Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Travels to Jerusalem to Sign ‘Hate Speech’ Law Making Free Speech a Felony
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis flew to a foreign country on Thursday to sign an anti-hate speech law that makes speech deemed “harassment” or “intimidation” a felony punishable by 5 years in prison.
DeSantis signed HB 269 in Jerusalem, and it is being touted as a law to combat anti-Semitism by its proponents.
Journalist Laura Loomer, a Jewish Zionist, rejects the rationale that this law is needed to defeat anti-Semitism in Florida. Loomer categorizes it as one of the most Draconian, anti-free speech measures she has seen in her lifetime.
HB 269 is one of the most DRACONIAN anti-free speech bills I have ever seen in my life.
I have been reporting on this since it was first proposed. And when I did a video yesterday exposing how anti-Free speech it is, the bill co-sponsor @VoteRandyFine BLOCKED me on Twitter. pic.twitter.com/6jWyT4E7uj
— Laura Loomer (@LauraLoomer) April 27, 2023
The measure makes it an explicit felony hate crime to distribute literature in a door-to-door manner if that literature is arbitrarily deemed to be harassment or intimidation by its recepient.
Relevant language from the law can be seen here:
“784.0493 Harassment or intimidation based on religious or ethnic heritage.—
(1) As used in this section, the terms “credible threat” and “harass” have the same meaning as in s. 784.048(1).
(2) A person may not willfully and maliciously harass or intimidate another person based on the person’s wearing or displaying of any indicia relating to any religious or ethnic heritage.
(3) A person who violates subsection (2) commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(4) A person who violates subsection (2), and in the course of committing the violation makes a credible threat to the person who is the subject of the harassment or intimidation, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(5) A violation of this section is considered a hate crime for purposes of the reporting requirements of s. 877.19.”
Political commentator Scott Greer noted that messages as innocuous as “Make America Great Again” or “It’s Okay to be White” could easily be considered felony hate speech under the provisions within this vaguely-written hate crime law.
Considering how liberal authorities view Make America Great Again and It’s Okay To Be White as forms of intimidation, the bill is ripe for abuse against free speech. Only people who depend on DeSantis to pay their bar tab wouldn’t see this. https://t.co/ZRhtoPMJ8h
— Scott Greer 6’2” IQ 187 (@ScottMGreer) April 27, 2023
Proponents of the measure have made it clear that the intent of the new law is to criminalize free speech.
“If you go on private property, which is what we’re seeing, and drop off hateful literature targeting someone for their religion, it’s a felony. If you get up in somebody’s face with a bullhorn and start screaming anti-Semitic remarks to them, it’s felony stalking. So we’re really looking forward to this,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said.
Chitwood also made it clear that this law is designed as an attack against President Trump, implying that his supporters are members of hate groups, a talking point popularized by far-left thought control organizations like the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“You cannot be coddling and cozying up to these far extreme groups that want to destroy America,” Chitwood said in a message to President Trump.
Gab founder Andrew Torba believes that support of HB 269 and going out of his way to sign the measure in a foreign nation shows that DeSantis is not an America First leader.
“The fact that Governor DeSantis flew to a foreign country to sign both of these bills is absurd. Florida is a state in the United States, and its laws should be signed within the state’s borders. The reality that Gov. DeSantis chose to sign these bills in Israel, a foreign country, raises serious questions about his priorities and commitment to upholding the Constitution for the citizens of the United States and his state of Florida,” Torba said.
“We must be willing to engage in open dialogue with those who hold different views, and to stand up for our rights even when it is uncomfortable or unpopular to do so,” he added.
DeSantis is not America First, and he is an enemy of the 1st Amendment. He has become the most dangerous RINO in the country as the globalist establishment coalesces around him in a desperate attempt to stop Trump from being the Republican presidential nominee in 2024.