To our readers:
The Herald-Tribune erred Sunday in publishing a guest column on our opinion page and website with the headline “Attacking Proud Boys does disservice to caring parents.”
A guest column from June 24 had criticized the author of Sunday’s column, and an editor felt it fair to give her a chance to respond. We strive to provide a broad range of views from our community, including opinions in opposition to those of our editorial board.
However, the Herald-Tribune opinion page will not provide a forum for support of the Proud Boys, an extremist group that promotes white nationalist views 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. To do so is antithetical to our values as an organization and is outside of our responsibility to provide a fair forum for different points of view.
Since the original column has been taken off the paper’s site, here’s some of it courtesy Nexis:
I believe that Schurr is attacking the Sarasota Proud Boys because of the following:
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.
In her piece, Schurr also attacked James and Kathy Hoel, who are dear friends of mine. They are not only business owners – they are also wonderful parents who attend School Board meetings and do what they can for kids in our community. Not that it should matter, but in light of Schurr’s attack it’s worth noting that the Hoels’ beautiful family includes a Mexican-Indian, a Russian, a Ukrainian, a Haitian and a Venezuelan.
Schurr also attacked Unmask Florida and called it a front for the Proud Boys. Unmask Florida was established to fight against the illegal mask mandates in Florida; is that not obvious by the name? We stood strong against the mask mandate, which was soon lifted.
The second Unmask Florida event was indeed held at The Hollow. It was a town hall meeting where parents came to ask a School Board member why their schools were not taking better care of their exceptional student education students. The irony is that a guest speaker was involved in a nonprofit organization with Schurr – yet Schurr continues to refer to this event as a Proud Boy gathering.
In closing, let’s address The Hollow.
The owners of this beautiful venue have opened their doors to many community organizations. To my knowledge, The Hollow’s owners do not ask attendees about their associations with groups or political parties. So I would suggest that Schurr reach out to The Hollow to see if it would be willing to host a town hall event for her nonprofit.
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.
Melissa Radovich is a mother who lives in the Sarasota County Schools district and is an executive at an area manufacturing education company.
Not disclosed by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Melissa Radovich is married to a Proud Boy.
Just once I would like the Cancel Culture is Destroying Our Freedoms crowd to explain why it is or isn’t OK for a newspaper to refuse to publish apologias for the Proud Boys etc.