As Republican Party officials, the Trump campaign and the White House fret over the damage done by President Trump’s “stand by” message in Tuesday’s debate to the Proud Boys hate group, one Macomb County campaign event back in December now takes on a whole new look.

The violent hate group was welcomed at a pro-Trump event by Republican congressional candidate Doug Slocum, who was the featured guest. To this day, Slocum still has his Facebook message posted that thanks local Proud Boys for showing up, along with a photo (above) of one of the group’s members close at hand.

When I reported about the gathering on this website (, I was hammered by numerous Trump and Slocum supporters who said the Proud Boys were a legitimate conservative group, not a bunch of extremists. I included several links that depicted the Proud Boys’ reputation as a white supremacist organization, but those were dismissed as fake news. Slocum, who eventually lost his congressional bid in the August primary, faced no retribution.

Contrast that  to the reaction to Trump’s apparent acceptance of the Proud Boys on Tuesday. The president was ridiculed widely, and faced some criticism from congressional Republicans and even Fox News, before finally trying to clarify his remarks some 18 hours later. But his dubious claim on Wednesday that he had never heard of the Proud Boys undermined his remarks and drew more howls of protest.

In a county with a long history of racist and bigoted rhetoric in political campaigns, highlighted most recently by Paul Smith of Sterling Heights winning a GOP primary for state House, Macomb voters should beware of the extremist elements among us.