A Tennessee Republican wants the state’s unhoused population to draw inspiration from Adolf Hitler. No, seriously.
While debating a bill on Wednesday that would criminalize homeless camps on public property in the state, State Sen. Frank Niceley (R) decided to share with the chamber “a little history lesson on homelessness.”
That lesson: Hitler was homeless for a spell, too, but by golly, then he pulled himself up by his bootstraps and “went on to lead a life that got him in the history books.”
This is the sort of clip that needs to be watched to be believed:
And here’s the full quote:
I wanna give you a little history lesson on homelessness. In 1910, Hitler decided to live on the streets for a while. So for two years, Hitler lived on the streets and practiced his oratory and his body language and how to connect with the masses. And then went on to lead a life that got him in the history books. So, a lot of these people, it’s not a dead end. They can come out of these homeless camps and have a productive life, or in Hitler’s case, a very unproductive life. I support this bill.
When The Tennessee Holler asked him to clarify his comments, the state senator repeatedly declined to engage and instead walked away:
The bill passed 22–10 and is now headed to Gov. Bill Lee (R) for his signature.
Prior to Wednesday’s history lesson, Niceley was known for opposing making cockfighting a felony in the state because it’s a “cultural tradition.”