Who are the Proud Boys? Five characteristics of the far-right group Trump backed down – but stick with it

Nor was it Donald Trump who spoke about it, who gathered the words and said them aloud – Proud Boys -, it was Joe Biden, during the debate on Tuesday, and after the President of the United States disagreed.

“Are you ready tonight to condemn the militias and white supremacists and tell them to stop?” Moderator Chris Wallace asked a bewildering Trump who, after retorting that “almost all the violence that he sees ”Currently in the country“ comes from the left ”, remained impassive and even asked for examples:“ Give me a name, give me a name, who do you want me to condemn? ”.

Chris Wallace: “Are you ready, tonight, to condemn the white supremacists and the militias and say that they must withdraw…”

Trump: “Proud Boys, take a step back and stay away! But I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something for the antifa and the left.”

– Axios (@axios) September 30, 2020

Like the Democrat, Trump has reacted more firmly to the bonfire that has been burning for months in the United States, with pitched battles between far-right and far-left groups, and catapulted the group founded in 2016 by even more in glory. Canadian Gavin McInnes. “Proud Boys, stay away and stay in position,” asked the still President of the United States; “We are waiting, sir,” responded several members of the group on virtual platforms that have not yet been banned.

Never heard of it? Here are five things you need to know about the Proud Boys.

“Misogynists, Islamophobes, transphobes and anti-immigrants”

The description comes from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a United States-based Jewish non-governmental organization whose motto is combating anti-Semitism and hate, as cited by the Wall Street Journal. The members of the Proud Boys – all male – are “misogynistic, Islamophobic, transphobic and anti-immigration.”

They are also violent, to prove that this is the countless recent news about the clashes they have been involved in with protesters from the Black Lives Matter movement, protesting against police violence in the United States.

“Armed with bear spray [um aerossol capaz de parar animais selvagens e agressivos], baseball bats, paintball guns and, in one member’s case, a gun, the Proud Boys were involved in various acts of violence against protesters and members of the media, ”described ADL, on the clashes in Portland.

Banned by Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, members of the Proud Boys now communicate and manifest through platforms such as Telegram and Parler.

Gavin McInnes, the anti-Semitic founder

It was in 2016, during the presidential campaign between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, that Gavin McInnes, a former Brooklyn hipster (described by the New York Times two years ago), who became an avowed anti-Semite, decided to form the extreme group. -right.

“This movement is about normal people trying to live their lives being attacked by mad, mentally ill people,” the now Canadian-born writer, journalist and political activist told the newspaper in 2018.

Gavin McInnes in 2017 at a protest against Islamic law in New York

It is not even necessary to resort to actions, which are not lacking are other words pronounced by McInnes, co-founder of Vice Media, able to translate what, in his lexicon, means “normality”: he supposes that he is Islamophobic, sexist and anti-Semitic (but, according to Newsweek, the video he recorded in 2017 with the headline “ten things I hate about Jews” has since been removed from the internet).

“We brought roads and infrastructure to India and they continue to use it as a toilet. Our criminals have built good roads in Australia, but the aborigines continue to use them as a bed, ”said McInnes, who guarantees he is not racist, has no ties to the alternative right movement, nor defends the values ​​of white supremacy.

In December 2018, two months after members of the Proud Boys were arrested in New York, following clashes with elements of the far-left group Antifa, just after his rally, McInnes decided to quit the group.

“I officially disassociate myself from the Proud Boys, in every way forever, I give up,” he said in a video that has since been shared publicly. “My legal team and law enforcement officials tell me that this gesture may help ease their sentence … We are not an extremist group and we have no connection with white nationalists.”

Enrique Tarrio, an Afro-Cuban living in Florida, has since been chosen to lead the group.

FBI reported

Since 2018, the Proud Boys have been classified by the FBI as an “extremist group linked to white nationalism”.

According to a document released at the time by the Guardian, in the summer of that year, US federal police issued a statement warning local police that the group was “actively recruiting in the Pacific Northwest region. “.

“Members of the Proud Boys contributed to the recent escalation of violence at political rallies held on college campuses and in cities such as Charlottesville, Virginia, Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington,” the document also warns.

Praxis and oath

“I am a proud Western chauvinist, I refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.” According to the Guardian, it is in this sentence that the oath that all new members of the Proud Boys must take, after the process of “violent” praxis has passed, as a rite of joining the group.

While no one knows how many Proud Boys there are (McInnes has shot as many as 10,000 around the world), the UK newspaper suggests they are no more than a few hundred – far less than their reputation, now expanded to first The Trump-Biden showdown might have you believe. Yet the “phenomenon” will not be exclusive to the United States, where it was created – in the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, the birthplace of founder McInnes, there are also Proud Boys.

Fred Perry’s “Uniform” and the Anthem from Aladino

Black Fred Perry polo shirt, with yellow stripes on the collar and sleeves. Here is the uniform adopted by the Proud Boys, a choice that Bloomberg says has already led the brand, founded 68 years ago by the tennis player, three-time Wimbledon champion and many others of the US Open, to discontinue sales of the model.

As of September 2019, over a year ago, there aren’t any hubs like the ones adopted by the Proud Boys for sale, at least in the US and Canada. The brand intends to keep it that way, at least until the end of the far-right organization.

As an anthem, the Proud Boys have a song by Aladino, from Disney – in fact, it was the song “Proud of Your Boy”, which he heard in 2015, on a show at the school of his daughter, whom McInnes sought inspiration for the name of the group. Interestingly, the Jewish newspaper Forward already pointed out that the music would not have been written less than by a Jew. Gay.

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