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.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Selena Gomez Is Holding Tech And Social Media Accountable After Trump Mob Shuts Down Congress

Things That Matter

Selena Gomez Is Holding Tech And Social Media Accountable After Trump Mob Shuts Down Congress

A pro-Trump mob stormed Capitol Hill Jan. 6 following months of President Donald Trump and his allies attacking the 2020 elections. Selena Gomez, like most Americans horrified by the attack, spoke out on social media about what happened. She made it clear that part of this falls on tech companies and social media companies.

Selena Gomez called out social media and tech companies for enabling hateful rhetoric.

President Donald Trump and his supporters have used social media to spread misinformation since he was elected in 2016. Americans have watched as President Trump used Twitter to spread falsehoods and conspiracy theories. There have been so many debunked claims that President Trump and his allies have spread with no consequence.

Recently, Twitter started to flag some of President Trump’s tweets as disputed or misleading. It was the first time a social media platform did something that checked President Trump and his rhetoric.

People quickly came to Gomez’s side to uplift her statement.

President Trump has a long history of hateful and dangerous rhetoric on social media. He has misled her supporters with false statements and has incited violence. The president has defended white supremacists on multiple occasions and even retweeted a video of a man shouting white power.

Social media platforms are finally muzzling President Trump with bans and suspensions.

Twitter has put the president on a temporary suspension after he incited the crowd that breached Capitol Hill. Meanwhile, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg enhanced the original 24-hour ban to a indefinite ban that will last at least until President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. However, people think it is a little too late for these actions.

“Disinformation and extremism researchers have for years pointed to broader network-based exploitation of these platforms,” Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., said in a statement. “As I have continually said, these platforms have served as core organizing infrastructure for violent, far right groups and militia movements for several years now – helping them to recruit, organize, coordinate and in many cases (particularly with respect to YouTube) generate profits from their violent, extremist content.”

What happened Jan. 6 at the nation’s Capitol was avoidable, but it’s clear who incited this violence.

Congress has officially certified President-elect Biden’s win. What should have been a quick process to certify an election turned into a horrifying scene. It is a day that will always define President Trump’s legacy.

READ: Far-Right Trump Supporters Violently Storm The US Capitol Forcing Lockdown

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Donald Trump Refused To Condemn His White Supremacists Pals And In fact, Told Them To ‘Stand By’

Things That Matter

Donald Trump Refused To Condemn His White Supremacists Pals And In fact, Told Them To ‘Stand By’

Last night’s first presidential debate of the 2020 election gave us about as much optimism and assurance of safety as his past four years in office. Particularly because when it came to the moments when our current president was given a chance by moderator Chris Wallace to condemn white supremacists and “militia” groups while also demanding that they stand down as opposed to inciting violence, he refused.

Even if you’ve yet to watch Tuesday night’s debates, you’ve undoubtedly heard that throughout the night Donald Trump acted like a child who had never once been taught by a teacher to wait his turn to speak. Or, to simply answer a question. Shockingly, Trump stuck to this approach in one of the most critical aspects of the debates that could have gained him followers or at least assuaged Americans and their fears about his leadership and morality.

When it came to the moment when he was asked to condemn white nationalists and militia groups Trump pussyfooted around then gave a pretty damning response.

During last night’s debate when asked to denounce those groups, Trump gave non-committal answers.

When asked by debate moderator Chris Wallace asked if he was willing and ready to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and tell them to stand down during the current and ongoing demonstrations taking place across the country, Trump told one group to “stand back and stand by.”

What’s more, he asserted that violence at the protests was not being instigated by conservatives.

“Sure,” Trump responded. “I’m willing to [tell them to stand down] but I would say almost everything I see is from the left-wing, not from the right wing. I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace.”

“Say it. Do it. Say it,” Biden urged Trump in response to his non commital answers.

“Who would you like me to condemn?” Trump shot back, turning his attention to Wallace. “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what. I’ll tell you what. Somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem.”

The Proud Boys are a far-right men-only organization that has been spotted at multiple 2020 Trump campaign rallies wearing black and yellow polo shirt uniforms.

The group promotes and often engages in political violence.

This is why Trump’s non-committal responses like “Sure” to requests from Wallace and Biden to condemn these groups are worrisome. Even more so why, when pressed by Wallace and Biden who pointed out repeatedly that “sure” is not the same as actually doing so was so troubling as well. Moreover, it’s important to note that Trump’s response to “I would say almost everything I see is from the left-wing, not from the right-wing” is another “all lives matter” kind of way to denouncing white supremacist groups.

Of course this is not the first time the president has defended the actions of white supremacists.

In August, Trump refused to condemn the actions of his supporters in Portland, Oregon, and Wisconsin who used pepper spray to attack demonstrators. In the past, Trump has also defended Kyle Rittenhouse, a shooter who attempted homicide in Kenosha, Wisconsin at a BLM protest, saying that he had been “very violently attacked.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com