About that angry mob…

About that angry mob...

by digby

Think Progress reports:

The Proud Boys took Manhattan Friday night, attending a lecture by their founder, Gavin McInnes, at the Metropolitan Republican Club of New York City.

Following the event, the white nationalist group took to the streets, brutally beating and kicking several individuals while shouting “faggot” and “cocksucker,” reportedly because one of them stole one of their MAGA hats. Fox News responded by only reporting on anti-fascist vandalism that had taken place at the venue, while continuing to portray Democrats as the real angry mobs.

McInnes’ lecture was about Otoya Yamaguchi, who himself was a member of an extremist right-wing group in Japan. In 1960, Yamaguchi stabbed Japan Socialist Party leader Inejiro Asanuma to death, and he has been celebrated as a hero of extreme nationalist groups.

McInnes claimed on Instagram that he would actually be “re-enacting this inspiring moment” at the event. That the Proud Boys were hyped to engage in violence of their own afterward appears to be no coincidence.

Twitter user and photojournalist Shay Horse followed the Proud Boys after they left the event and documented a group of about 30 Proud Boys “pummeling a guy on the ground screaming, ‘Are you brave now faggot?!'” He later noticed from his own photographs that several fights were playing out simultaneously. He also showed the Proud Boys proudly flashing white power hand symbols afterward.

Christopher Wright, who describes himself as a “conservative in NY” who has walked away from “the Democrat Plantation,” was among the Proud Boys who attended the event and was present for the beatings. His Facebook live video shows perhaps the closet view of the attacks, as well as how hyped the Proud Boys were after they walked away.

In his video, in which he claims members of Antifa attempted to jump them, the Proud Boys can be heard calling the victims “faggot” and “cocksucker.” The group also chanted, “I like beer!”, referring to Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony when he denied sexually assaulting Christine Blasey Ford. One individual can be heard boasting, “I kicked him right in the fucking head!” and “Dude, I had one of their fucking heads and was just smashing it in the pavement!” Another replies, “Whoo, yeah!”

“Once again, you see who the enemy is,” Wright says of the victims who were far outnumbered as they were brutally beat and kicked. “That’s the enemy of the country back there. That’s the enemy of the state. That’s fascism back there, and you saw where it ended up: on the ground! Where they belong, like the bunch of little punks they are.”

Fox News’ coverage of the event, however, did not in any way highlight the Proud Boys’ gang violence. Instead, it focused exclusively on the Antifa vandalism that targeted the Metropolitan Republican Club in advance of McInnes’ lecture, framing the anti-fascist group as responsible for instigating violence.

As ThinkProgress has reported, the Proud Boys have a penchant for violence at their events, seeming to even delight in initiating it. McInnes himself has told his followers that “fighting solves everything.”

Several people have pointed out that the police appeared to protect the Proud Boys in these altercations. Indeed, Rebecca Kavanaugh, senior staff attorney for The Legal Aid Society, confirmed on Twitter that three arrests were made, but all three were anti-racist protesters — none of them members of the Proud Boys.

As Huffington Post National Reporter Christopher Mathias pointed out, U.S. media would describe the Proud Boys’ behavior as a fascist gang in any other country, but somehow their extremism continues to be downplayed.

Despite claims by the Proud Boys that they are not a racist organization, the Southern Poverty Law Center identifies them as a hate group and has documented their affinity for white nationalism and association with other racist groups, including their participation in the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally.

If you're wondering why there are men of color in the group, this article delves into that weird phenomenon.

David Neiwert, author of Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump, says, “The ranks of people of color who show up to these right-wing events are totally dominated by males.” He says the alt-right targets white males between the ages of 15 and 30 with a message of male resentment, which ends up attracting black, Latino, and Asian men as well.

Neiwert says many young men of color in the far-right grew up on conservative traditions common in minority communities. Their journey to the far-right has been enabled by the ease of recruitment in the internet age and the endorsement of extremism by Trump.

Entry points to the far-right include male-dominated video-game culture, the anti-feminist gamergate, troll havens on 4chan and 8chan, and the conspiracism that flourishes on websites like Infowars. Libertarianism is another gateway.

“A lot of these young guys,” Neiwert says, “especially from the software world, who are being sucked into white nationalism, start out being worked up about Ayn Rand in high school.”

Andrew Zhao, 25, a software engineer, says his parents, physicists who emigrated from mainland China, “are Trump fans.” He found out about the Seattle rally from Reddit and Facebook and said, “We need more patriotism. A lot of liberals don’t like America.”

Daniel HoSang says some people of color are drawn to the far-right because they “identify with the military, with nationalism, with patriotism, with conservatism.”

Wearing a Proud Boys hat, David Nopal, 23, came to the Seattle rally alone, like others. Nopal, whose parents crossed illegally from Mexico, said, “I’m very patriotic. The U.S. isn’t perfect, but we are a hell of a lot better than other countries.”

Sanchez comes from a military family. “They all love America. It’s a big part of the reason I’m a patriot.”

Similarly, Tarrio attributes his anti-socialist politics to his grandfather’s experience in Cuba under Fidel Castro.

They proudly identify as “American” without modifiers. In their America they’ve never experienced racism. They eagerly talk politics, but evidence of their America is scant beyond the internet. Institutional racism has been ended by affirmative action, “black privilege,” and equal protection under the law. Any remaining black inequality is caused by social welfare and liberal policies. In any case, it was Democrats who started the Klan.

People of color within the far-right play a role that “excuses white racism and bears witness to the failure of people of color,” HoSang says, adding that they make “white supremacy a more durable force.”

HoSang said the far-right is trying to broaden its appeal from a whites-only movement in a multiracial America, so it is “laying claim to the ideas of anti-racism, racial uplift, and civil-rights progress.”

HoSang says, “It’s hard for people to wrap their head around how Dr. King and civil-rights language are being used to legitimate positions approaching fascism and violence to restore hierarchy and order. But they are.”

What it says to me is that "White nationalism" is, at its core, male rage. The racism is a primary feature, but not the tie that binds. *And yes there are women who are part of these groups. Many women serve the patriarchy happily.They are dumb.