Updated: Oct 1, 2020
Robert P. Alvarez/ Institute for Policy Studies
At the first presidential debate, Chris Wallace asked President Trump to condemn white supremacists’ organizations. For some reason (*ahem* racism) President Trump asked for further clarification on a specific organization and former Vice-President Biden quickly named The Proud Boys as a white supremacist organization President Trump could condemn. President Trump of course quickly condemned and distanced himself from… just joking he gave them implicit support and failed to demonstrate a shred of responsible leadership. That is all to be expected at this point, but who are the Proud Boys and what do they stand for?
In their own words from their apparently defunct website, The Proud Boys are “a men’s organization founded in 2016 by Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes. McInnes has described The Proud Boys as a pro-Western fraternal organization for men who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world; aka Western Chauvinists.” Their website goes on to list their tenets, which include “Anti-Racial Guilt”, “Venerating the Housewife”, “Anti-Racism” and “Reinstating a Spirit of Western Chauvinism”. If you were to read their own description with no further context, it would come off as a semi-libertarian, right wing, male dominated group that is attempting to attract followers by appealing to the belief that Western culture is under attack and the path to salvation lies in their generated fictional glorified days of old. This projection of a modicum civility is of course bullshit. Incredibly even this land of make believe sanitized version of The Proud Boys ideology is racist and puts them firmly on the spectrum of far right ideology.
Robert P. Alvarez/ Institute for Policy Studies
In reality The Proud Boys are racist bigots with blatantly false Western culture superiority ideas. They believe that modern society is suppressing and repressing men, particularly white men. According to The Proud Boys, the only way to redeem the ideals of the glorious white male Western culture is to drink beer, wear matching Fred Perry shirts (which none of us can enjoy now, so thanks for that), yell at people on the street, and not to masturbate. Yes, that's not a mistype, they really don't like members of their club doing that. Just like any sophomoric group of men-children with inflated senses of egos and self-importance, there is a silly initiation ritual that includes being beat in, naming cereals brands, getting a tattoo, and of course pledging not to masturbate. There is some sort of sexist justification to the anti-masturbation pledge but I imagine it's as batshit crazy as the rest of this and my search history already is raising enough eyebrows with my FBI agent so we are just going to move past that.
A solid portion of Proud Boys' content is devoted to claiming that they are not racist, which is something I wanted to address. To begin with... yes, they are. The Proud Boys’ specific brand of racism would probably be classified as Neo-Racism or cultural racism, but the principles remain the same. Clearly this is not an academic paper so I will save you the dissection of the nuances of different types of racism. The point is that they think they are better than others because of what they look like, where they were born, or the religion they practice. Much like the pornography that The Proud Boys cannot look at, we know racism when we see racism. The Proud Boys ideals are a form of racist white supremacy that is contrary to not only American values but to basic human morals as well. I believe that explains President Trump's refusal to condemn the organization as well.
I thought about concluding this piece by listing the incidents of violence and racism The Proud Boys have been involved in, their arrests, or more of their insane values. But instead I want to end on a very brief list of things we enjoy in this country, and the world, thanks to non-western culture and women. The first and arguably most important, democracy. The Greeks may have created the idea, but it was Islamic scholars who preserved, expanded, and upheld the system of governance during the Dark Ages. Women in “non-traditional roles” have led to discoveries in science that have saved millions of lives. The fact that we do not have to worry about Leprosy is thanks to Alice Ball. Our treatment of Malaria is because of Tu Youyou. I could go on but to give proper credit to the amazing impact on the world the groups The Proud Boys are scared of would take volumes. Humanity is better off because of the interconnectivity of cultures and genders. We are stronger because of our acceptance of others. It is cowardice and fear that leads to the belief that the violent oppression of those who are different from ourselves will be the future. The Proud Boys can beat themselves (all puns intended) as much as they want to attempt to prove their toughness, but the truth is they are a group of cowards who are scared of women, fear other cultures, and despise the idea of equality for all. In other words, they are a group who deserves to be condemned.