Proud Boys
Proud Boys

Proud Boys
Proud Boys is a far-right men's organization with presences in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. It was founded in 2016 by

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Proud Boys Named after "Proud of Your Boy"Formation 2016; 2 years ago (2016)Founder Gavin McInnesType Far-right men's organization[1][2]Region InternationalWebsite

Proud Boys is a far-right men's organization[1][2][3][4] with presences in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.[5][6][7] It was founded in 2016 by Vice Media co-founder and former commentator Gavin McInnes. McInnes describes the group as a "pro-Western fraternal organization" for men who "refuse to apologize for creating the modern world."[8] Proud Boys has been described as both alt-right and alt-lite;[9][10] McInnes has denied the group is alt-right.[11]

The group takes its name from the showtune "Proud of Your Boy," a song cut from the Disney film Aladdin, in which the title character apologizes to his mother.[10][12]

Contents The Organization Origin of the Name 'Proud Boys'

In 2016, the song Proud of Your Boy, a song cut from the soundtrack for the film Aladdin, became a running theme on The Gavin McInnes Show, a podcast hosted by Anthony Cumia's Compound Media. McInnes, a right-wing media personality, was exposed to the song at a children's talent show in December 2015 and took immediate dislike to the perceived "fake, humble, and self-serving" nature of the lyrics.[12] The song has been played in its entirety on the show on several occasions, and is frequently referenced by callers and in-studio guests.[13] When McInnes founded the Proud Boys organization in 2016, he named it in response to the song.[14][12]

Membership Proud Boys at a rally in Seattle, summer 2017

According to their own publications, members of the Proud Boys are men who support the tenet that "the West is the Best," which the group defines with the term "Western chauvinism". The organization's website say it doesn't discriminate based on on race, sexual orientation, or sexual preference.[15]

The organization's website and McInnes have both said that the Proud Boys are not alt-right, with McInnes favoring the milder-sounding term alt-light.[16][17][11]

The Proud Boys have a four-degree initiation process for new members.[18] In the first degree, a recruit must declare "I am a Western chauvinist who refuses to apologize for creating the modern world."[19] The second degree involves five or more Proud Boys punching the recruit until he names five breakfast cereals. To earn the third degree, the recruit must get a Proud Boy tattoo.[17] The Proud Boys' website says that the fourth degree is reserved for those who have "endured a major conflict related to the cause."[20][21] The Southern Poverty Law Center has said this requires the recruit to get into a physical fight with an Antifa activist at a public rally.[22]

The Proud Boys have adopted a black Fred Perry polo shirt with yellow piping as their unofficial uniform.[23] Fred Perry was previously associated with the Mod subculture and skinhead groups,[23][24] including the British National Front.[25] Fred Perry's CEO John Flynn denounced the affiliation with the Proud Boys in a statement to CBC Radio saying, "We don't support the ideals or the group that you speak of. It is counter to our beliefs and the people we work with."[24]

The Proud Boys discourages its members from masturbating and watching pornography so as to motivate them to get "off the couch" and meet women.[21]

Events New York University

In February 2017, McInnes arrived at New York University to give a speech, accompanied by a group of about ten Proud Boys. Minor scuffles broke out between Proud Boys and Antifa protesters, and the NYPD said that eleven people faced criminal charges. One member of the Proud Boys encouraged others to fight the "faggots wearing black that won't let us in", and was later arrested for punching a reporter from DNAinfo.[26][27]

2017 Berkeley protests Main article: 2017 Berkeley protests

At the 2017 March 4 Trump rally in Berkeley, California, Kyle Chapman was recorded hitting a counter-protester over the head with a wooden dowel. Images of Chapman went viral, and the Proud Boys organized a crowdfunding campaign for Chapman's bail after his arrest. After this, McInnes invited Chapman to become involved with the Proud Boys, through which he formed the Fraternal Order of the Alt-Knights.[28]

On April 15, 2017, a Patriot's Day rally was organized in Berkeley by the Liberty Revival Alliance, which did not seek or receive a permit, and was attended by members of the Proud Boys.[29] Violence broke out between protestors and counter-protesters, with over 20 people arrested and 11 injured.[30]

Disruption of Halifax Indigenous Peoples' Protest Main article: Edward Cornwallis Statue protests

