RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
Florida Paper Publishes Op-Ed Praising Proud Boys – Doesn’t Disclose Author Is Married to One: Report
Sarasota, Florida’s Herald-Tribune over the weekend published an op-ed praising the Proud Boys, written by a woman who describes herself as a “God-fearing Christ follower,” a “mother of two beautiful children,” a “patriot,” and the “wife of a man who defends his family and their freedoms.” What the paper and the author neglected to note is she is married to one of the Proud Boys, Mediaite reports.
Based on a quick search of the Herald-Tribune, NCRM was able to identify another opinion piece, published just a few weeks ago, that makes clear the paper should have known the op-ed praising the Proud Boys was written by one of their spouses. It clearly refers to “Proud Boy Nicholas Radovich, and his wife, Melissa Radovich.”
Melissa Radovich is the author of Sunday’s op-ed, which was titled, “Attacking Proud Boys does a disservice to caring school parents.” It also appears in a Google search under the headline, “Don’t vilify Sarasota Proud Boys for caring about their children.”
“When I think about the Proud Boys,” Radovich writes, “I think of fathers, business owners and veterans. These fathers have spoken at many School Board meetings. They are concerned about the direction that their local schools are heading in, and I commend them for coming to School Board meetings.”
The Proud Boys have been designated a terrorist group in at least two other countries – Canada and New Zealand – and have been described by New York lawmakers as a “racist, neo-fascist” group that promotes “white nationalist, neofascist rhetoric,” and “racist, misogynistic, antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ bigotry.”
In fact, Radovich not only misses every opportunity to disclose she is married to one of the Proud Boys, she goes out of her way to do so, closing with this:
“I am simply a mom who will do what is best for my kids. If I have to speak at School Board meetings, fine. If I have to deal with smear campaigns, so be it. My passion will not be stifled, and my stance will not waver. I am for God, family and freedom – no matter what.”
Mediaite criticizes the paper’s “poorly-executed attempt to tell both sides of the story,” and notes “the paper failed to disclose the author was married to a Proud Boy herself.”
On Sunday many on social media criticized the op-ed for its content, but a few also noted Radovich’s spousal relationship with one of the Proud Boys.
Joe Jervis adds that the op-ed has since “disappeared” from the Herald-Tribune’s website, but one quick social media user posted screenshots before the piece was pulled.
NCRM was also able to find the full op-ed in syndication at Yahoo, but we will not link to it.
Mediaite on Monday also offered this primer on the Proud Boys:
“To be clear, the Proud Boys have a documented history of criminal activities and violent altercations that dates back several years. Along with the Oath Keepers, multiple members of the group have been charged with serious felonies related to the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, and an FBI informant testified to the House Select Committee that Proud Boys had plans that included occupying various federal buildings and assassinating Vice President Mike Pence during the attack. Members of Proud Boys have caused turmoil in various Republican circles across Florida, including contentious squabbles over leadership of local party organizations and even physical brawls.”
Image by Anthony Crider via Flickr and a CC license
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
‘Taking Guns Away Is Not the Answer’: Scalise Encourages Prayer After Nashville School Mass Shooting
The official line from House Republicans on Monday’s mass shooting at a private Christian elementary school in Nashville is to encourage prayer and making schools “safer,” but “taking guns away is not the answer.”
GOP Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the second-most powerful Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, on Tuesday encouraged prayer, waiting for more facts, and looking into mental health option, despite his record of voting against them. Six people, including three nine-year olds and three adults, were shot to death after a shooter shot through the doors of Covenant Presbyterian Elementary School.
“The first thing in any kind of tragedy I do is I pray,” Scalise told a reporter Tuesday when asked if there’s anything Congress can do to reduce gun violence and deaths. “I pray for the victims. I pray for their families.”
On Monday, U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) also encouraged prayer over action. “We’re not gonna fix it,” he declared point-blank, while calling for a Christian “revival.”
