A Tennessee Republican who voted to abolish homeless encampments on Wednesday referenced Adolf Hitler’s life story in a bid to demonstrate how homeless people can lead “productive lives.”
The bizarre comment came during a state Senate debate this week when Republican Senator Frank Niceley threw his support behind a measure that would increase penalties for unauthorized camping on state-owned property. To make his point, Niceley provided his colleagues with what he called a “little history lesson.”
“In 1910 Hitler decided to live on the streets for a while,” Niceley said. “So for two years Hitler lived on the streets and practiced his eloquence and his body language and how to connect with the masses. And then went on to lead a life that put him in the history books. .”
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“So [for] a lot of these people, it’s not a dead end,” he continued. “They can get out of these homeless camps and have a productive life, or in Hitler’s case, a very unproductive life. .”
Hitler went through a period of homelessness as a struggling artist in his early twenties, living in an inn in Vienna from 1910 to 1913. Later, the German dictator attempted to destroy all evidence of his time without housing, calling it “the hardest and toughest”. saddest period of his life.
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Tennessee’s bill, which passed 22 to 10, makes it a class “C” misdemeanor to camp along freeways and exit ramps. The first offense carries a fine, and subsequent offenses are punishable by 20 to 40 hours of community service.
This isn’t the first time Niceley has made headlines, as Insider noted. In 2009, the Tennessee Republican signed a petition to compel then-President Obama to produce his birth certificate to prove he was not born in Kenya. And in 2018, Niceley claimed that carbon dioxide is “not a pollutant, it’s just as natural as oxygen.”
Learn more about the Tennessee Republicans:
Tennessee Republicans push to abolish age limit for heterosexual marriages amid outrage from ‘caregivers’
Marsha Blackburn mocked on Twitter for claiming ‘Tennessees want a wall on our southern border’
Tennessee’s Child Marriage Bill Has Another Goal: Eviscerate Same-Sex Marriage