In mid-August, an official complaint was filed in the Florida House of Representatives against a Republican lawmaker, for “hateful” and “atrocious” social media comments directed to Palestinians and Muslims.
Civil rights advocates filing the complaint say the House’ Public Integrity and Elections Committee still hasn’t addressed the issue involving state Rep. Randy Fine, a Republican representing part of Brevard County.
The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Florida), a Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, filed a sworn complaint alleging that Rep. Fine has “violated his duty as an elected official and has disgraced the seat which he holds in the Florida House.”
“We are disappointed about the committee’s failure to act,” Taj Murphy, CAIR-Florida’s lead attorney, said in a written statement Friday. “Their refusal to address Rep. Randy Fine’s violent and bigoted rhetoric amounts to complicity.”
The complaint calls for the committee to “act against this egregious behavior” from Fine. “It is hurtful and abominable enough coming from anyone, but to have an elected official spew this hate, and violence is disturbing and harmful to our state,” the complaint says.
At the time of the original complaint in August, State Rep. Erin Grall was chair of the House Public Integrity & Ethics Committee. Currently, the chair is Daniel Perez, who represents part of Miami-Dade County.
The Florida Phoenix is awaiting a response from the Florida House communications staff regarding the allegations. The civil rights organization told the Phoenix that the complaint was received by the committee.
“We didn’t receive an official response, but they (the committee) told us there is no priority,” Wilfredo Amr Ruiz, the group’s communications director, said in a phone conversation with the Florida Phoenix.
“They have failed to communicate any minimum intention to do it.”
The group has called on the committee to open an investigation into Fine’s conduct on Facebook and Instagram from posts starting in May. The complaint also includes examples of Fine’s social media posts, showing he called Palestinians “animals” and referred to people of Muslim faith as “monsters” and “terrorists.”
For instance, Fine said in a May 26 post on social media that “the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated terrorist group CAIR is trying to silence the one Republican Jew willing to stand up for Israel. Well I have two words for these monsters: Bring it.”
The complaint also stated that: In response to a comment on the same post, Representative Fine called for the annihilation of the Palestinian people by responding, “#BlowThemUp.”
Fine hasn’t responded yet to a request for comment from the Florida Phoenix.
The grievance against Fine was only filed in the House. Ruiz said that he doesn’t know when or if the committee will take action on the issue. House members have been in committee hearings from September to late November, so it’s not clear why nothing has been done. The House also has committee hearings next week.
CAIR-Florida believes it’s important to release Fine’s allegations to the public to bring about “systemic change” in regard to holding politicians accountable for their actions, Ruiz added.
“It is possible for the politicians to go unchecked,” he said.
Meanwhile, Fine is involved in an ongoing case connected to a restraining order filed against him by Brevard County School Board member Jennifer Jenkins, according to a report from Florida Today.
Jenkins filed a request for an injunction because of allegations in court documents of “cyberstalking” and “harassment” on social media, according to Florida Today.
The newspaper wrote: “Jenkins is asking the court to forbid Fine from publishing her name or ‘any insinuation of person’ on his social media accounts, and from coming within 500 feet of her Satellite Beach home or place of work at Brevard Public Schools.”
–Isaac Morgan, Florida Phoenix
Merrill S Shapiro says
As a Jew, does Fine not understand what it means to demean his fellow citizens, especially members of other minorities? Was it so long ago that Jews were referred to as “animals,” “monsters” and “terrorists” that Randi Fine has forgotten? Does he think that the proliferation of hate speech that he is encouraging will not soon fall upon him and other members of minorities among his constituents. He is very, very wrong.
In the immortal words of Reverend Martin Niemoller:
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Who has he injured? Since when is hateful speech banded in this country?
Only if your a republican
Maybe when the Palestinian and Muslim people quit killing innocent civilians, in the name of their God, they will stop being called these terrible names. Very few Muslims are involved in this terrible act, but the entire group gets labeled with the terrible names. Just like the few bad cops and the few white radicals are labeled as all cops and whites as bad. America must stop this racist crap and live as one United country.
Do you all really think anything will be done against this Repub? I doubt anything will happen. He is a Repub and he is white or appears to be. The sad thing is you all will vote for again. Just saying, we people of color need to vote in large numbers to reduce the Repub. strong hold.
Good for the Goose says
What did he say that was wrong ? The palestians and muslimes are always saying the same thing about Americans and Jews .
Republican voters shouldn’t put up with their legislators making juvenile & hateful comments. It doesn’t help secure legislation to improve their lives.
Well, it seems the Nazis/white supremacists, evangelical, far right wack jobs present the most danger to our country. I could care less about the people who worship a nonchristian entity. They are not bent on causing an insurrection or turning this country into an unconstitutional “christian nation”!
Timothy Patrick Welch says
Look at any predominately Muslim country and you will see the true nature of the religion.
Submission through force, revenge, and limitations imposed on the freedom of girls and women.
