Florida: the Schwarze Sonnenschein Staat

Heinrich Himmler’s SSadopted the Teutonic runic Black Sun—Schwarze Sonne—as its favorite symbol. In May 2022, the neo-Nazi who massacred ten black people at a Buffalo supermarket wore the Black Sun on his body armor. On September 1, the would-be neo-Nazi assassin of Argentina’s Vice President, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, wore a Black Sun tattoo. And, in keeping with the theme, Florida’s far-right Governor Ron DeSantis has quickly turned the Sunshine State into the “Black Sunshine State,” in homage to the Nazi Schwarze Sonne.

DeSantis’s forced relocation of 50 asylum-seeking refugees from Venezuela to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts; his increasingly dictatorial action of suspending elected Democratic officeholders throughout the state, and his welcoming of neo-Nazi groups and seditionists are indeed what have turned Florida into the “Black Sunshine State.DeSantis, whose governing style is more like that of a Latin American fascist caudillo, has been in open rebellion against Washington on a number of issues beyond immigration policy, which is the sole domain of the federal government. They include policies on the pandemic, the environment, abortion rights, and the use of Covid relief funds for partisan political purposes, including funding the charter air transport of the Venezuelan refugees to Massachusetts.

But it is DeSantis’s transformation of Florida into a state that harbors a number of neo-Nazi and white nationalist groups, including those that have adopted the SS’s Black Sun as a favorite symbol, that has set off klaxons around the nation. The ADL recently published an alarming report on the rapid growth of white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups in Florida during DeSantis’s term as governor.

Added to the cauldron of far-right groups in Florida is the presence of Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago compound in Palm Beach, a magnet for dangerous insurrectionists and general troublemakers, and the transformation of Sarasota County, on the Gulf coast, into a center for Republican Party, Qanon, Turning Point USA, and election interference groups under the control of individuals like the disgraced former Trump national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who was recently elected by the county Republican Party as a poll watcher. Joining Flynn as a poll watcher is local Proud Boy leader James Hoel. Flynn and the Sarasota Proud Boys recently celebrated the election of their supporters to the Sarasota County School Board, an action that had the personal backing of DeSantis.

Today, in DeSantis’s Florida, neo-Nazis proudly march around with Nazi swastika flags and hate-filled placards. The ADL cited the appearance, over DeSantis’s term in office, of new hate groups in the state. They include White Lives Matter, Sunshine State Nationalists, NatSoc Florida (which uses a flag with the Black Sun symbol), and Florida Nationalists. Hate groups that had already existed in Florida, such as the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, have succeeded in increasing their political might, including the election of school board members backed by them. Other Proud Boys and Oath Keepers have run for political office in the state.

The Sunshine State Nationalists are in lock-step with DeSantis. They call themselves “Ron’s Holocaust Task Force” which aims “to free the state from Jewish rule from Miami, Dayton, Palm Beach County, and Boca Raton.” In July of this year, demonstrators from three Florida neo-Nazi groups paraded in front of the Tampa Convention Center where Charlie Kirk’s Turning Point USA was holding its 2022 Student Action Summit. The neo-Nazis displayed a flag bearing the words “DeSantis Country,” along with their Nazi flags and paraphernalia. Turning Point did little to have the neo-Nazis forced off the premises, citing their right to protest. The Proud Boys have also held protests in support of DeSantis.

DeSantis, who is locked in a gubernatorial re-election campaign with former Governor Charlie Crist, has refused to disassociate himself from far-right groups of supporters. As far as DeSantis is concerned, these are his shock troops for his expected 2024 run for the presidency. Unfortunately, few Florida voters understand the importance of cutting off DeSantis at his knees in his current re-election race. DeSantis’s failure to be re-elected governor will seriously deflate his presidential prospects.

Florida has also welcomed far-right groups from outside the state to establish and expand their operations in the state. These include the Goyim Defense League, Patriot Front (the Florida branch of which is called Patriot Front Florida, Network 16), the New Jersey European Heritage Association, Vinlanders Social Club (the largest branch is in Florida), Sovereign Citizen Movement, the NSDAP (which takes its title from the German Nazi Party of Adolf Hitler), League of the South, and the National Socialist Movement.

Other than Sarasota County, the hotbeds for neo-Nazi and white nationalist activity in Florida are Brevard County, Orange County (Orlando), Kissimmee—the location of the right-wing target of Disney World, Mount Dora, Tallahassee, Melbourne, Haines City, Lake City, The Villages, Pasco County, Duval County, Leesburg, Lee County, the Treasure Coast, Destin, Daytona Beach, Okeechobee, Sanford, Winter Haven, Milton, and Miami.

DeSantis, who has demonized Florida’s theme park industry and done everything possible to hurt its financial health in the wake of the damaging Covid pandemic has also made it a target for neo-Nazis and white supremacists. DeSantis is hoping to see and raise Donald Trump’s right-wing fanaticism to a degree not seen in the United States since the pre-World War II days of the German-American Bund, the fascist Silver Shirts, and the Ku Klux Klan.

DeSantis is a clear and present danger to the United States. He has already turned Florida into a dystopian fascist state, which should change its motto from “the Sunshine State” to the Schwarze Sonnenschein Staat.

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

Copyright © 2022 WayneMadenReport.com

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist, author and nationally-distributed columnist. A member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the National Press Club. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).

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