Things That Matter

A Cuban-American Is Behind The Hate Group “The Proud Boys” And POC Have Questions

If you’ve been following the news centered around the rise of the white supremacist movement in America, fueled by Trump’s nativist 2016 campaign, you’re probably familiar with The Proud Boys. The group was founded in the midst of the Trump campaign and describes itself as a “drinking club that stands behind Donald Trump.” The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated The Proud Boys as a general hate group given the spew of white nationalist, anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rhetoric from its members.

Last November, a Proud Boy Rally in Portland, Oregon broke out into a full-fledged brawl with Antifa (a left-wing Anti-Fascist group). This week, Portland spent $2 million in security measures to ensure another Proud Boy rally, called “End Domestic Terrorism,” left nobody injured. Shockingly, The Proud Boys is nationally led by Afro-Cubano Enrique Tarrio of Miami, and Latinos have something to say to him.

The Proud Boys’ goal today was to have Antifa declared a domestic terrorist organization.

@AlexiaKapralos / Twitter

While Oregon is already a very white state, due to its black exclusion laws that outlawed POC from settling in the state from 1844 to 1926, its major cities have become a hub for progressives.

The Popular Mobilization movement (Pop Mob) spent the day trying to thwart The Proud Boys’ efforts to demonize the movement by having folks dressed up as poop emojis, hosting a banana costume dance party and more. “Having a conversation is useless. We’re not going to change their minds,” spokesperson Effie Baum said of The Proud Boys. “But we can make sure their videos are filled with poop emojis and a lot of music.”

The entire city’s police force was on the scene, along with FBI, as buses carrying The Proud Boys arrived in Downtown Portland.

@FordFischer / Twitter

While police had closed the Morrison Bridge, the Proud Boys cheered when they learned police gave them the privilege of crossing. Then, the police formed a physical barricade under the bridge to separate The Proud Boys from their counter-protesters. Police confiscated bear spray, shields and metal poles from the groups.

Several stores closed in advance of the protest, including chains like Starbucks and even small businesses. Wildfang, a clothing outlet that prides itself in fashion for queer folks, chose to close shop for the day. “As a small business, this can be a tough decision to make, but the safety of our employees + the community that we serve is always our top priority,” the business wrote on their Instagram. “We love you, Portland. F*ck white supremacy.”

A leaked group chat reveals that the Proud Boys premeditate violence before their rallies.

Untitled. Digital Image. Huffington Post. 17 August 2019.

Huffington Post published leaked messages from a Proud Boys group chat that illustrates the group’s primary goal to inflict violence on their counter-protesters.

Another chat member, Alan Groot, wrote, “If any contact is made with you, that’s assault. If they take your hat, spray you with silly string, spit, push… It’s assault. We need to have all our guys there before we retaliate though if we can. The cops aren’t going to let us fight long. We need to inflict as much damage as possible in the time we have.”

Trump’s tweet calling Antifa an “organization of terror,” satiated The Proud Boys’ mission.

@realdonaldtrump / Twitter

“This smells like a setup, folks,” tweets one woman. “Proud Boys go to Portland to goad #AntiFA into violence so Trump feels justified in labeling the anti-Nazi group as an organization of terror…?”

Joe Biggs, a former InfoWars writer and organizer of today’s neo-Nazi rally, told The Oregonian that “President Trump’s Twitter” gave them what they wanted. “He talked about Portland, said he’s watching Antifa. That’s all we wanted. We wanted national attention, and we got it. Mission success.”

So, if The Proud Boys self-describe as a drinking club, why are they a hate group?

@QuotesGavin / Twitter

Co-founder of Vice Media and Vice magazine, Gavin McInnes (no longer associated with the outlet) is the founder of The Proud Boys. In 2002, when asked what he thought about his Williamsburg neighborhood, he said, “Well, at least they’re not niggers or Puerto Ricans. At least they’re white.”

Here are just a few of his quotes from his Get Off My Lawn podcast:

It’s such a rape culture with these immigrants, I don’t even think these women see it as rape. They see it as just like having a teeth [sic] pulled. ‘It’s a Monday. I don’t really enjoy it,’ but that’s what you do. I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t have the same trauma as it would for a middle-class white girl in the suburbs because it’s so entrenched into their culture.

Gavin McInnes, Get Off My Lawn, June 19, 2018

Maybe the reason I’m sexist is because women are dumb. No, I’m just kidding, ladies. But you do tend to not thrive in certain areas — like writing.

Gavin McInnes, Get Off My Lawn, June 28, 2017

The Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally was planned by a Proud Boy.

@FordFischer / Twitter

Then-President McInnes “expelled” Unite the Right Rally organizer Jason Kessler from the group in an attempt to distance the group from the violence, and consequent fear in the POC community, that it incites.

Portland’s own Lieutenant Tina Jones admits that, “these events can cause alarm, anxiety and even fear for certain members of our community.”

This Latino Portland resident faked a farewell to his friends, worried that he would be killed by The Proud Boys on his way to work.

@ThisIsHans / Twitter

One of his friends replied, “You’re half white, you’re good.” Because Brown isn’t the dominant gene here. “True,” he replied. “I’ll just get like a toe cut off or something.”