Glad we live in a predominately Christian country.
Pierre Tristam says
Timothy Patrick Welch’s math, or at least his history, is off: Muslims have a few scores of millions to go before even approaching Christianity’s genocidal zeal over the centuries: no other religion since the dawn of religions comes close to Christianity for extermination. Not just in history. The “predominantly Christian” nation he is referring to has its own relatively recent genocides of Native Americans and Blacks to account for, and been raining civilian deaths by the hundreds of thousands in the greater Middle East since 2001, rivaled—in numbers anyway—only by Syria’s Assad, an Alaouite who has massacred more Sunni Muslims than Nero, Caligula and Commodus combined killed Romans. Assad, of course, is a tacit American ally, good Christian diplomacy that we have. Sad we live in a predominantly amnesiac America. All that said, it appears Welch’s comparative math is enough to excuse the Florida lawmaker’s bigotry, a form of blinkered reasoning not even Thomas Aquinas could’ve come up with.
Akmed McGordon says
You may be, but I sure as HELL I’m not sad. And to HELL with ALL religions . And especially islam. Which is more of a CULT then a religion.
But Pierre, if you look as recently as Afghanistan, all of these things Timothy Patric Welch mentioned is happening or already happened. Why do you and others keep equating ancient history to todays brutal Taliban?
Get ready, block your ears, FOX ran a story of a popular musician who was hunted, they found his instrument case and left him a note…….he was terrified and got help from the US to get on one of the planes leaving, as a journalist . He was reunited with his son here in the UNITED STATES, and now can enjoy his music. Also, please excuse my Christian ancestors, for here in the modern USA, they teach all about forgiveness, while the Taliban brutalizes women and young girls and you don’t mention that. Why does the left ignore these horrible facts?
Deborah Coffey says
Your “modern USA” Christians…like Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene who continually foment violence against anyone not like them? There is nothing to be proud of about today’s American “Christians,” as they are everything BUT…Christ-like.
William Moya says
Trying to explain history to the know nothings is like pissing against the wind. These are the people whose of notion of knowledge is burning books, and erasing history. We just celebrated Thanksgiving, a quintessential American holiday, breaking bread with the Native Americans, but conveniently forget the dessert, the genocide that came afterwards.
Deborah Coffey says
Excellent response. And, how blind to talk about “limitations imposed on the freedom of girls and women” when looking at women’s health care in Texas and Mississippi and soon, the Supreme Court.
You say this country is predominantly Christian. Please tell me when that happened. Must be predominantly Christain for the White society in this country. Was it a Christian Nation during the lynching years of this country? Is it a Christian country now, the insurrection of Jan. 6th. 2021. Cops killing unarmed people of all colors, especially Bkack Men. Modern day lynching, Brunswick Ga. I dont think you know what being a Christian is. Reclining, discrimination against people of color, uneducated white people getting jobs that educated people of color should get. Some Indian Tribes wiped off the face of this earth in this country. Need I continue?
Trump and DeStantis have standing rules against investigating any and all charges involving any Republican regardless of reason. All good troopers fall in line without any questions.
Inside every Republican man there is an Alex Jones trying to get out! In every Republican woman a Lauren Boebert or Marjorie Taylor Greene!
Hate speech is not victimless. Hate speech leads to hate actions the leads to ciilence and murderous actions.
Hate speech can turn against anyone, so I’d be careful of condoning it. Not to mention it is actually illegal so you’d think the “Support the Police” would understand legal vs illegal.
What has he done wrong???? How can any decent human being ask such a question????
Has our civilization “devolved” into the hate and fear filled disgusting gutter of the lowest common denominator now?
All Americans “should” stand AGAINST all forms of “Hate Speech”. . . especially from political people! I refuse to call such despicable people “leaders”. Do you not understand that such words can lead to violent actions against others? Just look at Charlottesville and “Pizza Gate” as tiny examples.
Read about the history of how Fascism and horrific Dictatorships begin. Start with the Nazi movement.
Republicans, is this world of fear and hate what you really want to live in? Do you not understand just how easily all that hate filled prejudice could be turned on you personally? Are you so demented that you believe in a world where each “white” person is a feared emperor. . . while each “non-Christian”person of color gladly waits on you hand and foot without revolt?
This horrific Republican has also harassed wonderful School Board member “Jennifer Jenkins” to the point that she went to a judge to request an injunction against him. Here she is during her speech (that went viral) in a school board meeting. . . speaking about the terrible community harassment (over masks) of her and her daughter :
He needs to be booted! Hate speech is a very dangerous weapon in the mouth of any elected officials and should be prohibited. Is the abuse of the firsts and second amendment by the current incendiary Fascist in our USA tragically used to satisfy bigotry by some to cover up their own addictions, like in his case.
William Moya says
All these comments against the Repubs. How many will actually vote against them 2022?
William Moya says
I’m not sure I understand, are you saying we’re just having fun and we are actually, deep down, authoritarians?