Truth Wins Out:

DeSantis is Quick to Invoke George Soros, While Slow to Condemn Nazis

DELRAY BEACH, FL- Truth Wins Out called on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to resign today, for stoking blatant Anti-Semitism at a time when Florida has seen a disproportionate rise in the number of attacks against the Jewish Community. In his latest action, DeSantis brazenly invoked the anti-Semitic trope of Jewish philanthropist “George Soros” to stir up his base in anticipation of a presidential run.   

“Ron DeSantis is virtually silent when it comes to condemning a rise in Nazi activity in Florida but quite vocal in saying the anti-Jewish code word ‘George Soros’”, said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “We all know what DeSantis is doing and the meaning of his ill-chosen words. Given his epic failure to protect the Jewish Community and inability to condemn actual Nazis, Governor DeSantis is derelict in duty and must resign.”

Commenting on the New York indictment of former President, and Florida resident, Donald Trump, DeSantis Tweeted:

The Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney has consistently bent the law to downgrade felonies and to excuse criminal misconduct. Yet, now he is stretching the law to target a political opponent. Florida will not assist in an extradition request given the questionable circumstances at issue with this Soros-backed Manhattan prosecutor and his political agenda.

The Washington Post succinctly explains why right-wing extremists like DeSantis often invoke the name George Soros:

Of course, there’s also the other reason that Soros is often a target: He’s Jewish. The Anti-Defamation League has documented ways in which anti-Soros rhetoric often intermingles with antisemitism and centuries-old antisemitic tropes; e.g., a powerful Jewish person seeking to reshape society. Fittingly, given that subtext, pejorative associations with Soros need not be direct. If you have support from Soros two steps removed, like Bragg or Warren (in theory), you are “Soros-backed” and therefore suspect.  

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ use of a blatantly Antisemitic trope can’t be considered an innocent mistake occurring in a vacuum. On the governor’s broken watch, attacks against Jews have skyrocketed. He has presided over an alarming surge that “produced the highest annual number of antisemitic incidents ever recorded in Florida”, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents. The ADL found anti-Semitic incidents were “worse in Florida than in the U.S. overall, the third year in a row that the state’s increase outpaced the national increase.”  

Thanks to DeSantis’ inaction, actual Nazis are running wild across the state. They are harassing and intimidating residents, staging demonstrations and distributing hate literature in peaceful neighborhoods. The Sun-Sentinel described anti-Semitic incidents in DeSantistan as, “more bold, more egregious and more attention-grabbing.”

In January 2022, a group of white supremacists marched in Orlando. They yelled anti-Semitic slurs and screamed “White power!”, while waving an anti-Biden banner. DeSantis’s press secretary, Christina Pushaw, tweeted about the Nazi march, “Do we even know they’re Nazis?” (Um, Christina, the swastikas were a pretty good indication)  

Instead of making it clear that Nazis have no place in Florida, DeSantis played the victim and whined, “So what I’m going to say is these people, these Democrats who are trying to use this as some type of political issue to try to smear me as if I had something to do with that, we’re not playing their game.”

Apparently, the Nazis noticed DeSantis’ friendly demeanor and took it as an invitation to brazenly wave Hitler flags outside the entrance to Walt Disney World. After that, the Nazi’s moved onto Jacksonville, where they projected anti-Semitic messages onto a football stadium, such as “Kanye is right about the Jews.” DeSantis was watching the Georgia-Florida football game inside that very stadium. Yet it took him days to condemn antisemitism. What took him so long? Since when has condemning Nazis become controversial?”  

“Ron DeSantis put out the welcome mat and said hate has a home in Florida. We invite hate into the Sunshine State,” said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Delray Beach-based Truth Wins Out. “When the Nazis came our way, DeSantis ran away. We are now paying dearly for our governor’s corrosive cowardice.”

Truth Wins Out works to eliminate anti-LGBTQ prejudice and discrimination, as well as all forms of hate and bigotry. We fight against fascism and speak out against right wing extremism.

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