Another friend reminded him that Proud Boys “allow in a lot of self hating Latino dudes.”

@thejedgentry / Twitter

Unfortunately, he has a point. In fact, McInnes stepped down as leader of The Proud Boys after getting into legal trouble and is succeeded by Cuban-American Enrique Tarrio.

Tarrio doesn’t believe Trump is a racist.

@PressToDigitate / Twitter

He thinks it’s sad to see “that kind of rhetoric” tossed around about Trump.

Tarrio referenced his Cuban upbringing as a “similar atmosphere” to the Proud Boys. “My house, at like 7 o’clock in the morning, there’s like 20 people, in my house, talking about politics, roasting each other, just making fun of each other. I was brought up in that environment, so that kind of brings me into the f*ckery that comes along with being a Proud Boy,” he said.

Latinos and POC have so many questions for Tarrio.

@BrotherBlack9 / Twitter

Twitter user Juan-Carlos Cruz tweeted, “I can’t believe that a Cuban-American, Enrique Tarrio, is a member of the Right-Wing Proud Boys. Lord have mercy!! Shameful, sad and disappointing.”

Tarrio’s social media accounts were deactivated by Facebook and Instagram after he captioned a photo of Leslie Jones comparing her to an “ape.” While The Proud Boys claim they expelled all Proud Boys who attended the Unite the Right rally that killed counter-protester Heather Heyer, Tarrio admits he was in attendance.

President Trump Furthers Speculation Of Ties To White Supremacy After Sharing Video With White Supremacist Symbol

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President Trump Furthers Speculation Of Ties To White Supremacy After Sharing Video With White Supremacist Symbol

Once again, Americans are left questioning whether Trump’s campaign simply needs more competent researchers and video editors or if its legitimately using imagery that invokes an adoration for white supremacy. President Donald Trump posted a new campaign video to his Twitter account on August 28 that included the regular content we’ve come to expect: his high approval rating among Republicans, low unemployment rates and stock market growth. Sure. Then, it ended with a symbol of lion’s head, wearing a star-spangled collar and red stripes for a mane. 

Various white supremacist groups have clung to the exact same symbol as a “Lion Guard” for Trump supporters.

“Thank you for the support as we MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN,” Trump tweeted alongside the video.

Credit: @realdonaldtrump / Twitter

“Record low employment” the video claims, with the words “Blacks, Latinos, Veterans” fading into view. It boasts that zero federal dollars have gone to Planned Parenthood in a claim to protect life and liberty. Then, an “I stand with Trump in 2020. DO YOU?” scene fades in, followed by the sound of a lion’s roar and the above image.

White supremacist outlet, VDARE, self-describes as “America’s Immigration Voice,” and has been using this exact symbol since before Trump’s election.

Credit: @vdare / Twitter

The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated VDARE as a white nationalist hate group, calling it an “anti-immigrant hate website,” which describes its mission as “dedicated to preserving our historical unity as Americans into the 21st Century.” White nationalist Peter Brimelow founded VDARE and has given a platform to white supremacists around the country, including Jason Kessler, the organizer of 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

VDARE’s own founder, Peter Brimelow, has posited that Latinos “specialize in rape, particularly of children.”

Credit: @letsgomathias / Twitter

Not only has he suggested this, but he’s lauded Trump for reflecting that sentiment in his immigration policies. In a 2017 American Renaissance conference, he said, “But there’s no doubt that something in that book got to [President Donald Trump] because the way his speech was set up. His announcement speech went to the question of Hispanic crime, specifically rape. And [Ann Coulter]’s book is a very powerful statement of the fact that crime in this country is ethnically variegated. There’s ethnic specialization in crime. And Hispanics do specialize in rape, particularly of children. They’re very prone to it, compared to other groups.”

Then, there’s the dedicated Fascist militia, called the “Lion Guard.”

Credit: @DustinGiebel / Twitter

The “Lion Guard” was born on March 15, 2016, and describes itself as an “informal civilian group dedicated to the safety and security of #Trump supports by exposing Far-Left infiltrators and saboteurs.” Its website homepage commemorates the controversial moment that Trump retweeted a quote from Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini: “Better to be a lion for a day, than a lamb for eternity.” The “Lion Guard” is essentially a right-leaning Internet troll group, which aims to monitor Trump protesters by posting images of citizens who plan to protest Trump rallies. The “Lion Guard” has also idolized Communist Mao Zedong, tweeting “Mao had the Red guard, Bernie has the #BernOut Guard.”

That said, those white nationalist groups didn’t design the symbol, but have taken it to new depths of meaning.

Credit: @thewooga / Twitter

“For normies, like a kids soccer jersey logo etc, nah, probably not,” writer Dustin Giebel replied. “Politics? Duh! Especially if it connects to extremists groups. This is elementary stuff. They—being the campaign—should understand all the logos and emblems they’re sharing. Only took you two mins, right?” So, again, we ask the question. Is the Trump campaign that deft or do they know they’re dog-whistling the “Lion Guard,” and the white nationalists to come out to the polls?

