In case you didn’t know, a violent group of Nazis demonstrated in my hometown of Orlando this weekend. They screamed antisemitic rants against Jews, Blacks, and Hispanics, waved swastikas, and even assaulted a driver during an argument. It was a shocking display for this diverse town and was widely reported all over Florida as well as in national publications like Newsweek:
Twitter users began posting videos of the neo-Nazi rally after they passed by on Saturday. Daily Kos reported that the anti-Semitic and racist event took place about five to 10 minutes south of the University of Central Florida, within the Alafaya and Waterford Lakes region of the Orlando metro area.
In addition, the Nazis protested at several overpasses on I-4 toward Disney, with Nazi flags and a large “Let’s Go Brandon” sign with swastikas. Another one said, “Vax the Jews.” This protest followed another one in Mount Dora earlier. The fact is that antisemitic incidents in Florida rose by 40% since 2020. The undeniable rise of antisemitic demonstrations in Florida even got Sen. Rick Scott’s attention, and he condemned them in a tweet. Democrats, including the candidates for governor and senator, strongly condemned the Nazis. However, the two incumbents they are running against, Ron DeSantis and Marco Rubio, have remained silent. Christina Pushaw, Ron DeSantis’ infamous spokesperson, did have something to say. Maybe she should have kept her mouth shut.
First, here’s footage of the Nazis in O-town. This tweet is from an activist who lost his daughter in a Florida school shooting, and he just had a run-in with Christina Pushaw two weeks ago. As you’ll later see, Pushaw has a bit of a history with antisemitic statements.
Here are the Nazis on the overpass on I-4 going to Disney:
DeSantis didn’t make a statement about any of this, of course, despite it getting national attention. Yet his spokesperson did. All it would have required is Pushaw condemning the antisemitism, or the hate, or the vile behavior of the Nazis. Instead, she went this way:
The reaction from the DeSantis office? To question whether they were even Nazis. If the violence or swastikas didn’t give it away, the fact that they were taunting every ethnic group should have been a clue. The misspellings are also a dead giveaway. (“Brandon” has a “d.”)
Her claim that Democratic staffers in Charlottesville dressed up as Nazis has already been debunked as a lie. I guess Nazis are never real. It’s simply amazing that right-wing terrorists can do all sorts of bad things and blame it on Democrats. You can go to her Twitter feed and see if there is any condemnation at all for the Nazis this weekend, but you’ll find plenty for Democrats and others who are upset about it.
The sad fact is that Florida has the second-highest number of hate groups in America, and that number is growing fast. I wonder why?
She later replaced that tweet with one that says DeSantis “always” condemns antisemitism. Well, except this time … Or just last week in Texas, with the synagogue hostage crisis:
As I mentioned, Pushaw has already been in hot water with antisemitic remarks. Last year she went on a bizarre conspiratorial Twitter tangent about the Rothschilds. The Rothschilds, like George Soros, are often the subject of antisemitic conspiracy theories. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene accused them of having Jewish space lasers to start forest fires.
All of this demonstrates why the hell we should not be banning Holocaust books from school libraries. Sadly DeSantis not only believes in book bans but is pushing a bill to allow any parent to sue a school district that teaches history lessons that acknowledge racism exists.
His Democratic opponent, Nikki Fried, even compared DeSantis to Hitler because of his attempt to build his own “civilian military force” that he alone would control. This is on top of DeSantis’ attempt to create an Election Security Police force that no other state has.
It’s no wonder Nazis are loving Florida—DeSantis is turning it into a white supremacist paradise.
A slew of bills has advanced attacking everything from diversity rights, abortion protections and free speech in schools, in addition to a proposal that would legally shield white people from feeling “discomfort” over the state’s racist past.
DeSantis already tried a law attacking the constitutional right to protest. He has launched a campaign of disinformation and has even made outrageous excuses for domestic terrorists. The truth is, Nazis are feeling emboldened because they feel DeSantis is one of them. They love him, and he knows it.
I always thought that when people told me they were going to “make America great again,” it would involve less swastikas. Every day here, I’m proven wrong.
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