The Proud Boys' crackup after the elections provides an insightful glimpse into their deep white nationalist nature
Kyle Chapman, a Bay Area commercial diver who gained national fame in 2017 as a "Based Stickman" after bringing homemade weapons and armor to an old-right protest in Berkeley, Calif., Caused an uproar this weekend Ranks of the Proud Boys that he intended to resume leadership of the group after its current chairman, Enrique Tarrio of Florida, embarrassed himself and the group.
Chapman posted the notification on right-wing platform Parler, apparently triggered by an incident in which Tarrio claimed to have stopped a stab at Proud Boys in Washington, DC, despite the video not confirming his claims:
Due to the recent failure of Proud Boy's Chairman Enrique Tarrio to behave with honor and courage on the battlefield, it has been decided that I, Kyle Chapman, resume my post as President of Proud Boys with immediate effect. We will no longer go left by appointing token negroes as our leaders. We will no longer accept homosexuals or other “undesirable” people in our ranks. We will face the Zionist criminals who want to destroy our civilization.
Enrique Tarrio with the Proud Boys in Portland in August 2019.
Despite being classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in 2018, the Proud Boys have insisted that they are not a white nationalist or racist organization. Her favorite piece of evidence to back up this claim is Tarrio, an African-Cuban man who became chairman of the group after founder Gavin McInnes resigned in November 2018 and was replaced by a national body led by Tarrio.
Tarrio himself likes to tell reporters that the Proud Boys "have long-standing regulations prohibiting racist white supremacists or violent activities" and "I denounce white supremacy. I denounce anti-Semitism. I denounce racism. I denounce fascism. Me denounce communism and everyone else. " otherism, which prejudices people because of their race, religion, culture and skin color. "He denies that the Proud Boys are white supremacists by saying," I'm pretty brown, I'm Cuban. There is nothing white supremacist about me. "
McInnes has sued the SPLC for labeling the hate group, claiming that "we are not an extremist group and have no ties to white nationalists," the latter of which, he told The Guardian, "do not exist". The reality, however, is that the ethos McInnes describes as the core of the Proud Boys – what he calls "Western chauvinism" – is just a PR-friendly rewording of the myth of the "white genocide" that enlivens modern white nationalism.
"I love being white and I think it's something I can be very proud of. I don't want our culture to be watered down. We have to close the borders now and all to a western, white, English-speaking Adjust the way of life. " McInnes said. Kyle Chapman, his one-time cohort, fully agrees to this day – and a few more.
Chapman made a name for himself at a "Trump on March 4th" in Berkeley on March 4, 2017, when he came to the event prepared for battle with homemade equipment: an American flag sign, football-style padding and helmet ; and a long wooden signpost that he carried like a baseball bat. A video of Chapman breaking the post of an anti-fascist protester that day went viral and spawned his nickname. Chapman was charged with multiple offenses, which he eventually tried on a single charge and a five-year suspended sentence.
Kyle Chapman, in helmet and goggles, with Identity Evropa founder Nathan Damigo, in blue shirt, at the Proud Boys event in Berkeley, California on April 15, 2017.
His next big moment, however, was the opening event of the Proud Boys: the “Freedom of Speech” rally on April 15, 2017, which they called “the next battle of Berkeley” and which turned out to be a landmark moment for white nationalist groups such as Identity Evropa and the rise above the movement, the leaders of which were all present.
McInnes was so impressed that he promptly named Chapman leader of the Proud Boys and entrusted him with organizing the group's "tactical defense arm" known as the Fraternal Order of Old Knights (FOAK). Chapman described FOAK as a “fraternal organization”, a member chapter of the Proud Boys, “with its own statutes, constitutions, rituals and review processes”.
In the months and years that followed, however, nothing ever got out of the FOAK project, mainly because Chapman faced multiple charges due to various violent incidents: for beating a Texas man over the head with a bar stool, for fighting a person had Berkeley filming a promotional video for operating a vehicle off-road.
Chapman speaks at a Patriot Prayer event in Portland, Oregon in June 2017.
After McInnes left the Proud Boys, Chapman became largely an afterthought. He largely disappeared from the right-wing protest scene and skipped such large Proud Boys gatherings as their march in Portland in August 2019. His only notable engagement was with the white nationalists who organized the Straight Pride Parade in Boston in June 2019 and who gave the event his name and image.
Yet even during his time as the leader of the Proud Boys, he made statements that refuted the group's rejection of white nationalism, such as his speech at a July 2017 meeting in Sacramento:
I'm not afraid to talk about the atrocities that whites and people of European descent are facing not only here in this country but in western countries around the world. The war against whites, Europeans and Western society is very real and it is time we all talked about it and stopped worrying about political correctness and optics.
In the course of time his public references to such white nationalist tropes as "white genocide" and expressions of simple bigotry (also against feminists and women) became even clearer. And in his announcement of the Proud Boys “coup” on November 9th, the mask was completely removed.
Chapman announced that the organization would adopt its underlying white nationalist ethos by renaming itself as "Proud Goys" – a reference to the old-right belief that Jews secretly control world politics and media to target non-Jewish " Goyim "to suppress. He added, "The coup is complete" and then started a naked racist rant:
We will no longer go left by anointing Token Negros as our guides. We will no longer accept homosexuals or other “undesirable” people in our ranks. We recognize that the West was built by the White Race alone and we owe nothing to any other race. Proud Goy members will pay homage to the whites who gave their lives to build our civilization: white men who gave their intellects to invent the modern world, spread enlightenment, and set the framework for smaller civilizations to thrive create. … We will boldly grapple with the issues of white genocide, the failure of multiculturalism, and the right of white men and women to have their own country where white interests are enshrined in law and part of body politics. We will no longer watch whites being murdered on the street for the color of their skin. …
Tarrio reacted sharply to Parler, saying he deserved to chair the group and referred to Chapman as a "grifter". Chapman replied, “All you do is grift. Nobody respects you anymore n —- r. Go back to divert medical care with the rest of the slimy Cubans in Miami. “- a reference to Tarrio's earlier conviction 15 years ago that he participated in a stolen medical device sale program for which he spent 16 months in federal prison.
The coup, as it was, so far appears to have been strictly confined to Chapman and some of his cohorts. Tarrio told Kelly Weill of The Daily Beast that he thought Chapman was drunk or joking. "He has probably not been part of the organization for two years," said Tarrio. “Obviously, he probably still has friends.
"I've never had a problem with Kyle," he added. “I think he was scolding drunk that night and he thought it was funny to put the things he did on his channel, then he said it was a joke. Which, whether it was a joke or not, I thought was stupid. "
As Weill reports, Chapman later denied it was a joke and also joined the call to remove Tarrio from another openly white supremacist, Proud Boy, Jovi Val.
These incidents, which reveal the bigoted and hateful white underbelly of the Proud Boys, are not accidental. It is who they really are and always have been.