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Texas rep's anti-white supremacy bill has conservatives outraged

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee wants a law to prevent white supremacy- inspired hate crimes. Fox News' Tucker Carlson threw a fit over it.


Last week, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, reintroduced proposed legislation that would punish white supremacists whose hateful rhetoric inspires violence. 

And members of the conservative movement — to which many violent white supremacists belong and openly associate — are predictably outraged. 

The Leading Against White Supremacy Act is Jackson Lee's fitting response to top law enforcement officials testifying in 2021 that white supremacists pose the biggest threat to U.S. national security. 

Jackson Lee’s proposed bill, which she also introduced last summer, would "expand the scope” of hate crimes to include people whose white supremacist rhetoric can be directly linked to acts of violence. It would punish people who partake in a “conspiracy to engage in white supremacist hate crimes.” And it defines a conspiracy as crimes involving two or more people who “engaged in the planning, development, preparation, or perpetration of a white supremacy inspired hate crime,” or at least one of whom who did so and at least one other person who essentially published propaganda that might have evoked that criminal behavior. 

In essence, someone who knowingly engages in white supremacist violence, or distributes white supremacist propaganda to violent people with the intent to spur them to commit violent crime, would be criminally liable under this law. 

One might think a party purportedly opposed to violent crime would be all for this bill. Of course, we know that’s not the case.

In fact, some conservatives are openly decrying it, including — surprise, surprise — Tucker Carlson, a Fox News host who has pushed white nationalist conspiracy theories on air. During a segment on Tuesday, Carlson claimed Lee has spent her decadeslong career “shrieking about white racism,” before proceeding to show a reel of her speaking quite calmly (and factually) about the realities of racism in America. 

Carlson went on to accuse Jackson Lee and other Democrats who oppose white supremacy of “blood libel,” a phrase widely acknowledged for its antisemitic connotation.

The Anti-Defamation League, which Carlson maligned in his shrill diatribe, defines “blood libel” as “a centuries-old false allegation that Jews murder Christians — especially Christian children — to use their blood for ritual purposes, such as an ingredient in the baking of Passover matzah (unleavened bread).”

On Thursday night’s episode of "The ReidOut," Jackson Lee set the record straight on what her bill does, what it doesn’t do, and noted the irony in Carlson using an antisemitic term to denounce an anti-white supremacy bill. 

“This does not criminalize speech,” Jackson Lee said, disputing conservative claims of oppression. “It is a crime bill,” adding that intent and proof of actual violence are both needed in order for anyone to be tried under her statute.

The bill has virtually no chance of passing in the Republican-controlled House. Nonetheless, it’s revealing that the hit dogs in the GOP are hollering so loud about a law meant to stop violent white supremacists.