Like K-Pop stans before them, these "proud boys" are drowning out the voices of white supremacists.
At the first presidential debate, Donald Trump was given an opportunity to disavow the violent white supremacist group known as the Proud Boys.
The Proud Boys—who have made a name for themselves by instigating violence with anti-fascist activists and Black Lives Matter protesters—insist that they are not white supremacists, defining themselves instead as "western chauvinists." In effect, this means that they are welcoming to racial minorities... as long as those racial minorities agree that white culture and "western civilization" are fundamentally better than the rest of the world.
The group makes a point of tokenizing their limited non-white membership to prove that they aren't racist. This is particularly the case with Enrique Tarrio, a Miami native of Cuban heritage who was appointed the group's official figurehead shortly after ascending to the fourth and highest tier of Proud Boy membership—a feat which can only be achieved by engaging in political violence.
Proud Boys Celebrate President Trump's Callout To Them During Debate | TODAY www.youtube.com
Tarrio has defended the group from accusation of white supremacy by saying, "I'm pretty brown, I'm Cuban. There's nothing white supremacist about me." Then again, Tarrio took over as chairman—after the extraordinarily brief tenure of Jason Lee Van Dyke, who allegedly tried to use the Proud Boys' ranks to plot the assassination of a long-time rival—from the group's founder, Gavin McInnes, who has claimed that white nationalists "don't exist," while also espousing the belief that "we need to close the borders now and let everyone assimilate to a Western, white, English-speaking way of life." Huh...
Clearly we can't take these people at their words, but we can look to their deeds, which demonstrate a devotion to violence and to the defense of old American hierarchies that place straight white Christian men at the top of the pecking order. Classified by the FBI as an extremist group with white nationalist ties, the Proud Boys can be identified by their Fred Perry polo shirt uniforms and by their insistence that they are not everything that they clearly are (dangerous, a gang, racists, fascists...).
Needless to say, the Proud Boys are also big fans of Donald Trump, which is why—as the election approaches and they are increasingly seen to pose a threat of voter intimidation and related violence—the president was invited to condemn and disavow them on a national stage. Instead, he gave them instructions (almost as if he thinks of himself as their leader... weird) to "stand back and stand by."
While some have chosen to interpret this as a slip of the tongue—insisting that Trump meant to say "stand down," the Proud Boy's themselves interpreted it as an endorsement, with one member responding, "Trump basically said to go **** them up! This makes me so happy!"
In short, these people should not be anyone's favorites. Luckily, in a push that seems to have been inspired by a suggestion from actor George Takei, the Internet has responded to this horrifying mess by offering up some "proud boys" who can make the rest of us "so happy"—while also drowning out the white supremacists.
These are the kind of "proud boys" who have recently been appearing under that label on Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and elsewhere, taking over #proudboys and a proudboys subreddit. These are people who truly deserve to be called "proud boys."
Proud to Commit
The so-called Proud Boys derive their name from the song "Proud of Your Boy" from the 2011 Broadway musical Aladdin. By contrast, this couple—who were recently engaged per Reddit user Collywobbles78—are into gay stuff like hiking the Canadian rockies and building a committed loving relationship together.
So @Dante_Colle and I asked these Anti Gay preachers how to be forgiven for our sins. “Theres no helping you guys”… https://t.co/lWMN6gbI2z— Michael DelRay 🖤 (@Michael DelRay 🖤) 1563828761.0
I never tweet but had to show off my pride. #ProudBoys 🏳️🌈🏳️🌈🏳️🌈🏳️🌈 https://t.co/NhdrIKJitP— David Hook (@David Hook) 1601936670.0
#ProudBoys We make one hell of a family! https://t.co/LEuuubbfpF— garth lescaudron (@garth lescaudron) 1601905233.0
Love always Trumps hate. #ProudBoys https://t.co/EZnisoYnfG— AreUontheSquare (@AreUontheSquare) 1601827967.0
12+ years of pure love ❤️ #ProudBoys https://t.co/icz0lG4r4b— Tommy and Peter (@Tommy and Peter) 1601920196.0
Keep it up, boys. We're proud of you.