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MSNBC blogger endorses UN condemnation of DeSantis ‘riot’ bill: Florida is now a ‘global embarrassment’

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MSNBC blogger “The ReidOut” Ja’han Jones has accused Governor Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., of turning Florida into an “international embarrassment” after a United Nations racial justice committee flagged the legislation riot head of state for allegedly restricting free speech.

Jones’ Wednesday blog, titled “DeSantis has officially turned Florida into a global embarrassment,” began with the statement, “It’s official: Ron DeSantis has literally turned Florida into an international embarrassment.”

Explaining that a UN panel does not approve of DeSantis’ actions, Jones wrote: “The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination released a report on Tuesday examining discrimination across the world that has checked the name of Florida House Bill 1, an anti-protest bill pushed by DeSantis, the state’s Republican governor.”

Florida House Bill 1, which was signed into law in April 2021, has been called DeSantis’ “riot” bill. As Fox Digital reported at the time, the bill “increases penalties for crimes committed during riots and aims to ‘combat public disorder’.”

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After the United Nations criticized Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “riot” bill, MSNBC blogger Ja’han Jones called Florida an “international embarrassment.”
(AP Photo/Marta Lavandier, File)

At a press conference regarding the signing of the legislation, DeSantis described the bill, “If you look at the breadth of this particular legislation, it’s riot and pro-law enforcement legislation. strongest law in the land. There’s just nothing close.”

Although, as Jones noted, the UN found the bill too extreme. The committee said it was “concerned by reports of an increase in state-level legislation and initiatives that unduly restrict the right to peaceful assembly in the wake of anti-racism protests in recent years. , such as the HB1 Combating Public Disorder Act in Florida”.

Viewing the UN warning as an opportunity to express his own hatred for the bill, Jones dismissed Republican fears about the riots that gave birth to the bill, saying “Republicans, seeking to hijack the national discourse of racism, singled out isolated incidents of violence in an effort to portray all anti-racism protesters as dangerous and to delegitimize their cause. »

Jones also claimed the bill is “a product of right-wing scaremongering.”

Explaining the bill in its own terms, Jones added: “The law authorizes punitive action against anyone who ‘deliberately participates in a violent public disturbance involving an assembly of three or more persons’. It is a bill that is dangerously , and deliberately, wide.”

He claimed: “As written, this means that an anarchist or anyone in disguise can show up at an anti-racism protest and intentionally cause harm or damage, potentially drawing peaceful protesters into a criminal investigation.”

A United Nations committee recently affirmed that it was "Concerned by reports of a growing number of state-level legislative measures and initiatives that unduly restrict the right to peaceful assembly in the wake of anti-racism protests in recent years, such as the HB1 Combating Public Disorder Act in Florida."

A United Nations committee recently said it was “concerned by reports of an increase in state-level legislative measures and initiatives that unduly restrict the right to peaceful assembly in the wake of protests against the racism in recent years, such as the HB1 Combating Public Disorder Act in Florida”.

The blogger pointed the finger at Florida civil rights activists who “raised the alarm about the law being used to silence and harass protesters” at the UN itself. “Ben Frazier, founder of the civil rights group Northside Coalition of Jacksonville, was asked to testify before the UN committee in Geneva earlier this month, ahead of Tuesday’s report,” Jones reported.

He also mentioned “several judges” who do not support the bill, including U.S. District Judge Mark Walker, who “blocked significant parts of the bill, including its expanded description of what constitutes a” riot,” on the grounds that they violated the First Amendment.”

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Jones quoted a retort from a DeSantis spokesperson to the UN committee, as reported by the Miami Herald. The spokesperson “said only Florida residents have ‘any influence on governance,'” Jones reported.

On Wednesday, MSNBC blogger Ja'han Jones wrote of the Republican-led UN assessment of Florida:

On Wednesday, MSNBC blogger Ja’han Jones wrote of the U.N.’s assessment of Republican-led Florida: “…the U.N. committee’s report is the latest sign that the world is taking notice of the Florida led by DeSantis and his oppressive ways. the world stage… just for all the wrong reasons.”
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Although Jones pushed back against this notion that DeSantis promotes the will of Florida residents, writing, “And DeSantis is the same guy who fought to overturn a voter-passed amendment that would have helped millions of felony to vote.” He added, “And he’s been pressuring state lawmakers to accept a racially discriminatory Congressional map proposed by his own office that will help him consolidate power in the state and potentially in the country.”

Jones concluded his blog by writing, “The UN committee report is the latest sign the world is taking notice of DeSantis-led Florida and his oppressive ways. He has put his state on the world stage…just for all the bad reasons.”

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