On July 1, 2017, five Canadian Armed Forces members who self-identified as Proud Boys disrupted a protest organized by Indigenous activists, in Halifax, Nova Scotia on Canada Day. General Jonathan Vance, the head of the CAF, later stated that the five would be removed from training and duties as the military investigated and reviewed the circumstances surrounding their actions. General Vance also indicated that the members could possibly be released from the CAF permanently.[3][31] Rear Admiral John Newton, Commander of the Maritime Fleet of the Royal Canadian Navy, was "personally horrified" by the incident and said the Proud Boys were "clearly a white supremacist group and we fundamentally stand opposed to any of their values."[32]

On August 14, 2017, the CAF confirmed that the investigation had been concluded.[33] Later that month, Newton announced that four of the members had returned to duty, stating that the CAF had taken "appropriate measures to address individual shortcomings" and warning, "Any further inappropriate behavior could result in their termination from the Canadian Armed Forces."[34]

Unite the Right rally Main article: Unite the Right rally

In June, McInnes disavowed the then-upcoming Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.[35] Proud Boys were at the August 2017 alt-right event, which was organized by far-right activist Jason Kessler. Kessler had joined the Proud Boys some time before organizing the event.[36][37][38] McInnes said he had kicked Kessler out after his views on race had become clear.[35] Alex Michael Ramos, one of the men convicted for the assault of DeAndre Harris which took place at the rally, was associated with the Proud Boys and Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights.[39] After the rally, McInnes wrote on the Proud Boys website that neither the Proud Boys nor the Alt-Knights were alt-right.[40]

Fraternal Order of the Alt-Knights

In 2017, Kyle Chapman, nicknamed "Based Stickman" due to the aforementioned wooden dowel incident, formed a paramilitary wing of the Proud Boys called the "Fraternal Order of the Alt-Knights" (FOAK).[41] Alt-right figure Augustus Sol Invictus acted as FOAK's second-in-command until he left the group.[42]

