Even in these politically divided times, a resolution denouncing neo-Nazis sounds like the kind of legislation that should easily pass through a statehouse. Well, not if Republicans are in charge.
A resolution denouncing white supremacists and neo-Nazis died in 36 seconds after House Republicans blocked it from even to have it discussed in the Tennessee legislature, CNN reports.
The resolution, written by Tennessee Democratic state Rep. John Ray Clemmons, doesn’t name any particular group. It calls on law enforcement to go after Neo-Nazi and white supremacy hate groups with the same “fervor” as other forms of terrorism:
“We urge law enforcement to recognize these white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups as terrorist organizations and to pursue the criminal elements of these domestic terrorist organizations in the same manner and with the same fervor used to protect the United States from other manifestations of terrorism.”
As Rep. Clemmons started to talk about the bill, the sole Democrat on the five-member committee motioned to have it discussed. No one on the committee spoke up. The committee chair, Republican state Rep. Bill Sanderson, then gaveled the resolution dead. And with that, the committee moved on to the next item on its agenda.
Clemmons couldn’t understand how something so non-controversial couldn’t even get out of committee. “Why, I can’t begin to imagine,” he told CNN affiliate WZTV.
“What example does this set for children when their own state won’t denounce acts of violence by hate groups? We have blown a tremendous opportunity,” he said.