Stand down and stand by. That is what he told them. What were they standing down from? Why would they need to stand by? The short answer is that President Trump asked the Proud Boys to stand down from making trouble, but stand by because he may need them to make trouble later. Unfortunately, when it comes to the Proud Boys, no one is talking about getting in ‘Good Trouble’. So, who are the Proud Boys? The Proud Boys are all about making bad trouble.
How the Proud Boys got their start:
The Proud Boys started as a small cult of personality around media personality Gavin McInnes. More or less, McInnis kept saying rude and bigoted stuff while his fans cheered. Calling himself a ‘Western Chauvinist’ and a member of the ‘New-Right’, McInnis has led his followers to infamy. Their official website proclaims the Proud Boys to be “The World’s Greatest Fraternal Organization” with chapters throughout the world. They do not claim to get up to anything nefarious. They are just a drinking club with members that favor right wing political ideas. Yeah sure. A drinking club that likes to street brawl in their ugly black and yellow polo shirts.
Do you know what the FBI calls the Proud Boys? The FBI calls the Proud Boys an “extremist group with ties to White Nationalism”. Additionally, the Southern Poverty Law Center calls the Proud Boys a “hate group”. Not to be left out, the Anti-defamation League has warned that the Proud Boys are “violent, nationalistic, Islamophobic, transphobic and misogynistic”. Now, that doesn’t sound like these Proud Boys are very nice at all, does it?
What do the Proud Boys do?
You mean besides drinking? If ONLY that was all they did! The Proud Boys like to get into street brawls with ‘socialists’, ‘antifa’ and Black Lives Matter protesters. One of the most notorious incidents was when the New York Metropolitan Republican Club invited McInnis and his Proud Boys to speak at an event.
Bizarrely, McInnis arrived at the event with a Japanese sword that he waved at anti-fascist protestors before entering the Manhattan clubhouse. Inside the event, McInnis and his Proud Boys re-enacted the assassination of Japanese socialist leader Inejiro Asanuma in 1960. McInnis’s speech implied the assassin was a some sort of hero. In fact, the Proud Boys and other right wing Nationalist groups revere the assassin for his sacrifice. Terrible memes have sprung up all over the internet. Don’t look for them.
After the spectacle at the GOP Manhattan Clubhouse, McInnis received a police escort to the safety of his car, but his Proud Boys descended to the street where they clashed with protestors. Apparently, members of a New York Skinhead gang came out to assist. In the end, nine Proud Boys and three protestors were arrested. These arrests resulted in two Proud Boys being sent to jail, while the seven others pled guilty.
The Proud Boys have increasingly been involved with counter protests against the Black Lives Matter movement. After the death of George Floyd, Facebook shut down Proud Boy accounts as the Proud Boys, and another group called the American Guard, were organizing to send armed agitators to Black Lives Matter protests.
The Proud Boys like to harass anyone that speaks out against them. If you get too loud with your condemnation, a Proud Boy might visit you at home ‘just to talk’. That happened to Vic Berger who has uploaded some videos that are critical of the Proud Boys and McInnis. Same with a Philadelphia woman named Gwen Snyder, who has made critical comments about the Proud Boys on Twitter.
The real reason the Proud Boys are dangerous:
A few street brawls instigated by deplorables are one thing. The problem with the Proud Boys is how easily they have been accepted by some members of the Republican party, including President Trump.
Fascist skinhead groups have wreaked havoc in the U.S. for decades, but scholars of fascism have noted that those groups pose limited political threats—unless a mainstream political party embraces them.The Daily Beast
Although they are convincingly trying hard to leave the mainstream, the GOP continues to have a lot of mainstream support. Unfortunately, the Trump Administration and other high profile Republicans have legitimized the Proud Boys, and even encouraged Proud Boy activities.
“Proud Boys – stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what… Somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem.”Donald Trump
In the same breath that Trump told the Proud Boys to stand down, he told them to stand by because SOMEBODY has got to do something about antifa. The endorsement was so well received that the Proud Boys membership increased by 10% after Trump’s comments. They also sold a lot of Tshirts with the ‘stand back and stand by’ slogan.
Don’t forget that famous Proud Boy supporter Roger Stone! The Proud boys have a mutual crush on Stone.
The Proud Boys are happy to act as Roger Stone’s personal security team and Stone brings them everywhere, even to official GOP events. The Proud Boys even raised money for Roger Stone’s legal defense fund by selling tshirts and asking for donations. In fact, the Proud Boys like Roger Stone so much that McInnis claims he is one of just three approved people allowed to speak publicly about the Proud Boys.
After Trump commuted Roger Stone’s sentence, no group was happier than the Proud Boys who proclaimed: “Our boy is free!”.
Another high profile Republican that defends the Proud Boys is Congressman Matt Gaetz. After Twitter suspended the account of a Proud Boy for posting anti-Islamic hate speech about Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar. Matt Gaetz was concerned that suspending Twitter users for hate speech is a slippery slope.
Despite their thugish street brawling and unsavory bigotry, the Proud Boys are enjoying acceptance and endorsement from members of the Republican party. That is a problem that the GOP tolerates at its peril. If the Republican Party manages to survive post Trump, it will not be because they allowed the Proud Boys and groups like them to represent mainstream conservative values.
What are the Proud Boys up to now?
The Proud Boys are all in for Trump’s seditious fight to overturn the results if the 2020 Presidential election. During the Pro-Trump rally on the Freedom Plaza, Proud Boys were eager to confront the counter-protestors that were situated in the nearby Black Livers Matter Plaza. Chairman Tarrio posted on Parler that he had been invited to the Whitehouse and provided photographic evidence of himself. On Parler, Tarrio goes by the handle “Wartime Tarrio”, advertising merchandise such as “stealth commie killer” tshirts while taunting counter protestors to meet up.
Wartime Tarrio? Do the Proud Boys believe they are fighting a war?