TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A resolution condemning white supremacy and white nationalism was unanimously approved by a Florida Senate committee on Wednesday.
The resolution cites a rise in hate crimes and recent violent events. It also quotes Martin Luther King, Jr., and Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan in calling for condemnation of those beliefs.
“White nationalism and white supremacy are rejected and condemned as hateful expressions of intolerance which contradict the values that define the people of Florida and the United States,” the resolution reads.
Democratic Sen. Shevrin Jones told the Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee that his resolution is an effort to unite people against hate groups.
“Right now within our country, we know that it’s a sad reality that these polarized issues that we deal with on a daily basis have divided us,” he said. “The only way we can get to where we’re trying to go is through unity.”
While supporting Jones, Republican Sen. Kelli Stargel said hate of all kinds is rising in the nation.
“We all recognize that white supremacy is awful,” Stargel said. “As a country, everyone is hating on everyone, and I hate that about where we are right now … We all need to stop hating.”
She said the discussion needs to continue beyond condemning white supremacists.
“Hopefully as we move forward, we can now work on things that bring us all together,” Stargel said. “We need to all just need to come with a kinder, nicer, loving approach. This is not what America is; this is not who we are.”
Resolutions are messages sent by legislative chambers and do not become law. They don’t have to be approved by the governor.
Jones’s resolution has two more committee stops before being considered by the full Senate.