Over the weekend, Neo Nazi’s decided to visit Orlando. They weren’t there to spend the day riding the teacups at the home of antisemitism, Disney World. Instead, they were there to hang their swastikas and other signs of hate on overpasses and gather as a group to protest. While many politicians were nearly tripping over themselves to condemn the event, Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) was absent from the outcry.
From his perspective, he didn’t need to make an immediate outcry as his opposition should be expected. During a press conference in West Palm Beach Monday afternoon, he spoke on the topic. “So what I’m going to say is these people, these Democrats who are trying to use this as some type of political issue to try to smear me as if I had something to with do that, we’re not playing their game.”
Given the small group of about 20 protestors who showed up near the UCF shopping area on Saturday, and on the overpass near I-4 and it was a rather small and unimposing showcase. As Gov. DeSantis went on to declare that law enforcement would be handling them, he wasn’t all that worried about them or their message. While there was at least one altercation at the shopping center, they largely just waved their flags while shouting profanities and slurs at cars.
This type of hatred is disgusting and something that Gov. DeSantis nor any politician should feel a need to rush and condemn. The hatred and disgust at that kind of event is something people only should need to speak up in support of. Their silence should say enough, but instead, in 2022 it says the exact opposite. The idea of silence is compliance has become more than just a little catchphrase, but it is a methodology for some people. They stand behind the idea that if you are not actively going out and campaigning against hate you are in support of it.
When discussing the topic, Gov. DeSantis explained why he suddenly had to speak up and defend himself. “And so they try to play games to try to politicize, why would they do that? Why would they want to elevate a half dozen malcontents and try to make this an issue for political gain? Well, because they want to distract from the failure that we’ve seen with Biden, and they’re all joined at the hip, all these policies, they all support in Florida 100%.” The policies in Florida have been working beautifully for the state. Meanwhile, those who have been chasing Biden’s tale have been seeing massive failure in their states.
The Orange County Sherriff was the jurisdiction for both areas of demonstration. While they made no arrests when they responded near UCF, they promised a thorough investigation into the incidents and to ensure any necessary charges will be filed. The Florida Highway Patrol was the agency responding to the I-4 overpass demonstration where they were able to get them to disband immediately.
With an incident like this, the Governor and other state leaders had to look upon things correctly. Given the response by the Governor’s Secretary invoking doubt about them really being Nazis and letting the police conduct a thorough investigation before making conclusions, it sparked a firestorm. While her tweet was deleted, the damage was done. Thus forcing Gov. DeSantis’ hand into saying something.
A protest of this small size making this kind of an impact is surprising. With the Nationalist Socialist Movement announcing beforehand that they had plans to be in Orlando that day, it seems clear that they take responsibility. This decades-old neo-Nazi outfit has been one of the few to remain in the public eye of America.