Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes gave a talk at the Metropolitan Club in New York City’s tony Upper East Side Friday night. The alt-right, or as he prefers, the alt-lite, provocateur, Trump fanatic and ‘Make America Great Again’ devotee said on his Instagram that there’s been “Lots of fake news about my talk last night. It was actually really fun and the only people who got hurt were the ones who were looking for trouble.”
Some New Yorkers might disagree. Among them the New York Police Department, NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio, NY Attorney General Barbara Underwood and NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo who said, “Here’s a message from a Queens boy to the so-called ‘proud boys’ – New York has zero tolerance for your BS.”
It’s reported, and recorded, that McInnes and his Proud Boys gave some random New Yorkers beat-downs. McInnes and his Boys say they were defending themselves. McInnes didn’t debate there was violence but said he and his group were provoked as part of a conspiracy.
Racial justice group Color Of Change warned event site Eventbrite “on multiple occasions before Friday’s Proud Boys event about the group’s well-documented history as a violent, right-wing paramilitary hate group. Despite acknowledging these concerns, Eventbrite rejected Color Of Change’s request to stop selling tickets and made the decision to put their profit over public safety,” it said in a statement sent to Heavy.
“I’m getting conspiratorial about all this… I’m starting to think that Soros or the socialist Democrats are involved,” he was quoted as saying in Spectator. “I couldn’t help but think that the socialist Democrats see me reenacting this murder of a socialist and they go “gotta put some money on this, get some optics. I feel like this guy that got beat up was trying to get beat up. Have some optics. But that’s just my conspiracy theory.”
Monday police said they were looking for a total of 12 people in connection with the violence.
The Daily Beast reported that the NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said police “believe they have evidence to charge nine members of the right-wing group Proud Boys and three protesters with counts of rioting or attempted assault.”
McInnes featured a segment on his podcast titled “Fighting Solves Everything.”
Here’s what you need to know about the incendiary McInnes:
1. Born in England, Canadian Citizen McInnes Founded Punk Band ‘Anal Chinook,’ & as a Writer & Comic, Co-founded an Alternative Magazine in Montreal Called Vice
McInnes, born in Hitchin, England in 1970 to Scottish parents, the family immigrated to Canada in 1974. McInnes would immigrate to the U.S. as an adult.
When he was 18, McInnes founded a punk band ‘Anal Chinook’ and in 1994 co-founded Vice magazine, in Montreal, Canada which evolved into Vice, a now multi-brand media colossus. He left Vice (The Wall Street Journal estimated Vice to be worth around $5.7 billion in 2017) over what’s been described as creative differences.
McInnes’ early life was one of provocative rebellion and he was wont to haughtily, proudly, crassly and offensively deride and parody social subcultures he found easy targets for his not-politically-correct humor including hipsters, who he’d later be called the godfather of, political subcultures including anarchists, rappers and rockers, and celebrity culture.
In a Paper interview in 2014, McInnes bragged about being offensives and, as part of the promotion of flick ‘How to Be a Man,’ said that men should fight more. And fighting babies was not off the table. The 2013 video has 14 million views.
Now 48, McInnes, who promotes manhood and manliness, is a married father of three who lives in Manhattan.His wife is Emily Jendrisak, a writer and consultant.
2. Writer & Comic McInnes, With a Bent Toward Immature ‘Asshole’ Offensiveness, Which he Readily Admits, Has Authored Books & Starred in & Written for Film & Videos
Writer McInnes penned ‘The Vice Guide to Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll’ and ‘DOs & DON’Ts and Street Boners: 1,764 Hipster Fashion Jokes.’ And what’s been described as a wanton and lurid memoir, ‘How to Piss in Public: From Teenage Rebellion to the Hangover of Adulthood.’
McInnes first turn on-screen as a guest judge on a Canadian TV show, a truth or dare humiliation ‘game’ show, Kenny vs Spenny’ in 2006. He appeared as himself in the ‘Vice Guide to Travel’ in 2006. He was cast on small roles in under-the-radar films and TV. McInnes did a voice-over in the Adult Swim show ‘Soul Quest Overdrive,’ had a role in a sci-fi flick ‘Creative Control.’ and was cast in the Starz cable movie ‘One More Time.’
But it was ‘How to be a Man,’ in 2013, the first Fox Digital Studios release that screened at Sundance Institute’s Los Angeles “NEXT WEEKEND” event, a four-day festival for short films and low-budget features and called by The Hollywood Reporter a ‘raunch-fest” for the “college crowd.” The film did make its way to Netflix but not before THR panned it:
“New York advertising exec and former stand-up comedian Mark (Gavin McInnes), convinced he has cancer after a self-exam reveals a lump in one of his “man-boobs,” decides to shoot a series of videos documenting a variety of life lessons for his unborn son. Concealing the plan from his pregnant wife, he guilt-trips the slacker, college-age son of an online acquaintance into being his camera operator and sidekick for creating the video segments. Bryan (Liam Aiken) doesn’t have much going on, so agrees to take the gig with only Mark’s promise of hard-won wisdom as his only compensation.
