Proud Boys: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

The Proud Boys

Getty A member of far-right group "Proud Boys" holds a megaphone during "The End Domestic Terrorism" rally at Tom McCall Waterfront Park on August 17, 2019 in Portland, Oregon.

The Proud Boys, an alt-right group who say they are “Western Chauvinists who refuse to apologize for the modern world” are holding a rally in Portland Saturday, The Seattle Times reported. The paper wrote that in anticipation of that rally, “Portland Antifa activists and other protesters” are planning their own rally at the same time about three miles away.

The city in conjunction with Portland Police issued a statement saying they will be prepared because “numerous past mass gathering events in the City of Portland, involving individuals and groups with differing ideologies, resulted in criminal behavior by some participants, including but not limited to assaults, vandalism, weapons violations, as well as a recent homicide following a rally. Some incidents have resulted in arrests; others remain under investigations.”

There have been several clashes between The Proud Boys and those who act in the name of Antifa over the last few years. Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said in the statement:

Across our region we have witnessed devastation and loss of life from COVID to wildfires to gun violence. It is up to all of us to make sure we do not have an event where further loss of life results. Lawful engagement in First Amendment rights is acceptable; attendance with the intent to harm or intimidate others is not appropriate or safe for anyone.

Due to the heightened rhetoric and many recent events where crimes occurred, we are developing a thorough plan to do everything possible to keep everyone safe.

Here is what you need to know about The Proud Boys:

1. The Group Considers Themselves a Multi-Racial  ‘Fraternal Brotherhood’ Who ‘Disavows Nazis’ & Racists

Enrique Tarrio The proud Boys

GettyLeader of the far-right group “Proud Boys” Enrique Tarrio marches during “The End Domestic Terrorism” rally at Tom McCall Waterfront Park on August 17, 2019 in Portland, Oregon.

According to The Proud Boy manifesto, the group, which was formed in 2016 by Vice Co-Founder Gavin McInnis (who left the group in 2018) is “socially liberal and welcomes gay members.” They also say in the document, “We disavow Nazis and don’t want them at our meet-ups. We disavow racists and don’t want them at our meet-ups. We allow weak, beta male virgins to join because our fraternity is about helping men improve their lives and that includes all men.”

Rolling Stone reported in August 2019, “Above all else, their target is the overall “feminization” of Western culture or the idea that masculinity has been slowly degraded by leftist ideology; their core beliefs can best be summarized as a mélange of neofascism, Fight Club-esque hypermasculinity, and early-2000s-era hipster trolling.”

Yet their reputation as alt-right often means they’re thrown in the pot with white supremacists. According to the Anti-Defamation League, “The Proud Boys represent an unconventional strain of American right-wing extremism. While the group can be described as violent, nationalistic, Islamophobic, transphobic and misogynistic, its members represent a range of ethnic backgrounds, and its leaders vehemently protest any allegations of racism.”

In fact, two of their leaders are men of color. Dante Nero, who the Proud Boys call their “Pope” because he helped found their “religion”, according to the manifesto, is a Black man. Another leader, Enrique Tarrio, who is the International Chairman of The Proud Boys, is Afro-Cuban.

In a recent interview with conservative Portland radio host, Lars Larson, Tarrio said:

I don’t know what everybody’s opinion of what alt-right is, but usually they like to mingle that with white nationalism and white supremacy. And again, like I said before, we aren’t a group that cares, like when you apply to be part our great fraternity, we don’t ask you any of those questions. For us it’s about American values and standing up to tyranny really is what it is and that’s what we’re seeing here. We’re seeing unchecked anarchy and tyranny from [Porland Mayor] Ted Wheeler.

2. The Proud Boys Say There Are 10 Ways to ‘Save America’ Including Giving Everyone a Gun, Abolishing Prisons & Legalizing Drugs

The Proud Boys

GettyA member of the “Proud Boys” shows his tattoo during “The End Domestic Terrorism” rally at Tom McCall Waterfront Park on August 17, 2019 in Portland, Oregon.

Before McInnis left the group in 2018 after the FBI classified The Proud Boys as an “an extremist group with ties to white nationalism,” according to The Guardian, The Proud Boys took to heart his ideas on how to “Save America.” (The FBI later said they did not designate The Proud Boys an extremist group, The Washington Post reported.)

The manifesto says, “Our founder Gavin McInnes (peace be upon him) often cites his “10 Ways to Save America” list as a compendium of proud Western beliefs. Brothers don’t have to ascribe to all of these but it does provide a good idea of where we stand.”

According to the Proud Boys Manifesto, The 10 ways are:

  1. – “Abolish Prisons” because there are too many “human beings” in “cages.”
    – “Give Everyone A Gun” because “mostly bad guys have guns, but good guys need them too. This will help prevent crime.”
    – “Legalize Drugs” because “the drug war is a failure” and is only creating more prisoners.
    – “End Welfare” because it has “shattered families” by incentivizing women to leave their husbands.
    – “Close the Borders” because “we need to build a wall and encourage assimilation” and patriotism.
    – “Outlaw Censorship” because “The West has thrived with the checks and balances open discussion provides. Without it, fascism thrives.”
    – “Venerate the Housewife” because “Proud Boys are encouraged to put a ring on it and knock her up.”
    – “Glorify the Entrepreneur” because they made many sacrifices and they are the ones “who got us here.”
    – “Recognize the West is the Best” because “we fought hard to be #1 and we won. All other cultures are not merely different than us. They are worse.”
    – “Shut down the Government” because they “rob us of our hard-earned wages” and no one else needs to be in control of another man’s freedom and destiny.