READ MORE: Tennessee Governor Slammed After ‘Praying’ for Nashville School Community Without Mentioning Mass Shooting
Scalise was shot in 2017 in a rare act of left-wing gun violence by a man angry at then-President Donald Trump. He and House Republicans have repeatedly used that attack to target Democrats and their policies.
“I really get angry when I see people trying to politicize it for their own personal agenda,” Scalise continued, referring to shootings, “especially when we don’t even know the facts. There are facts coming out.”
“It looks like the shooter originally went to another school that had real stronger, much stronger security and ultimately went to this school,” Scalise said, which is false. According to a CNN report, the shooter had previously “scouted” a second location but had a detailed plan and maps of The Covenant School.
“Let’s get the facts,” Scalise insisted, suggesting no action should be taken before any investigations into this shooting are complete.
The Washington Post in a continually-updated report notes, “There were more school shootings in 2022 — 46 — than in any year since at least 1999.”
It adds, “There have been 376 school shootings” since Columbine, in 1999, and, “More than 348,000 students have experienced gun violence at school since Columbine.”
But Scalise urged Americans to “work to see if there’s something that we can do to help secure schools.”
READ MORE: New WSJ Poll Is Devastating for DeSantis and His ‘Anti-Woke’ Policies
And he insisted reducing the number of guns in America, currently believed to be over 400 million – more than the total population of the country – is “not the answer.”
“We’ve talked about things that we can do, and it just seems like on the other side, all they want to do is take guns away from law abiding citizens, before they even know the facts. The first thing they talk about is taking guns away from law abiding citizens. And that’s not the answer, by the way. So why don’t we number one, keep those families in our prayers and see if there were things that were missed. Along the way, we’ve talked about the need to improve mental health in this country, and that’s been a driver of a lot of these shootings as well.”
But just last September, Scalise, along with all but one House Republican, voted against a bill that would “increase access to mental and behavioral health care.”
He also skipped a vote one week earlier on the Mental Health Justice Act of 2022.
Watch Scalise’s remarks in this clip, below or at this link.
Question: There was another terrible school shooting yesterday.. Is there anything Congress should be doing?
Scalise: First thing I do in any kind of tragedy is I pray.. pic.twitter.com/PW1r7qh2yQ
— Acyn (@Acyn) March 28, 2023
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
‘Pits Parents Against Parents’: House Republicans Pass Anti-LGBTQ Florida-Style K-12 ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights’
The Republican-majority U.S. House of Representatives Friday morning passed HR 5, the “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” legislation similar to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ laws that have led to book bans and targeting of LGBTQ children.
The bill passed 213-208, with 14 Members not voting. All yes votes were from Republicans only. Five Republicans joined Democrats to vote no.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu of California warned the legislation “pits parents against parents.”
“The extreme MAGA H.R. 5 bill will let other parents dictate what books your child gets to read. It’ll make it easier for other parents to know if your child has an eating disorder, or is experiencing a mental health crisis,” Lieu warned.
READ MORE: Watch: GOP Lawmaker Orders Grieving Parkland Parents Removed From ‘ATF Overreach’ Hearing
The extreme MAGA H.R. 5 bill will let other parents dictate what books your child gets to read. It’ll make it easier for other parents to know if your child has an eating disorder, or is experiencing a mental health crisis.
This bill pits parents against parents. WATCH: pic.twitter.com/T02sluBAzB
— Rep. Ted Lieu (@RepTedLieu) March 24, 2023
U.S> Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) warned, “H.R. 5 would codify Republican book bans all over the country. Stories of Holocaust survivors, enslaved Americans, and over 1,600 other stories have already been pulled from shelves.”
U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-FL) said HR5 is “a vehicle for hate and political nonsense.”
.@RepMaxwellFrost on H.R. 5: “This bill is just a vehicle for hate and political nonsense…It's not about policy, it's about politics. It's not about freedom and liberty, it's about the fear of a problem that doesn't exist.”
The civil rights community opposes this legislation. pic.twitter.com/5eNd5MCNDa
— The Leadership Conference (@civilrightsorg) March 23, 2023
Congressman Greg Murphy, Republican of North Carolina, in a recorded statement falsely claimed the bill was needed because “Children are being taught to hate our country,” and “parents are labeled as domestic terrorists.”
