Miami newspaper’s blistering editorial: 'Republicans have a white nationalist problem'

Miami newspaper’s blistering editorial: 'Republicans have a white nationalist problem'

Miami-based Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio has been indicted on federal conspiracy charges for allegedly playing a leadership role in the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol Building. Discussing this indictment in an editorial published on March 8, the Miami Herald’s editorial board cites Tarrio as part of a disturbing trend of far-right extremism in the Sunshine State.

“Miami’s own homegrown extremist, former Proud Boys National Chairman Henry ‘Enrique’ Tarrio, has been indicted on grounds he directed his group during the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol — another indication of the Republican Party’s terrifying tolerance of White supremacy and extremism,” the Herald’s editorial board explains. “And Florida is once again at center stage.”

Tarrio himself wasn’t in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021, but other members of the Proud Boys were. And U.S. Department of Justice prosecutors allege that he encouraged the Capitol attack while remaining in Florida.

“Tarrio wasn’t at the U.S. Capitol on the day of the attack and has said in the past that his group played no part in the violence,” the Herald’s editorial board writes. “But let’s be real: He couldn’t go to Washington. He’d been ordered to stay out of the city because he was on bond for a criminal case involving burning a Black Lives Matter banner stolen from a historic African-American church in Washington during a pro-Trump rally in December 2020. He later pleaded guilty to burning the banner and attempted possession of high-capacity magazines — offenses that earned him five months in jail.”

The Herald’s editorial board continues, “There’s no doubt, though, that Tarrio’s group was represented on January 6 in that violent crowd that swarmed the Capitol and chanted for the vice president to be hung because he wouldn’t do Trump’s illegal bidding. Several Proud Boys members have been charged with conspiracy in the attack. Tarrio himself claimed credit for the assault on social media after the attack and in an encrypted chat room, federal authorities said. Investigators have long been focused on the role that Proud Boys and another extremist group, Oath Keepers, played in organizing the assault.”

The Herald’s editorial board goes on to say that the indictment of Tarrio is “just the latest in a series of extremist connections to Florida, and to Republicans.”

“As of January, more Floridians had been charged in the January 6 riots than from any other state,” the Herald’s editorial board observes. “National figures with strong political connections are from Florida, including Roger Stone, a Donald Trump pal who has associated with both Proud Boys and Oath Keepers. Gov. Ron DeSantis participated in the Republican Party’s attempt to sanitize January 6 by refusing to call the attack an insurrection.”

Orlando, the Herald’s editorial board adds, was where the 2022 America First Political Action Conference was held in February — with Republican speakers who included Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona. AFPAC was founded by White nationalist Nick Fuentes and is often described as a White nationalist version of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

“So now, prosecutors have added Tarrio’s name to the list of five other Proud Boys charged under this latest January 6 indictment,” the Herald’s editorial board observes. “Republicans will, no doubt, continue to deny they have a White supremacy problem. And we can add this episode to the shameful list of extremist connections already distinguishing Florida.”

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