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.

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White Professor Pretended To Be Black And Taught African-American And Latino Studies

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White Professor Pretended To Be Black And Taught African-American And Latino Studies

@DukePress / Twitter

As the debate around racial justice and inequality continues to rage throughout the U.S, a white woman has reignited the debate on cultural appropriation and ‘black fishing.’

The woman – a professor at George Washington University – has confessed to faking her identity as a Black woman and using that identity for financial gain with book deals and to teach African American history. She’s also accused of claiming a fabricated Latina heritage by former students.

The story is eerily similar to that of Rachel Dolezal who made similar headlines in 2015 when – as president of a local NAACP chapter – was outed as a white woman pretending to be Black.

A white woman has admitted to faking a Black identity for her entire professional career.

Social media is reacting to the news that a white professor who teaches African, Caribbean, and Latin history pretended to be a Black woman for years. The story has reignited a debate on race and identity and cultural appropriation.

Jessica Krug, who teaches at George Washington University in Washington, DC admitted in a blog post on Medium that for the better part of her adult life, “every move I’ve made, every relationship I’ve formed, has been rooted in the napalm toxic soil of lies.”

She added, “To an escalating degree over my adult life, I have eschewed my lived experience as a white Jewish child in suburban Kansas City under various assumed identities within a Blackness that I had no right to claim: first North African Blackness, then US rooted Blackness, then Caribbean rooted Bronx Blackness.”

In many New York activist circles, Krug was known by the name Jessica La Bombalera and was often seen speaking at New York public hearings on police brutality. Those who knew Krug as La Bombalera have taken to social media today to announce their upset.

“I’m dazed and still processing my emotions, but mostly, I feel betrayed, foolish and, in many ways, gaslit,” said the author Robert Jones Jr on Twitter.

She’s also accused of appropriating Latin culture in her speech and discussions.

According to students at GWU, Krug would use a lot of Spanish in her speech. For example, rather than “plantains” she would always say “plátanos.” But the exact place she was from always changed.

She once spoke about how plantains were important to her family in the Dominican Republic, but told another student she was from Puerto Rico, according to students. Still, she never would have guessed Krug was lying.

Krug admits that she financially benefited from faking a Black identity.

When writing her book Fugitive Modernities, Krug accepted financial support from Black cultural institutions such as the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. But according to her own Medium post, her career was rooted in a “toxic soil of lies.”

In her book, which was published before her recent confession, she goes on to say, “My ancestors, unknown, unnamed, who bled life into a future they had no reason to believe could or should exist. My brother, the fastest, the smartest, the most charming of us all. Those whose names I cannot say for their own safety, whether in my barrio, in Angola, or in Brazil.”

Although she points to mental health issues as affecting her, she doesn’t see them as an excuse for her actions.

In the same Medium post, Krug points out that she suffered from a traumatic childhood and has faced several mental health issues. However, she acknowledges that these are not excuses for her behavior.

“To say that I clearly have been battling some unaddressed mental health demons for my entire life, as both an adult and child, is obvious. Mental health issues likely explain why I assumed a false identity initially, as a youth, and why I continued and developed it for so long.”

“But mental health issues can never, will never, neither explain nor justify, neither condone nor excuse, that, in spite of knowing and regularly critiquing any and every non-Black person who appropriates from Black people, my false identity was crafted entirely from the fabric of Black lives,” she wrote.

The story is eerily similar to that of Rachel Dolezal – who also faked being Black for professional gain.

Credit: Tyler Tjomsland / Getty Images

Krug’s confession about her identity is similar to the case of Rachel Dolezal – a white woman from Spokane, Washington – who made headlines in 2015 when she was outed for similar lies.

When Dolezal was outed as a white woman impersonating a Black woman, she was president of the Spokane branch of the NAACP, a civil rights organization, and a a part-time African studies teacher at a local university.

Dolezal, who said she started identifying as Black around the age of five, was a graduate from Howard University, an historically Black college, which she sued in 2002 for discrimination against white people and for favouring African American students.

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ICE Is Offering A Master Class To The Public On How To Handle Weapons And Arrest Immigrants

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ICE Is Offering A Master Class To The Public On How To Handle Weapons And Arrest Immigrants

Gregory Bull / Getty Images

By mid-October, there could be professionally trained armies of ordinary citizens patrolling the streets looking to arrest immigrants. And they’d be doing the dirty work of ICE – which has launched a program in Chicago specifically to help train and equip the public on the skills and knowledge needed to do it effectively.

According to ICE, the program is little more than a chance to educate and enlighten the public on the challenges the agency faces on a daily basis. They claim that their work is grossly misunderstood. Yet the description of the six-week-long program literally describes familiarizing recruits with firearms and how to make targeted arrests.

Chicago’s ICE office announced a “citizen’s academy” to teach the public on how to arrest immigrants.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency is launching a class for private citizens in Chicago on how to arrest undocumented immigrants.

The course, which begins on September 15 and will run one class a week for six weeks, will train non-agents in firearms, defensive training and how to make ‘targeted arrests.’ ICE plan to roll out the program to cities across the country.

The Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Chicago Citizens Academy is a six-week program modeled after similar trainings held by other law enforcement agencies. ICE will select 10 to 12 participants for the training, which is set to start in September.

Many Chicagoans have received letters inviting them to apply. During the program, according to the letter, “participants will gain insight into the many facets and responsibilities of ICE/ERO operations, and hopefully an awareness and appreciation of the issues our officers face every day in the performance of their duties.”

But immigration activists aren’t buying the story ICE wants to tell.

Several of Chicago’s elected officials have come out strongly against the program, saying there is no room for this academy in the city of Chicago.

“I think it’s outrageous that they are trying to do this in Chicago. This is a sanctuary city that we’ve fought so hard for,” said Alderwoman Rossana Rodriguez, in an interview with Fox 11.

Rodriguez read the letter and said she was concerned about the language in the letter, which reads, in part, “attendees will participate in scenario-based training and exercises conducted in a safe and positive environment, including, but not limited to defensive tactics, firearms familiarization, and targeted arrests.”

“What it sounds like to me is a vigilante academy,” Rodriguez said. “We need to be educating the community so that they don’t sign up for it. I think the city needs to speak out against this programming. This isn’t welcomed in Chicago.”

Congressman Jesús ‘Chuy’ García, wonders if the course is part of ICE’s plan to have neighbors spy on others to see if they’re undocumented and report back to the agency.

Although the program is outrageous, it’s been taking place in Los Angeles for years.

The program was just announced in Chicago last week but it has been in operation for several years in other cities across the country. In fact, Los Angeles – another sanctuary city – has had a similar academy in place since 2016. However, unlike Chicago’s program which will be run by the ERO, LA’s program is managed by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) division.

Regardless of who is running the program, many are rightfully worried about its implications. Silky Shah, executive director of Detention Watch Network, said in a statement, “ICE is recruiting an army of ‘citizens’ to fuel its propaganda machine and forge hatred in our communities. The outcome of this program will be more terror unleashed upon immigrant communities and people of color.”

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