Confederate-Loving Florida Lawmaker Uses White-Supremacist Talking Point to Justify Abortion Ban

Central Florida Sen. Dennis Baxley
Central Florida Sen. Dennis Baxley Florida House of Representatives
Florida state Sen. Dennis Baxley — a man who answers the question "What if a soft-boiled egg could feel hate?" — is at it again. The Ocala lawmaker is famous for two things: writing Florida's Stand Your Ground law and defending the Confederate States of America from critics. And, wouldn't you know it, during an appearance Sunday on Miami's NPR station, WLRN, Baxley said some more gobsmackingly racist nonsense.

Baxley went on WLRN to talk about abortion, since Georgia, Alabama, and other states recently passed nightmarish anti-abortion restrictions and Baxley himself had sponsored a similar anti-choice bill this year that died before becoming law. But Baxley, for some bizarre and entirely in-character reason, justified his anti-abortion stance by echoing straight-up white-supremacist talking points about Western European birthrates.

WLRN's recap states:
“When you get a birth rate less than 2 percent, that society is disappearing,” he said of Western Europe. “And it’s being replaced by folks that come behind them and immigrate, don’t wish to assimilate into that society and they do believe in having children. So you see that there are long range impacts to your society when the answer is to exterminate.”
As Orlando Weekly's Colin Wolf noted yesterday, this is factual nonsense in addition to being racist nonsense. Abortion rates don't have any correlation with birth rates — birth rates in the United States are dropping, sure, but they are dropping while rates of abortion are also falling.

But the bigger issue here is the racism. A key component of white-supremacist ideology is the notion that the white, Western European "race" will ultimately be "replaced" by immigrants of color who will take over and essentially exterminate white people. White nationalists refer to this as "replacement theory" or "white genocide."

This is basically the defining creed linking most white supremacists — everyone from Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke to the 2017 neo-Nazi marchers in Charlottesville, Virginia, to this year's mass murderer in New Zealand echoed a version of it. But the idea is outright nonsense — it's a paranoid theory popularized by a racist French philosopher who is demonstrably terrified of immigrants. And, moreover, the basic precepts of "Western culture" or "Judeo-Christian values" are recent historical inventions that promote the false idea that white Christian Europeans solely created things such as democracy, rational inquiry, and modern science. Iowa Rep. Steve King, who is essentially an outright white nationalist, has been lambasted for repeating many of the same points.

It's all hogwash, which is why a rube like Baxley seems to have fallen for it. Baxley simply does not like facts or history — he's the descendant of Confederate soldiers and infamously continues defending the Confederacy as something that should be honored rather than the racist, traitorous slave society it was. Mere days after a white supremacist killed a woman at the 2017 Charlottesville rally, Baxley refused to cancel a speech he was scheduled to give to a local pro-Confederate group.

In addition to being racist, Baxley also got pretty misogynistic in his interview. He told WLRN he believes fetuses “are independent lives separate from the mother who’s carrying the child," an idea as sexist as it is scientifically stupid.
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Jerry Iannelli is a former staff writer for Miami New Times from 2015 to March 2020. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.