3. Proud Boys Are Only Allowed to Masturbate Alone Once a Month & They Revere the Housewife While Maligning the Feminist

As part of the Proud Boys code, according to their “No Wanks” portion of the manifesto, “A Proud Boy may not ejaculate alone more often than once every thirty days.” During that time they’re also told to refrain from watching pornography. If a man “needs to ejaculate” and physical sex isn’t an option, he can masturbate “within one yard of a woman with her consent.” However, no prostitutes allowed for that purpose, according to the manifesto.

The group attributes those rules to their religion, which they say comes from their “pope” Dante Nero, who calls himself a “Relationship Guru in his Twitter bio. There is no reprieve for married men who are away from their wives for long periods of time because according to the manifesto, no virtual sex is allowed.

Proud Boy members say they exalt the housewife because they “create human life, shape it, and build the communities in which we live,” according to the manifesto. “With the family, comes a deep respect for the housewife. We see housewives as sentient beings who have an incredible gift.”

Yet when it comes to women who want to be anything but housewives and the role of feminism in American culture, the Proud Boys seem to view it as a threat.

In a 2017 article by the Wisconsin Watch, three members spoke to a reporter using only their first names. One, named Eric, said of feminism, “It’s cancer … I just think it’s taken so much away from the traditional family that it’s contributed to the degradation of the American family. When it came to equality for women and equal rights and votes, OK yeah, that’s all good and well. But now it’s just turned into kind of what’s seeming to be anti-male basically.”

And The New York Times reported that McInnis once summed it up by saying “I’m an Archie Bunker sexist. I don’t like Gloria Steinem, but I’d take a bullet for Edith.

4. 2 Members of The Proud Boys Are Serving Prison Time for Attacking Anti-Fascists Protestors

The Proud Boys

GettyA member of the Proud Boys is seen handcuffed as he is arrested by Oregon police after allegedly attacking Antifa protestors in Salem, Oregon on September 7, 2020. –

The Proud Boys leaders sometimes say they’re not looking for fights, maintaining they’re a group of guys who like to get together and drink who share common values, yet they often end up embroiled in violence. Just one example came In October 2018, 10 members of the Proud Boys were arrested after several of them were seen chasing and then beating someone after a GOP event in Manhattan. The attack was caught on video. The men were accused of attacking protesters outside the event, according to Huffington Post.

According to The Southern Poverty Law Group who wrote in reaction to that attack:

The Proud Boy’s credo is that violence is “a really effective way to solve problems,” and, according to McInnes, the political left poses an existential threat to the nation’s future. While the Proud Boys leader might not be issuing dictums, he and his reactionary troops are using violence to shut down and punish those whose views conflict with their own and, as was the case with the “foreigner” the group beat on Friday, those they believe do not deserve a place in the body politic.

As part of the group’s manifesto, they say, “to the parasites both on the streets and in the White House who want to attack us and take what we earn. To the trespassers who want to sabotage our culture our family and our way of life. You want a war? Well, you’ve got one. To all of our enemies both high and low. BRING IT ON!”

Meanwhile, Tarrio told Larson ahead of the September 26 rally:

We just want to be left alone. We want to send our message. We want to wave our flags. We want to do our speeches and we want to go home. We don’t want any issues…. And we’re going to come to Portland planning on being peaceful. If they want to come protest us, you know what Lars, I welcome it. I want people to protest things that they don’t see as right. No matter how misguided in my opinion they are. It’s fine with me. I want that but what we won’t condone and won’t tolerate is the violence.

Two of the Proud Boys who were arrested in the NY attack tried to convince the courts that they acted in self-defense when they beat four Antifa protestors, according to NBC News.  But the courts saw it differently and each was sentenced to four years in prison for attempted gang assault, attempted assault, and rioting.

5. A Proud Boy Meets the Highest Status Degree if They ‘Engage in a Major Conflict for the Cause’ & Their Anthem Is an Omitted Song Written for Disney’s Aladdin

Once a man takes the pledge to become a Proud Boy, which simply means embracing the mantra that they are “Western Chauvinists who refuse to apologize for the modern world” he can move up in degrees by meeting certain thresholds. If he takes those words to heart, he’s a first-degree Proud Boy.

To become a second-degree Proud Boy a member has to name five breakfast cereals while other members “pound him” with their fists. He also must agree to the “No Wanks” rules. To become a third-degree Proud Boy, a member has to get a Proud Boy Tattoo, ideally in the “traditional tattoo font of yore,” according to the manifesto.

Finally, to become a fourth-degree Proud Boy the manifesto says, “This degree is loosely defined as ‘engaging in a major conflict for the cause.’ Being arrested is not encouraged although those who are immediately become fourth degrees because the court has registered a major conflict. Serious physical fights also count and it’s up to each chapter to determine how serious the conflict must be to determine fourth.”

Whether or not choosing a Disney song called, “Proud of Your Boy” is tongue in cheek, the group’s attempt at humor, or belies some Freudian theory, the manifesto says it’s healthy to sing it “at least once a night” at the Proud Boy meet-ups. While they maintain that’s not always realistic, the manifesto says they try to find bars that might have the song available on the jukebox.

“Proud of Your Boy” is about a boy wanting to make his mother proud.

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