Segments on dealing with bullying (and how to fight back), men’s fashion and male grooming quickly lead to discussions about dating, sex and drugs. In short order, Mark’s introducing Bryan to hard drugs and coaching him on the finer points of cunnilingus (in an extended, shamelessly descriptive barroom scene). Fed up with his inanely juvenile acting out, Mark’s boss fires him, then his wife kicks him out and even Bryan abandons him.”
3. McInnes, Once Godfather of Hipsterdom, Revealed in a New York Times Interview Years Before Leaving Vice That His Thinking Was Aligned More With White Supremacism Than Edgy Cool Frat Boy Crassness
In an early interview with The New York Times circa 2003, McInnes was outed for his far right and racist views; the article was a portent of what McInnes would be now known for: he’s an alt-right thinker, commentator, organizer and provocateur.
Few of Vice’s fans or customers seem to realize just how deeply hostile Mr. McInnes is to the liberal live-and-let-live ethos of traditional bohemian culture. It is a fair bet that a majority of the downtown population opposed the Iraq war and dislikes the policies of George W. Bush. But in an interview Mr. McInnes advocated changing New York license plates to read ”Liberalism Gone Amok.” Last month, he wrote an article for Patrick Buchanan in The American Conservative boasting of having converted Vice readers to conservatism.
He actually leans much further to the right than the Republican Party. His views are closer to a white supremacist’s. ”I love being white and I think it’s something to be very proud of,” he said. ”I don’t want our culture diluted. We need to close the borders now and let everyone assimilate to a Western, white, English-speaking way of life.”
In an interview in The New York Press last year, Mr. McInnes’s views came through in the coarse ethnic expressions he used in saying how pleased he was that most Williamsburg hipsters are white. As a result, he became the focus of a letter-writing campaign by a black reader. Vice apologized for Mr. McInnes’s comments.
McInnes, who separated from Vice, soon fully embraced the far-right. McInnes, host of ‘Get Off My Lawn,’ on Conservative Review, appears on Fox News, and has been a contributor to Rebel Media.
And his comments those many years ago would be noted years later as a certain portent of where he and Vice would end up given his views om immigration, and later revealed, his anti-Islam sentiments; Suroosh Alvi, his partner and Vice co-founder is Pakistani.
McInnes is unapologetically anti-Muslim, anti-Islam. He’s called Muslims “stupid” saying they only respect violence, and was reported to have said Muslims “have a problem with inbreeding. They tend to marry their first cousins… and that is a major problem [in the U.S.] because when you have mentally damaged inbreds – which not all Muslims are, but a disproportionate number are – and you have a hate book called the Koran… you end up with a perfect recipe for mass murder.”
4. McInnes Exposes Misogynistic, Racist, & Anti-Semitic Views, Calls Himself a ‘Western Chauvinist’ & Believes White Genocide is a Thing
It’s not difficult to find McInnes esposing his misogynistic, racist, and anti-Semitic views. Salon, National Observer, The Village Voice, and myriad more have interviewed McInnes where he’s shared his views about race, Judaism and the Holocaust, the latter prompted him to pen “Ten Things I Hate about Jews.”
McInnes has lots of fans, including felon and former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke.
But it’s on gender and the roles of women where McInnes has been accused of extreme sexism and misogyny. Again, there is no shortage of mainstream and fringe media where McInness has opined that women would be better off not “pretending to be men.”
“Women are feigning that toughness. We’ve trivialized childbirth and being domestic so much that women are forced to pretend to be men. They’re feigning this toughness, they’re miserable.”
It’s in this context that McInnes can rationalize his theory that white women having abortions coupled with immigration as, he was quoted as saying, is “leading to white genocide in the West.”
These ideas create a tidy segue to examine McInnes’ thoughts on chauvinism and how his thinking helped to created a male fandom that evolved into the Proud Boys.
5. McInness’ Proud Boys Were no Mere Blip on the National Radar After a Melee at New York University in February of 2017. His Group of Western Chauvinists Was Growing
Following a speech by McInnes at New York University in the winter of 2017, a fight erupted between he and his Proud Boys and NYU Anti-Fascists. The incident made national news. Now banned from Twitter (we’ll get there), he tweeted then: “Thanks for asking if I’m OK guys. I was sprayed with pepper spray but being called a Nazi burned way more.”
A month later, at a March 4 Trump rally in Berkeley, a Trump supporter was filmed hitting a counter-protester and the Proud Boys came to the defense of the MAGA activist. In April, a few weeks after, with the Proud Boys now having a separate paramilitary wing, Fraternal Order of the Alt-Knights, another Berkeley rally was held, sans permits or approvals, with Proud Boys in conspicuous attendance; this event too resulted in violence with dozens arrested and injured.
In August of 2017, the Proud Boys and the Fraternal Order of the Alt-Knights showed up at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. McInnes had said a month before he’d not be attending the rally, but his Boys and the Alt-Knights were there; indeed, Proud Boy member white supremacist Jason Kessler had organized it.
In advance of the second UTR rally, Twitter shut McInnes and the Proud Boys down, Buzzfeed first reported, owing to the social platform’s description of McInnes’ Proud Boys as being a “violent extremist groups” which violate company policy.
McInnes has been a member of alt-right so-called ‘free speech’ social platform GAb.ai, but has not posted since 2016. At least under his name.