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OP-ED CONTROVERSY: A Florida newspaper’s Proud Boy fiasco

OP-ED CONTROVERSY: A Florida newspaper’s Proud Boy fiasco

OP-ED CONTROVERSY: A Florida newspaper's Proud Boy fiasco

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Melissa Radovich, the wife of a Proud Boy and self-described “Christ-follower” and “patriot,” says that members of the far-right white supremacist group are just “caring fathers.” In a now-deleted op-ed in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, titled “Attacking Proud Boys does a disservice to caring school parents,” Radovich sings their praises and is captured in pictures celebrating her bigotry.

These pics posted by Lisa Gialdini Schurr prompted Radovich to write her op-ed. Radovich was apparently triggered at being called out for being a white nationalist and is trying to rehabilitate her not-so-vague hateful image.

Radovich says she supports the Proud Boys because:

  • They are opposed to abortion.
  • They stand for America and freedom — and against communist organizations.
  • They believe that discussions of homosexuality are best left to parents and that this is an issue of parental rights.
  • They stand against medical mandates, such as the illegal mask mandate in Sarasota County.

The blowback from Radovich’s column was swift and immediate, with the Herald-Tribune quickly deleting the op-ed and replacing it with an explanation as to why it should never have been published to begin with.

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“The Herald-Opinion page will not provide a forum for support of the Proud Boys, an extremist group that promotes white nationalist view and which has been labeled a terrorist group by two countries and has top members under indictment on charges of seditious conspiracy in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack,” Herald-Tribune editor Jennifer Orsi wrote.

Melissa Radovich and her husband Nicholas have been associated with the Proud Boys and have proven links to the Sarasota school board. According to the Herald-Tribune, Nicholas Radovich disrupted a school board meeting in December 2021 while throwing his support behind Republican Bridget Ziegler and other like-minded school board candidates and using front groups to shield their infiltration of the Sarasota County Republican Party.

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Radovich is a sign of things to come. The Proud Boys and the anti-everything group Moms for Liberty have influenced Florida’s public education system, infiltrating the curriculum and forcing school libraries to ban certain books.

People like Melissa Radovich and her husband must stay on our radar. They’re not only dangerous to our democracy but have Florida fascists behind them.

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

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