Characterized by their hatred ideology, white supremacy, anti-Muslim, and anti-Jewish agenda, Proud Boys is a right-wing organization inspired by neo-nazi ideology.
Despite their claims of being an antithesis of left-wing group Antifa, the evidence suggests that they are mostly driven by their own mission to propagate hate rather than tackling Antifa.
Members of the group were involved in various radical activities that shaped the course of violence in the United States during the four years of Trump’s presidency.
Who are these Proud Boys, and how have they shaped their ideology? What is the myth of Proud Boys? Do they really want to see American progressives, or it’s just another myth? Who are their leaders? Below are all the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS) about them. Let’s look.
Who are the Proud Boys?
Proud Boys is a male-only, neo-fascist, and far-right organization working in the United States. Motivated by white nationalism through violent campaigns, it is a self-described organization for western chauvinists.
Canadian-British activist Gavin Mclnnes founded the organization in 2016. But the members of this extremist group were active even before the official establishment of the Proud Boys.
The group is comprised of Trump supporters who show their allegiance to the former President Donald Trump often. They are also characterized by their anti-Muslin and misogynist rhetoric, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The Anti-Defamation League claims that the Proud Boys are anti-transgender, anti-immigrant, and anti-Semitic. Their members have to proclaim that they are western chauvinists before joining the group.
However, they deny the label of white supremacy on them and claim that they are merely banded together to oppose the anti-fascist movement Antifa. These claims of the extremist group are mere rhetoric, as they are mostly seen carrying guns and bats during protests, chanting the slogans of white supremacy and racism.
Where does the radical name come from? What is the Proud Boys uniform?
The name “Proud Boys” came from the musical version of the Disney film Aladdin. “Proud of Your Boy” is the first of the songs of the film.
The name tends to portray a sense of pride in western culture. However, it is ironic that the group supposedly made to protect western culture derives their name from the song intended for the eastern culture.
The Proud Boys uniform also characterizes them as a separate group. They wear Fred Perry twin-tipped T-shirts and blue jeans with MAGA caps. They are also recognized by their hipster beard and beer in hand.
Who are the Proud Boys leaders?
Gavin Mclnnes formed the far-right group of Proud Boys. Other famous leaders include Enrique Tarrio and Jason Lee Van Dyke.
In 1994, Gavin Mclnnes started his career alongside Shane Smith and Suroosh Alvi, launching the Voice of Montreal, which eventually transformed into Vice Media.
Mclnnes left Vice Media in 2008 and moved to a new-right that was a combination of western chauvinism and political libertarianism.
His shift was also defined by misogyny and anti-Muslim and anti-Israel sentiments. In September 2016, Mclnnes officially founded the said group.
So, the unofficial violence was started long before 2016, and the group only became organized after Trump became a prominent politician.
Enrique Tarrio was designated as the chair of the radical group in November 2018. He also leads the “Elder Chapter” of the organization, which consists of Harry Fox, Heath Hair, Patrick Williams Roberts, Ethan Nordean, aka Rufio Panman, and others.
Jason Lee Van Dyke, popularly known as Van Dyke, started as the organization’s lawyer. He eventually replaced Mclnnes as the chairman of the group for a brief moment until he left the organization.
What is the Proud Boys myth? Do they really want American progress?
It is an established fact that Proud Boys is a far-right racist organization having the capacity to perpetrate genocide in the US, if remains untackled, via white supremacy.
However, another school of thought evinces members of the Proud Boys unified just to fight other far-left organizations such as Antifa. So, this is also a common notion that it is a sort of Proud Boys vs. Antifa tussle
The group even wrote on their website that they condemn white nationalism and white supremacy. But, actions speak louder than words, and their involvement in the Capitol riots also suggests that their sole purpose is to drive the white supremacy agenda in the United States.
A few days before the attack on Capitol Hill, one of the leaders, Kyle Chapman, was trying to rebrand the group as a white supremacist group, which is the reality of this group.
Many of the supporters of the radical group believe that their leader is Enrique Tarrio, a Cuban-American. They try to deny the label of white supremacy using the name of Tarrio. Tarrio has also been arrested recently for burning Black Lives Matter banners and flags.
Still, it is also a reality that Tarrio is not enjoying the support as other leaders such as Chapman, who believe that the West was built by the white race alone, and they alone have the right to rule it.
Chapman is often seen portraying the notion that the group should be converted into an anti-Semitic and white supremacist agency.
He often uses his Telegram channel to promote these similar types of messages that triggered the genocide in the Hitler-era.
The members of the Proud Boys even referred to the origin and spread of coronavirus to the Jewish and Chinese people to tarnish their reputation. They organized a 2017 white supremacists rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that ended up being a deadly one.
Why did Canada ban the Proud Boys?
Recently, The Canadian government designated the Proud Boys as a terrorist entity fuelling violence and hatred in the country. Hence, Canada ended up banning the far-right group.
Why are they termed as a hate group despite their claims?
Despite the claims of some members of the Proud Boys that they want a progressive America, they are regarded as a hatred-driven group. They term themselves as upstanding members of a community that likes to drink beer and tell jokes.
However, the Southern Poverty Law Center does not believe the same. According to the Center, the Proud Boys is a hate group because of its anti-Muslim and anti-feminist rhetoric.
The Southern Poverty Law Center is a national civil rights organization working in the United States to track extremism and extremist organizations.
The list of violence injected by this extremist group is rather long. Two members of the organizations were sent to jail for gang assault; other members were found using pepper spray to disperse counterprotests; they were even seen carrying guns in the protests.
After all this, there is nothing left that can go in their favor to classify them as an anti-violent group.
What is the link between the Proud Boys and Donald Trump?
“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.” These were the words of Donald Trump during the first presidential debate.
The boys celebrated these comments of Trump. Many interpreted this as some sort of secret message to continue insurgency.
The records of law enforcement agencies and videos shown on social media also suggest that members of the Proud Boys were also seen in the anti-Black Lives Matter protests, for which Trump voiced his support.
The Proud Boys leaders also appreciated the attack on Capitol Hill, for which Trump became the first president to be impeached twice as Congress gathered to certify Biden’s victory on January 6. Surely, if Trump ends up in prison, these members would play a critical role in helping him serve a jail term.