Republican Group Refuses To Remove QAnon and Proud Boys Facebook Post

A Republican group in Colorado has said it will not be taking down a post shared on its Facebook page that contains leading Proud Boys members and QAnon imagery.

The image, featuring Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio and fellow Proud Boy Joe Biggs, was posted onto The Forum's Facebook page, formally known as the North Suburban Republican Forum, a prominent GOP club in the north Denver area.

The photo of members of the extremist group known for its violent demonstrations contains a quote from conservative pundit Candace Owen stating: "What the left fears more than anything are white people and black people coming together and loving their country."

The original image has been edited to include a Q with the words "Q sent me" and "WWG1WGA"—an abbreviation of the QAnon slogan "where we go one we go all."

The post was shared on The Forum's Facebook page on August 24, one day after Tarrio was sentenced to five months in jail for destruction of property after he set fire to a Black Lives Matter flag following a pro-Donald Trump protest in Washington, D.C. on December 12, 2020.

He was also convicted on possession of two high-capacity firearm magazines two days before the January 6 attack at the Capitol.

the forum facebook
The Forum/screenshot

Biggs is one of several members of the Proud Boys—listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center—charged in connection to the January 6 attack.

A number of supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory have also been charged over the insurrection. The far-right radical movement believes there exists a cabal of satanic pedophiles, including leading Democrats, that Donald Trump was meant to expose and execute while president. QAnon is listed as a domestic terrorist threat by the FBI.

When contacted by the Colorado Times Recorder, a spokesperson for The Forum said they will not be removing the image as they stand by the quote from Owens. The spokesperson also hit out at Big Tech censorship for their reasons in keeping the meme on their page.

"The post is about a Candace Owens quote," the spokesperson said. "Quit trying to read conspiracy things into innocent posts," the spokesperson added.

"Are you implying that we should've censored it, like the left-leaning Facebook 'fact checkers' or Twitter censorship idiots? If that's the case, why are the CCP [Chinese Communist Party], Iran's ayatollah, the Taliban, and other enemies allowed to post any and everything on social media?. That's a much better question that needs to be answered."

The post is still on the GOP group's Facebook page as of the morning of August 27.

When asked by Newsweek for further comment about the post, a spokesperson for The Forum sent a quote from Ronald Reagan reading: "The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so."

Several prominent GOP officials are members of The Forum's Facebook page, including state Senators Kevin Priola and Barbara Kirkmeyer, Colorado RNC committeeman Randy Corporon and Colorado's former State Treasurer Walker Stapleton.

The Colorado Times Recorder notes that this is not even the first time the image has been shared on a local GOP Facebook group.

In May, the exact same image and quote were shared by the Colorado Springs Republican Women (CRSW).

A few hours later, CSRW President Vickie Tonkins, who also serves as chair of the El Paso County Republicans, apologized and said that she "mistakenly posted an image that was doctored."

Tonkins then posted the original image of Tarrio and Biggs without the QAnon imagery, but did not comment on whether the group supports the Proud Boys when contacted by the Colorado Times Recorder.

proud boys qanon GOP
Leader of the Proud Boys Enrique Tarrio (L) and rally organizer Joe Biggs (R) congratulate each other as they return to the march starting-point over the Hawthorn Bridge as "The End Domestic Terrorism" rally at Tom McCall Waterfront Park concludes on August 17, 2019 in Portland, Oregon. A GOP group said they would not be taking down an edited version if this image with QAnon imagery edited onto it from their Facebook page.

Update 08/28/21 5 a.m. ET: This article has been updated with further comment from The Forum.

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