I N T E R N A T I O N A L – P O L I T I C S
Proud Boys is a far-right, neo-fascist, and White nationalist organisation based in the US and Canada and it has recently been listed as a terrorist organisation alongside AL-Qaeda, Al Shabab, and others in Canada. It has a history of violence associated with it. Despite all this, Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio has stated that the organisation is not White supremacist, anti-semitic, racist, or fascist in any way and that they do not condone racism in their organisation and that they are Western chauvinists and are an “anti-political correctness” organisation.
Members of the Proud Boys can be identified by their yellow-trimmed, black polos, and camo armour vests. The Proud Boys were founded by Gavin McInnes, a conservative online talk show host, who has ranted highly sexist, Islamophobic, and anti-semitic statements on his show and spouted fake news and has been a huge supporter of anti-politically correct content.
The organisation went from being an internet troll to being a group recognised by many around the world, when former President Donald Trump during Presidential debates in 2020 refused to condemn the organisation and its members, despite the violence that has been associated with it in recent times. Its members have been found in racist rallies, violent acts, and even attacks inflicted upon Black Lives Matter protests along with other liberal organisations and the like.
To join the organisation, a potential member has to state, “I am a Western chauvinist, and I refuse to apologise for creating the modern world.”
Stating the above will apparently make you a first-degree member of the Proud Boys. They have four degrees of membership hierarchy in their organisation and to pass each degree a member has to go through certain rituals that are each crazier than the last.
They have a belief called “veneration of the housewife”, which when translated into simple terms means that they believe most women belong to home and that women are “less ambitious” than men. They are heavily against the feminist movements and have touted themselves as “anti-feminist”. Their members have been linked to misogyny and gender based violence in the US, fuelled further by Donald Trump and his Twitter rants. They published an article on their website that supports violence against women and the article tried to defend the actions of its members which caused a confrontation at a Planned Parenthood meeting.
As quoted by the organisations founder,
“Maybe the reason I’m sexist is because women are dumb. No, I’m just kidding, ladies. But you do tend to not thrive in certain areas like writing.”
— Gavin McInnes, The Gavin McInnes Show
They have also supported and led rallies against Muslims and immigrants in North America to apparently protect their “Western way of life”. They have also associated themselves with Pamela Geller, one of the most blatant figures in the anti-Muslim movement in the world right now. She makes use of her blog “Atlas Shrugs”, and is also a contributor to the far-right Breitbart News to spread her anti-Muslim message.
Former President Obama had been the victim of a large number of her rants and conspiracy theories. For example, she stated that Obama was beholden to his “Islamic overlords” and said that he wants jihad to be victorious in America. One of her most notable acts is “Draw a Mohammed Cartoon Contest”. Geller has allied herself to virtually any individual or movement that expresses stridently anti-Muslim sentiments, no matter how repugnant.
Proud Boys has quickly become a part of all kinds of anti-muslim, anti-left, and far-right protests going around the US and Canada in recent times. They are also supporters of the controversial “Muslim Ban” policy, taking part in an event they called “Islamberg Exposed: Ride for Homeland Security”. Islamberg is a small, upstate New York African-American Muslim community in New York City.
Proud Boys’ large swaths of members politically have been huge supporters of former President Donald Trump, and Trump, in turn, had refused to condemn them. One such example is during the Presidential Debates, Trump responded to a debate question about White supremacists by saying that the Proud Boys should “stand back and stand by”. Donald Trump has not criticised the Proud Boys or their support and has instead riled them on through his Twitter account.
After the election, Proud Boys repeated the false claim of election fraud in the 2020 Presidential Election, saying that the election was stolen from Donald Trump by the Democrats, a left-centre-leaning political party in the US political arena. Members of the far-right group, have since changed their stance on Donald Trump since they have started to face consequences of their actions during the U.S Capitol Riots and have started calling Trump “weak” as more of them are being charged for storming the US Capitol.
Proud Boys is a hate-filled organisation despite whatever its leaders and members claim it not to be, as all the evidence showing it as that way cannot be discounted and an organisation like this still in its infancy has caused a lot of damage, and we still have to see what kind of damage they may wrath during the four years of President Joe Biden’s constituency.
Rabab Rayan is a Business undergrad trying to excel academically but failing spectacularly.