Sheila Jackson-Lee (D) has been the longtime punching bag of Houston-area right-wingers, but that didn’t stop her from introducing HR 61, also known as the Leading Against White Supremacy Act of 2023; the bill addresses the fact that white supremacy has been the biggest domestic terror threat in the US. Jackson-Lee, the US House representative for Texas’s 18th district, has previously introduced a very similar bill last summer.
It would punish people who partake in a “conspiracy to engage in white supremacist hate crimes.” And it defines a conspiracy as crimes involving two or more people who “engaged in the planning, development, preparation, or perpetration of a white supremacy inspired hate crime,” or at least one of whom who did so and at least one other person who essentially published propaganda that might have evoked that criminal behavior.
In essence, someone who knowingly engages in white supremacist violence, or distributes white supremacist propaganda to violent people with the intent to spur them to commit violent crime, would be criminally liable under this law.
Not surprisingly, many conservatives are staunchly opposed to Jackson-Lee’s bill. Tucker Carlson, a popular paleoconservative, has accused Jackson-Lee of “blood libel” towards white people.
Sheila Jackson Lee doesn't want to protect a country she despises from national security threats. Why would she want to do that? No, that's not the point. What she's doing here, every day, is leveling a racial attack, a blood libel against an entire group of Americans while simultaneously pretending to be the victim of attacks from that same group. Stop hitting me, she howls, as she punches you in the face.
It's such a common tactic at this point, used constantly by Al Sharpton, by the ADL, by so many others, that you may not even notice it anymore. But it's still disgusting, it's still immoral, it's still divisive. Here's Joe Biden doing it.
Speaking of blood libel -- because that's what it is -- protesting the 2020 election results is the same as slavery, as the KKK, it's the same as murdering Martin Luther King. It's all white supremacy, declares Joe Biden, without defining the term.
Lauren Boebert (R), the far-right firebrand representing Colorado’s 3rd District in the US House, has claimed that the bill attacks free speech.
Furthermore, Jackson-Lee addressed the amount of hate materials spotted within the Houston area, and she also counters the misinformation that the bill violates the First Amendment.
Jackson Lee represents the 18th District in Houston, which is a predominantly minority district. She said within the past week, hate materials have been found within Houston neighborhoods — including her district.
"We have found hateful bags, hateful information in Mission Bend, we've found it in Northwest Houston, anti-Semitic materials – we've found hateful materials in Montrose and the Heights – my district," she said.
Jackson Lee said there's been a lot of misinformation about her bill that could provoke people to anger. She said her bill doesn't violate the first amendment.
"It amends the hate crime bill and it has race, ethnicity, and religion, and it has white supremacy motivated crimes – that is distinctive from speech," she said. " I can read what the first amendment says – you have the right to association, you have the right to freedom of religion, speech...it is protected."
The fact that several mainstream Republicans are more alarmed by the fight against white supremacy than the existence of groups like the Proud Boys says it all.