A Tennessee state House committee on Wednesday rejected a resolution offered by the committee’s only Democrat that would have denounced and opposed neo-Nazi and white nationalist movements as terrorist organizations.
State Rep. John Ray Clemmons (D) sponsored the resolution which called on law enforcement to pursue the “criminal elements” within these extremist groups “with the same fervor used to protect the United States from other manifestations of terrorism.”
Clemmons told the Tennessean that he was in “utter disbelief” that Republicans on the committee refused to let his resolution come to a vote.
“I didn’t think there was anything controversial about this resolution,” he said.
“We strongly denounce and oppose the totalitarian impulses, violent terrorism, xenophobic biases, and bigoted ideologies that are promoted by white nationalists and neo-Nazis,” the resolution reads.
“I would love to try to pass a resolution denouncing white nationalists and neo-Nazis, but if I can’t even get a second in a subcommittee, it evidences this Republican supermajority’s refusal to denounce these hate organizations, for what reason I cannot begin to imagine,” Clemmons added to the Tennessean.
The resolution identifies the alt-right as a reinvention of white nationalism, adding that “their present-day rhetoric and terrorism conjure painful memories of our nation’s past.”
“White nationalism and neo-Nazism are continuing to grow as menaces to societal order that seek to reignite social animosities, reverse improvements in race relations, divide the nation, and foment hatred, classism, anti-Semitism, and ethnic eradication,” the resolution reads.
The Hill notes that the proposal “comes after multiple white nationalist gatherings in Tennessee in recent weeks, including a “White Lives Matter” rally and a gathering of white nationalist group Identity Evropa.”