MSNBC’s Joy Reid: Gov. DeSantis Is the ‘Modern-Day George Wallace’

MSNBC host Joy Reid said Thursday on her show “The ReidOut” that Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) was the “modern-day” version of segregationist Gov. George Wallace (D-AL) for signing the state’s new anti-rioting law.

Reid said, “Republican state legislatures across the country are responding to the demonstrations over George Floyd’s murder with punitive new measures intended to discourage protests altogether. In the 2021 legislative session, lawmakers in 34 states have introduced more than 80 anti-protest bills. The vast majority of them drafted by Republicans. So far, four Republican governors have signed the measures into law, including in the state of Florida. If it wasn’t already clear that this is a direct response to the Black Lives Matter protests, governor Ron DeSantis actually cited the Derek Chauvin trial when he enacted what he is calling an anti-rioting law.”

She continued, “As NPR reports, it creates a new crime called mob intimidation. It requires anyone arrested at a protest be denied bail until their first court appearance, likely making for overnight jail stays. In other words, it would punish anyone at a peaceful protest that might be swept up alongside bad actors. Unbelievably, that law grants civil immunity to drivers who run cars through protesters if the protesters are blocking roads.”

She added, “This is directed at Black Lives Matter. It feels so George Wallace that I’m shocked that George Wallace didn’t actually think of it back when he was governor of Alabama.”

MSNBC contributor and activist Brittany Packnett Cunningham said, “Oh, this is straight out of the Jim Crow textbook. Let’s contextualize Jim Crow, shall we? When Black people got more free, there were new laws created to make us less free. This is exactly what is happening right now. What this actually shows me, Joy, is that white supremacy is scared to death of us, and it absolutely should be. This is what you do when you cannot win fair and square. You suppress votes, and you suppress voice. So, we have to pay attention here because the GOP plays the long game, and they play the expansive game. They plan far in advance. They gerrymander states so that they can control statehouses, and then they use all of that power to maintain their power and suppress us from multiple angles. So, then they make it illegal to engage in the two most democratic practices you have got in this country, and they make sure to target Black folks when they do it. That way, among other things, you can leverage the police that you have militarized to protect your systems and to continue to terrorize us. So, it’s our job to keep them on the ropes because this is what desperation looks like, and I want them to stay desperate. They know how powerful we are. That’s why we’re seeing this.”

Reid said, “The racist Miami sheriff who coined the term when the looting starts, the shooting starts, was from South Florida. Donald Trump then turns around and quotes him. Ron DeSantis appears to really want to reenact the entire George Wallace history. I guess he wants to be the modern-day George Wallace because he is enacting a slew of laws that essentially try to make it illegal to protest in the state of Florida, illegal to touch their precious Confederate statues from the losing side of the Civil War, right? But then also — but you also can’t vote. This is Jim Crow in your state.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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