Tennessee legislature kills resolution condemning neo-Nazis as terrorists

Tennessee legislature kills resolution condemning neo-Nazis as terrorists
© Getty Images

A Tennessee state House committee on Wednesday refused to vote on a resolution to denounce neo-Nazism, white nationalism and the alt-right as terrorist organizations.

State Rep. John Ray Clemmons (D) sponsored the resolution which went beyond condemning the movement, without naming specific groups, using "terrorism" language. It also called on law enforcement to pursue the "criminal elements" within them “with the same fervor used to protect the United States from other manifestations of terrorism."

The resolution did not get a second motion to proceed with debate during a meeting of the House State Government Committee, which means it will not make it to a vote by the full legislature. It was introduced by the committee's sole Democrat and did not have support from the Republicans.

Clemmons told the Tennessean that he was in “utter disbelief” that the resolution did not even come to a vote. 

"I didn't think there was anything controversial about this resolution,” he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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 also points to 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 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, according to the Tennessean.