One lawyer did some digging and found that the symbol was first used by a Dutch white supremacist that Trump retweeted in 2015.

Credit: @puckthecat1 / Twitter

Trump retweeted Twitter user @keksec_org’s message, “I truly believe you are the best #MakeAmericaGreatAgain” with a “Thank you so much!” Meanwhile, @keksec_org’s own Twitter bio read “#KekSec/Stop #WhiteGenocide/White Preservist/Programmer/Dutch Patriot/Race War when?” Talking Points Memo also noted that the user defended slavery and colonialism, and fears for white genocide. When Black folks called out his racism, he called them “melanin enhanced” or condescended to the “feeble mind of the African American negro.”

The account has since been suspended. According to the Daily Beast, Trump has retweeted 178 unverified users, 10 percent of whom have been suspended.

You can watch the full video below.

READ: Trump Campaign Posts ‘Summer Of Winning’ Video In Response To Criticism

Here’s How Julián Castro Is Going To Take On The Gun Violence Health Crisis And The Deadly Rise Of Unchecked White Supremacy

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Here’s How Julián Castro Is Going To Take On The Gun Violence Health Crisis And The Deadly Rise Of Unchecked White Supremacy

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro has unveiled a plan to combat white supremacy and gun violence as the country grapples with recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. His policy proposal, called “People First Plan to Disarm Hate”, was released last Friday, Castro says it will try to “disarm hate” and would take on “white supremacist terrorism” by combating it with a “coordinated federal response.” The former U.S. housing secretary and San Antonio mayor says he would also sign executive orders on his first day in office “to end the gun violence epidemic.”

“Now is our moment to decide what kind of country we want to be,” Castro’s seven-page plan says. “We can be paralyzed by fear of extremism and cower before the corporate gun lobby, or we can combat white supremacist terrorism directly and end the gun violence epidemic that has plagued our nation for too long.”

JuliánCastro has been one of the vocal advocates for stronger gun control since the terrible mass shootings over a week ago. The gunman of the El Paso shooting confessed that he was looking to kill “Mexicans,” a point that Castro has referred to when discussing his policy.

Credit: @tusk81 / Twitter

Being the sole Latino candidate in the 2020 presidential race, Castro has voiced and echoed much of what the Latino community in El Paso and around the country have said about the recent shootings. Whether it’s been the heightened fear of a future attack or the call for stricter gun laws, Castro wants to address and calm the worries of the Latino community. 

“As a candidate for president, this issue is not only political, it’s personal. My wife Erica, an educator, and I are raising a daughter and son who both have brown skin. We worry for them and their friends,” Castro said. “They should be able to grow up free from fear of hate and safe from gun violence. Their safety is our foremost responsibility.”

The 2020 contender has also proposed an initiative to renew a permanent assault weapons ban and require gun users to have a license in order to purchase such firearms. His plan will also seek to establish education opportunities to “bridge racial and cultural divides” in this country.

“We can prevent it by making sure that these weapons of war are not on the street. We can also ensure that we have better tools to investigate something once it happens. I think when we’re talking about changing the hearts and the minds of people that are headed down the road of white nationalism, that means that we have to be better about ensuring that people are exposed to different ideas and different types of people in our country.”

Among other details in his proposed plan, Castro says his initiative would get at least $100 million in federal funds every year to coordinate anti-hate programs across five federal departments.

Credit: @CNN / Twitter

Castro joins a handful of Democratic presidential candidates that have unveiled plans to combat white supremacy and gun violence in the wake of the recent mass shootings. But his plan is going to in a slightly different route compared to other candidates as Castro wants to attack the root of the problem: hate. 

“My plan to disarm hate starts with comprehensively identifying the threat of white supremacist terrorism and combatting it directly with a coordinated federal response,” Castro said.” We’ll also invest in programs to fight radicalization and educational opportunities to bridge racial and cultural divides and lead a global coalition to defeat this rising tide of white nationalism.

Castro says combating white supremacy would entail convening a yearly summit for the cause hosted by the president and require state, local and tribal governments reporting hate crime statistics. He is also looking to sign an order directing the FBI to deny gun purchases to an individual with a pending arrest warrant, which would be a rebuke of a change in rules by President Trump.

There has been growing support for Castro in recent weeks due to strong performances at the Democratic Debates. This latest policy proposal has already won over some people. 

Credit: @josecanyousee / Twitter

Growing support has already been seen with this latest policy reveal and people on Twitter are taking notice of Castro. He has already previously rolled out proposals on important issues including immigration, education, housing, and police reform.

“Folks need to keep @JulianCastro on their radar! I’m invested in those who are willing to speak up, take action where it’s most needed—push against & undo white supremacy ideology, foundation of systemic oppression in US.” one user said on Twitter.

The gun reform plan is Castro’s latest policy rollout and his latest attempt to separate himself in a crowded field of candidates where he’s gained media momentum. But as of now, Castro is still polling around 1 percent and will need to gain more support if he is to continue his campaign.

READ: Julián Castro: The One Presidential Candidate Taking A Strong Stand For Migrants At The Border