted and killed Black people at that Dollar General store. It’s almost as if the state that hates Black history, Black inclusion, Black congressional districts, Black voters and Black Lives Matter is perceived as inviting and empowering to white supremacists who hate everything but white supremacy.
Anyway, on Tuesday, a Florida man was arrested for hanging a banner with swastikas and a “white power” flag on a highway overpass in Orlando.
According to the Associated Press, the unidentified Nazi enthusiast from Cape Canaveral who is reportedly part of a racist and antisemitic extremist group, per the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, hung the banner over the overpass that crossed Interstate 4 back in June. Months later, he’s been booked into the Brevard County Jail on a charge of criminal mischief for violating the state’s new law that makes it a crime to display images onto a structure without permission. In other words, he wasn’t arrested for being a loud and proud bigot and putting his hatred on full public display, but because hanging any banner publicly—even one with a positive, politically neutral and completely non-controversial message—is now illegal in Florida.
Now, to be fair, according to AP, the new law was enacted earlier this year in response to the distribution of antisemitic literature and the projection of racist and antisemitic words on buildings. But even if that’s the case, it shows that Florida had a public Nazi display problem and chose to respond to it by deciding no one could display any message without governmental consent. It’s almost as if Florida legislators are so dedicated to not calling racism and bigotry exactly what they are that even when it’s this explicit, the law needs to be “race neutral.”
Anything else would simply be too “woke.”
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