Bigotry Makes A Comeback Through Legislation
Florida, Tennessee, and Kentucky are going through state legislation to pass racist and anti-LGBTQ+ bills which is just par for the course given the states’ histories.
The South Shall Rise Again…
This time, though, it’ll be through legislation.
What a concept.
Unfortunately, this means passing laws at the state level, where a majority of Republican states face little opposition.
The policies are undeniably meant to target and suppress Black people and minorities and the LGBTQ+ community.
Southern states have long been the butt of jokes as they’re collectively the poster child for overt racism, Confederate flags, incest, poor education, and drugs.
So the bills each state has suggested and/or passed can only amplify that stereotype.
Taunting police could become a crime Kentucky
Although Kentucky never officially joined Florida and Tennessee in secession — there was a shadow government (who never overthrew the actual government) and others who sympathized with the Confederacy. And Kentucky overall had no shortage of bigotry and hatred; they were in the top 10 states when it came to lynching Black people.
So it was no surprise Republicans introduced a bill which, for all intents and purposes, would make it illegal for people to taunt the police.
The bill was filed by State Sen. Danny Carroll (R) last summer in response to protests and riots in Louisville after police killed Breonna Taylor, a Black woman, in her home last spring in a shootout with her boyfriend after they carried out a no-knock raid.
The arrest and holding of Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker; an initial refusal to indict the officers involved; and accusations of a cover up sparked local and national outrage leading to violent clashes between police and protesters in Louisville.
The legislation is supposed to be a misdemeanor for anyone who “accosts, insults, taunts, or challenges a law enforcement officer with offensive or derisive words, or by gestures or other physical contact, that would have a direct tendency to provoke a violent response.” Offenders would have faced up to 90 days in jail and fines, and the proposal also would have increased penalties for rioting. It would be a felony to resist an officer if a person is arrested in a riot and it anyone who is arrested would be held for 48 hours without bond.
Jecorey Arthur, a Louisville city council member from Louisville’s predominantly Black West End neighborhood, and State. Rep. Attica Scott criticized the bill on a local televised panel. Arthur said, “It’s silly because it’s outright unconstitutional, and it’s serious because it really sends a strong message, sends a statement that some of our law enforcement, some of the people across this Commonwealth care more about white feelings than Black killings.”
Democrats are in opposition, because it presents more overreach for the police.
The bill may have to remove that provision as it is in direct violation of the First Amendment. And there’s already laws in place such as barring people from using fighting words (not protected by the First Amendment).
An overzealous bill might ultimately fail to pass in the state House but the fact it passed the Republican-led state Senate is worrying.
Florida wants to protect children from trans athletes by resorting to pedophilia
In an attempt to prevent trans girls from playing in sports with girls who are biologically born a girl — Republicans in Florida passed a bill in which they claimed would protect the sanctity of female sports by preventing transgender athletes from participating.
HB 1475, or the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, passed the State House on Wednesday with a 77–40 vote.
The bill says, “A dispute regarding a student’s sex shall be resolved by the student’s school or institution by requesting that the student provide a health examination and consent form or other statement signed by the student’s personal health care provider which must verify the student’s biological sex”.
Not only is privacy a big concern for this bill but it also ignores science.
The bill also highlights the absolute ludicrous and maddening lengths conservatives will to go through to ensure that someone’s private parts are what they actually say it is. (Remember the bathroom controversy?)
Last year, Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill which required transgender students to compete in school sports according to their sex at birth.
This year, parents will be able to opt their kids out LGBTQ+lessons.
Under S.B. 1229, which was introduced by Senator Paul Rose (R — Tipton County) — School districts have 30 days to alert parents or guardians of upcoming instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity. Families can opt their students out without any penalties. The bill doesn’t apply teacher’s respond to a student’s questions or any lessons regarding a historic figure or group.
Supporters argue its necessary to give parents more rights to what their kids are learning while opponents argue that it’ll further alienate LGBTQ+ students.
Cathryn Oakley of the Human Rights Campaign said in response to the bill, “How do you try to make people afraid of a certain population? Well, talk about how scary they are in school or refuse to acknowledge that they exist in school.”
“It hurts everybody when LGBTQ people are excluded from those discussions.”
The context of the bill is also confusing because although teachers can teach about historical figures who are LGBTQ+ — it would have to be in a “necessary context” which promoted several lawmakers to ask about such context.
Most Republicans aren’t interested in pursuing the limelight which was possible thanks to campaign funding, propaganda, and conspiracies as they appealed to ignorance, racism, and devout Christians.
That era has (mostly) come to an end since former President Donald Trump lost to Joe Biden and rising GOP star Matt Gaetz fell sharply out favor of the party due to accusations of sex trafficking a minor.
So they’re back to basics: quietly lobbying and introducing bills that are regressive.