Tennessee Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton (R) admonished Rep. John Ray Clemmons (D) on Thursday as he was trying to honor International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Clemmons began his remarks by noting that it has only been 76 years since the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated from the Nazi army.
“We all have a duty to prevent the hate and discrimination that persists to this day,” he said. “Now in recent years we have passed laws that are contrary to this. Just recently it was reported a Jewish couple has been denied the opportunity to provide a child a loving home because of their religious faith. That’s a result of a law we passed in this body.”
“Books are being stripped out of public libraries that give detailed personal accounts from survivors and about victims of the Holocaust,” the lawmaker added. “I, myself, had a resolution some of you disagreed with in recent years that denounced anti-Semitism and neo-Nazis.”
At that point, Sexton interrupted to complain about the remarks because they were made during the “welcoming and honoring” portion of the calendar.
“This is welcoming and honoring,” Sexton said. “That sounded like a floor speech based on legislation. So I don’t know which way you’re going but it is welcoming and honoring.”
Clemmons continued: “I simply want to recognize on this International Holocaust Memorial Day that we have duty. Let’s come together. This is something about which we should be united and honoring and recognizing our history and working to avoid it from happening again.”