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Senator Says Homeless Should Use Hitler As An Inspiration

Senator Says Homeless Should Use Hitler As An Inspiration

The Republican began with the promise of a ‘history lesson’, before sharing an unexpected to reference to Hitler

A state senator in the US has used Adolf Hitler’s backstory as an example of inspiration for homeless people, saying 'it’s not a dead end’ for them. 

Tennessee State Senator Frank Niceley addressed the Senate floor on Wednesday, 13 April, during a debate on a bill to make camping or soliciting along state highways or exit ramps a misdemeanour, and to reduce homeless camps. 

The Republican began with the promise of a ‘history lesson’, before sharing an unexpected reference to Hitler, who rose to power as the leader of the Nazi Party before becoming a dictator – and presiding over the Holocaust, which saw the systematic murder of around six million Jews and other victims.

Niceley told fellow lawmakers how Adolf Hitler had been living on the streets in 1910, which was where he managed to practice various skills. 

Niceley said: “1910, Hitler decided to live on the streets for a while. So for two years, Hitler lived on the streets and practiced oratory and his body language and how to connect with the masses, and then went on to lead a life that got him into history books. 

“So a lot of these people, it’s not a dead end. They can come out of this, these homeless camps and have a productive life, or in Hitler’s case, a very unproductive life.” 

He added: “I support this bill.” 

The Senate passed the bill, which makes it a Class C Misdemeanour for soliciting or camping along highways and exit ramps, and makes it illegal to camp on public or state property. However, not all lawmakers agree with the bill, with many Democrats saying it criminalises homelessness. 

Senator Brenda Gilmore said: “It just breaks my heart that we are criminalising people who have no where else to go. 

“And if you take and incarcerate their parents, then I think that again only multiplies the issue of taking their parents away from these children simply because they are poor.” 

US Senate

State Representative Gloria Johnson tweeted a video of Niceley's speech, saying: “TN Senator says Hitler made something of himself after being homeless and you can too. I’m going to have to apologize to the universe for this guy."

Paula Foster, a nonprofit homelessness advocate, also told Fox17: “The answer to homelessness and we’ve said it over and over is more housing. We need to put the resources that we are spending making more laws that are clearly inhumane into the resources we need to build more housing units." 

The bill will now go to Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s desk. 

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Featured Image Credit: Tenneesee General Assembly/Alamy

Topics: US News