DeSantis Accused Of Racism For Crazy Reason

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

A conflict has erupted over proposed legislation in Florida that would bar Chinese nationals from owning land or real estate in the state unless they are also U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

The priority bill has the support of Governor Ron DeSantis, Republicans, and a few Democratic Lawmakers, who say it is necessary to ensure national security.

But critics say it’s discriminatory and could violate the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

Polls show DeSantis is the second most popular choice among Republican voters for the party’s 2024 Presidential nominee, behind former President Donald Trump, although he has not yet officially entered.

Therefore, any lawsuit involving DeSantis could have national political ramifications, either weakening the Florida Republican or strengthening his “anti-woke” credentials.

The Florida House this week passed the bill, titled “SB 264: Interest of Foreign Countries,” by a vote of 95-17 and will return to the Senate, which voted unanimously in favor of the previous version.

The bill also prohibits Russian, North Korean, Iranian, Cuban, Venezuelan, and Syrian citizens from buying land within a mile of a military base or critical infrastructure, although the statewide ban only applies to Chinese citizens.

The bill comes as Congress has raised concerns about China’s growing ownership of U.S. farmland, including farmland for a North Dakota Air Force base purchased in 2022.

In response to this concern, legislation that limits purchasing farmland from countries deemed hostile to the United States has been introduced at a national and state level.

But the bill proposed in Florida has sparked a backlash, with opponents saying it could violate the 1968 Fair Housing Act.

This piece of legislation from the civil rights era prohibits discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, or sex in the sale of housing.

On Saturday (May 6), dozens of Chinese Americans protested the bill in front of the Florida capitol with signs reading “Equality for All” and “No Anti-Asian Bill.”