In his speech before the bill passed, Speaker Kevin McCarthy declared, “We believe parents should know what your children is [sic] learning.”
CNN reports the bill would also “require elementary and middle schools that receive federal funding to obtain parental consent before ‘changing a minor child’s gender markers, pronouns, or preferred name on any school form; or allowing a child to change the child’s sex-based accommodations, including locker rooms or bathrooms.'”
Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the legislation “Orwellian to the core,” and promised it “will not see the light of day.”
Watch the videos above or at this link.
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
Far Right Christian Nationalist Brags His ‘Biblical Worldview’ Group Is Behind Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ Anti-Trans Law
Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed legislation Tuesday prohibiting transgender people from using public school facilities that match their gender identity. Later that same day, Jason Rapert, a former Arkansas state senator and founder of the National Association of Christian Lawmakers, posted a video crediting his organization for the legislation.
Rapert, a longtime religious-right activist and ardent Christian nationalist, bragged that this piece of legislation was first proposed by Arkansas school board member David Naylor during an annual NACL meeting, endorsed by the organization, and finally brought to the Arkansas state legislature by state Rep. Mary Bentley, who serves on the board of the NACL.
“The NACL has seven working committees,” Rapert said. “Those committees actually debate and discuss every major policy issue in this country, all from a biblical worldview.”
“We make model laws,” he continued. “Do you know that just recently Rep. Mary Bentley of Arkansas passed a model law that the NACL adopted at their last meeting in the state of Texas?”
“Rep. Mary Bentley, [who] is our chair of the National Legislative Council, she went to the Arkansas legislature, took that concept that came from Dr. David Naylor that was then adopted by the full body of the NACL, and guess what? It’s already been placed into law in the state of Arkansas,” Rapert crowed. “That’s the difference the NACL can make in your community.”
“This is what the NACL does every day all across this country,” Rapert bellowed later in the video. “We are fighting for the lives of little babies. We are fighting against the people that are putting the queer books into your school libraries and trying to groom these children into homosexuality. We’re standing up. We’re pursuing school board policies to save the nation. We are standing up and have our members running bills in the halls of the state legislatures to stand up against this woke ideology, to push back against the things of the devil in our country.”
In December, Rapert declared that right-wing Christians must rise up and “take authority” over everything from their local school boards to the federal government. The National Association for Christian Lawmakers seeks do just that, advancing legislation that fits their narrow conservative biblical worldview in statehouses throughout the country. The group’s advisory board includes politicians like Mike Huckabee and Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick as well as influential religious-right activists like Tony Perkins of Family Research Council and Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel.
This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.
- ANALYSIS1 day ago
New WSJ Poll Is Devastating for DeSantis and His ‘Anti-Woke’ Policies
- 'DEHUMANIZING AND DANGEROUS'2 days ago
Trump Team’s Efforts to Rein Him ‘Wilted’ in Waco as He Invoked ‘Retribution and Violence’: Report
- CRIME1 day ago
Jan. 6 Grand Jury Witnesses Are Being Asked What ‘National Security Levers’ Trump Was Trying to Pull
- News20 hours ago
Tennessee Governor Slammed After ‘Praying’ for Nashville School Community Without Mentioning Mass Shooting
- News4 hours ago
‘We’re Not Gonna Fix It’: TN Republican Says Congress Can Do Nothing to Stop Gun Violence – Calls for Christian ‘Revival’
- BREAKING NEWS1 day ago
Death Toll Rises to Six as Three Children and Three Adults Declared Dead In Covenant School Mass Shooting (Streaming Video)
- News22 hours ago
Mystery Grand Jury Witness in Trump Hush Money Probe Is Former ‘Enquirer’ Publisher and Trump Ally
- News24 hours ago
‘Our Children Deserve Better’: First Lady Jill Biden Speaks Out After Six Die in Nashville School Mass Shooting