'That's Not America.' No Place For Proud Boys, Violent Militias, Beshear Says

Oct 8, 2020

Gov. Andy Beshear is calling on leaders in Kentucky to stand together in denouncing militia groups with violent intentions, and those who embrace or fail to condemn them. The comments came in response to threats against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

In this Sept. 26, 2020 file photo, a right-wing demonstrator gestures toward a counter protester as members of the Proud Boys and other right-wing demonstrators rally in Portland, Ore.
Credit AP Photo/John Locher, File

The arrest of more than a dozen men involved in an alleged foiled plot to kidnap Whitmer and overthrow government officials is more evidence, Beshear said, that a lack of unequivocal condemnation of such militia groups has consequences.

"There are a lot of people who think that they are warriors with their keyboards, but there are serious ramifications to threats that you make against people online," the Democrat responded. "And let's be better than that."

While no extra security is planned at the Kentucky Capitol in the wake of the news out of Michigan, Beshear told reporters that he was recently escorted out a different door in the building because of a threat.

Of the Michigan men, the governor said, "this is a group very similar to those that we have seen people in this state that are supposed to be leaders standing with and riling up."

In May, protesters at a pro-Second Amendment rally hung an effigy of Beshear near the state Capitol, prompting bipartisan uproar. The dummy had the Latin phrase "sic semper tyrannis" which translates to "thus always to tyrants" — written on it.

During Thursday's briefing, Beshear said he wants to see a "stronger focus on domestic terrorism," especially coming out of the pandemic.