Joy Reid and guests call DeSantis the new ‘George McGovern,’ rail against anti-riot laws

MSNBC host Joy Reid and guests ripped Ron DeSantis and the Republican Party in general for passing voter integrity and anti-riot laws, comparing the popular Florida governor to white supremacist Alabama Gov. George Wallace.

An angry Reid began the segment claiming that, in response to nearly a year’s worth of protests, riots, damage, and killings following George Floyd’s death by police in Minneapolis in May 2020, Republican-controlled state legislatures are adopting “punitive new measures” she said were designed to eliminate protests and “take away” citizens’ “First Amendment rights.”

Reid went on to falsely claim they were “anti-protest bills,” adding that 80 such measures have been introduced in 34 states and that DeSantis’ signature on a recent bill was tantamount to legalizing the murder of protesters.

She went on to say that “the fierce guardians of the Second Amendment are taking aim at the First” with bills to “legislate away your First Amendment right to protest” as Republicans try to win elections.

After Florida State Rep. Anna Eskamani (D) criticized the new law, Reid brushed over the estimated $2 billion in damage around the country caused by riots last year to bring in MSNBC contributor and Black Lives Matter activist Brittany Packnett Cunningham to claim that DeSantis and Republicans were targeting BLM specifically.

“It feels so George Wallace that I’m shocked George Wallace didn’t actually think of it back when he was governor of Alabama,” Reid said.

Cunningham picked up on Reid’s theme and added that the law is “straight out of the Jim Crow textbook.”

“When black people got more free, there were new laws created to make us less free,” she said, while failing to mention most of those were enacted in the Deep South at a time when Democrats controlled those states.

The contributor went on to accuse DeSantis and his supporters as being adherents to “white supremacy,” adding they are allegedly “scared to death of us, and [they] absolutely should be.”

“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,” she continued.

Reid responded by accusing DeSantis again, saying he “appears to really want to reenact the entire George Wallace history” and that “he wants to be the modern-day George Wallace.” As such, she said, he would need to continue “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.”

She went on to claim moments later that a similar law in Kentucky would “criminalize what those witnesses did in the George Floyd trial.”

Towards the end of the segment, Cunningham appeared to complain that Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse, who is accused of murdering two protesters and wounding a third, was not killed by police afterward — though video of the incident posted online the night of the shooting shows Rittenhouse attempting to surrender to police, who ignore him.

“[L]et’s be clear and he was taken alive. He and his AR-15 are doing just fine right now, while Ma’Khia Bryant is dead,” said Cunningham, a reference to the black knife-wielding 16-year-old who was shot and killed by a white Columbus, Ohio police officer on Tuesday a split second before she stabbed another young black teen.

“Look, the broad network of individuals and organizations that are a part of this racial justice movement are disciplined, organized and thoughtful. We know that white supremacy, to paraphrase Rick James, is a hell of a drug and once you get high on it once, you keep wanting to attach yourself to it. So, we understand what we’re working against here,” she added.

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Jon Dougherty

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