Florida lawmaker mocks neo-Nazi ‘losers’ at Disney World demonstration

Neo-Nazis hold demonstration near entrance to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, September 2nd, 2023. (YouTube)

Republican state legislator mocks neo-Nazis as “unemployed leeches living with their parents,” adds that Jews “don’t want to replace you.”

By Dion J. Pierre, The Algemeiner

A Florida state legislator on Sunday mocked neo-Nazi groups that waved swastika flags and saluted Adolf Hitler while demonstrating outside Disney World and in the nearby Orlando, Florida area the prior day, warning them that the so-called “Sunshine State” has the “harshest” laws in the US targeting antisemitism.

“I have news for the Nazi losers in Orlando: Jews don’t want to replace you. Why would we want to be 30-something unemployed leeches living at home with our parents,” Rep. Randy Fine (R) said on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

“And for the record, [Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis] signed the harshest bill in America to hold these Nazis accountable when they cross the line from speech to conduct, so anyone who thinks he, I, or any of my [Florida Republican House Majority] colleagues welcome these idiots are almost as dumb as they are.”

Over the weekend, several neo-Nazi groups carried racist and antisemitic flags and signs in the Orlando area.

The groups included the Order of the Black Sun, Aryan Freedom Network, and 14 First, among others, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Fine, who has served in the Florida House of Representatives since 2016, told The Algemeiner in March about state lawmakers’ efforts to pass what he described as “the strongest antisemitism bill in the United States,” adding that neo-Nazis “are not welcome” in Florida.

In April, DeSanis signed the bill into law during a trip to Israel. Described as a counter to “public nuisances,” the measure bans certain forms of littering, harassment, or intimidation based on religious heritage, the projection of images onto buildings without the owner’s permission, and the malicious disruption of a school or religious assembly. Neo-Nazis and other hate groups use many of these “nuisance” tactics, such as littering areas with antisemitic leaflets.

The law classifies such conduct as a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, probation, and a $5,000 fine.

The ADL condemned Saturday’s demonstrations, urging authorities to do the same and calling for accountability.

“We are deeply outraged by the two extremist demonstrations in the Orlando area,” ADL Florida Regional Director Sarah Emmons said in a statement. “This type of hateful activity has no place in our community. We call on public officials at the federal, state, and local levels to stand up and clearly denounce this hateful activity. We cannot allow for hate and extremist beliefs to become normalized in our society.”

The incidents over the weekend came about a week after a gunman murdered three people in Jacksonville, another Florida city located about 160 miles north of Disney World, with a weapon that according to local law enforcement had swastikas on it. Police identified the perpetrator as a 21-year-old white male who ended up shooting and killing himself.

The issue of antisemitism in Florida, a state home to a substantial Jewish community, has reached concerning levels, the ADL’s Center on Extremism said in a report published last year. According to the report, antisemitic incidents in the state have increased 300% since 2012, and 80% of all hate crimes based on religion targeted Jews in 2020.

Last month, it was revealed that the Orthodox Jewish mayor of Surfside, Florida, was receiving FBI protection following a death threat sent to him by an unknown person claiming to be a neo-Nazi.

The spread of conspiracy theories and vast networks of white nationalist extremist groups are driving the trend, according to the ADL.

Florida is hardly alone in having its share of neo-Nazi activity in the US. In July, for example, the US Justice Department announced that a drug-dealing neo-Nazi from Anchorage, Alaska, will serve 18 months in prison for being convicted of property crimes motivated by antisemitism and white supremacy.

On the US East Coast, meanwhile, a New Jersey teenager pleaded guilty the same month to communicating a threat to attack synagogues.

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