See also References
  1. ^ a b Mike Carter, Seattle police wary of May Day violence between pro- and anti-Trump groups, Seattle Times (May 1, 2017).
  2. ^ a b Colleen Long, 11 arrests at NYU protest over speech by 'Proud Boys' leader, Associated Press (February 3, 2017): "a far-right men's organization"
  3. ^ a b Tasker, John Paul. "Head of Canada's Indigenous veterans group hopes Proud Boys don't lose their CAF jobs". CBC. CBC. Retrieved July 6, 2017. 
  4. ^ Paige St. John & Veronica Rocha, Conservative and alt-right groups gather for 'free speech' rally in Berkeley, Los Angeles Times (April 27, 2017): "far right group Proud Boys..."
  5. ^ "-='Proud Boys' back in Canada military after crashing indigenous ceremony". BBC News. 31 August 2017. 
  6. ^ Gilbert, Simon (30 July 2017). "Right wing activist warns people to avoid "immigrant city" Coventry which he claims is "awful"". Coventry Telegraph. Retrieved 8 February 2018. 
  7. ^ "Vetting Groups and Portals". Proud Boys. Proud Boys. Retrieved 8 August 2018. 
  8. ^ Osnos, Evan (February 6, 2017). "Trump Supporters at the DeploraBall". The New Yorker. Retrieved March 6, 2017. 
  9. ^ Andrew Marantz, The Alt-Right Branding War Has Torn the Movement in Two, The New Yorker (July 6, 2017).
  10. ^ a b "The fratty Proud Boys are the alt right's weirdest new phenomenon". Retrieved March 10, 2017. 
  11. ^ a b Woodhouse, Leighton Akio (21 September 2017). "AFTER CHARLOTTESVILLE, THE AMERICAN FAR RIGHT IS TEARING ITSELF APART". The Intercept. Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  12. ^ a b c Disser, Nicole (July 28, 2016). Gavin McInnes and his Proud Boys want to make white men great again.
  13. ^ "The Gavin McInnes Show 059". The Anthony Cumia Network. Retrieved 23 April 2016. 
  14. ^ "The fratty Proud Boys are the alt right's weirdest new phenomenon". Retrieved March 10, 2017. 
  15. ^ Culkin, Robert. "Proud Boys: Who Are They?". Proud Boy Magazine. Official Proud Boys. Retrieved 8 August 2018. 
  16. ^ McInnes, Gavin. "WE ARE NOT ALT-RIGHT: The Founder Goes on Record". Proud Boy Magazine. Official Proud Boys. Retrieved 8 August 2018. 
  17. ^ a b Gilmour, David (September 7, 2017). "Meet the Proud Boys, the pro-men, anti-masturbation enemy of 'antifa'". The Daily Dot. Retrieved September 14, 2017. 
  18. ^ Ellis, Emma Grey (May 22, 2017). "Your Handy Field Guide To The Many Factions Of The Far Right, From The Proud Boys To Identity Evropa". Wired. 
  19. ^ Proud Boys: ‘Willing to go places and disrupt things’ Toronto Sun (July 6, 2017)
  21. ^ a b Hall, Alexandra (November 26, 2017). "Controversial Proud Boys Embrace 'Western Values,' Reject Feminism And Political Correctness". Wisconsin Public Radio. Retrieved August 16, 2018. 
  22. ^ Morlin, Bill (April 25, 2017). "New Alt-Right "Fight Club" Ready for Street Violence". Southern Poverty Law Center. 
  23. ^ a b Christine Flammia,Fred Perry Wants Nothing to Do With Its Alt-Right Fanboys Esquire (July 10, 21017)
  24. ^ a b Fred Perry chairman says he wants nothing to do with Gavin McInnes and his Proud Boys CBC Radio (July 7, 2017)
  25. ^ Jake Wolff, The Proud Boys are the latest losers to try to co-opt the classic polo GQ(July 11, 2017)
  26. ^ Offenhartz, Jake (February 3, 2017). "Anti-Fascist Protesters Clash With 'Proud Boys' As Gavin McInnes Speaks At NYU". Gothamist. Archived from the original on March 20, 2017. Retrieved March 10, 2017. 
  27. ^ Campbell, Jon (February 15, 2017). "Gavin McInnes Wants You to Know He's Totally Not a White Supremacist". Village Voice. Retrieved March 10, 2017. 
  28. ^ Feuer, Alan; Peters, Jeremy W. (June 2, 2017). "Fringe Groups Revel as Protests Turn Violent". The New York Times. Retrieved August 21, 2017. 
  29. ^ John, Paige St. "For many at violent Berkeley rally, it wasn't really about Trump or free speech: They came to make trouble". 
  30. ^ "Alt Right 'Proud Boys' Declare Victory In Berkeley Melee". CBS SF Local. April 15, 2017. 
  31. ^ Elizabeth McMillan (July 4, 2017). "Forces members who disrupted Indigenous rally face 'severe consequences'". CBC. Retrieved July 10, 2017. 
  32. ^ Roache, Trina (July 5, 2017). "The military apologizes while a grandmother demands action on "Proud Boys" behavior". APTN National News. Retrieved July 25, 2017. 
  33. ^ Previl, Sean (August 14, 2017). "Investigation into 'Proud Boys' incident in Halifax concluded: military official". Global News. Retrieved September 14, 2017. 
  34. ^ "No criminal or disciplinary charges for Canadian military "Proud Boys" – group now back on the job". Ottawa Citizen. August 31, 2017. Retrieved September 14, 2017. 
  35. ^ a b Houpt, Simon (August 18, 2017). "Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes's path to the far-right frontier". Globe and Mail. Retrieved August 21, 2017. 
  36. ^ Strickland, Patrick (August 13, 2017). "Unite the Right: White supremacists rally in Virginia". Al Jazeera. Retrieved August 21, 2017. 
  37. ^ Porter, Tom (August 12, 2017). "Who are the alt-right leaders and provocateurs addressing the Charlottesville white nationalist rally?". Newsweek. Retrieved August 21, 2017. 
  38. ^ Lind, Dara (August 12, 2017). "Unite the Right, the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, explained". Vox. Retrieved August 21, 2017. 
  39. ^ "Charlottesville Beating Suspect Is Guilty". May 3, 2018. 
  40. ^ McInnes, Gavin (August 21, 2017). "WE ARE NOT ALT-RIGHT". Proud Boys. Retrieved August 21, 2017. 
  41. ^ Feuer, Alan; Peters, Jeremy W. (2 June 2017). "Fringe Groups Revel as Protests Turn Violent". New York Times. Retrieved 7 January 2018. 
  42. ^ "Proud Boys". Southern Poverty Law Center. 
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