On Sunday, September 11, while college students vandalized memorials, the NYC chapter of the Proud Boys held its second meet-up at the Tribeca bar Gaslight. Though the exact details are kept secret, the meetings usually consist of drinking, fighting, and reading aloud from Pat Buchanan’s Death of the West. There were about fifty men at this gathering and no women because women are not allowed. The basic tenet of the group is that they are “Western chauvinists who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.” Like Archie Bunker, they long for the days when “girls were girls and men were men.” This wasn”t controversial even twenty years ago, but being proud of Western culture today is like being a crippled, black, lesbian communist in 1953. We just had a man apologize to Chelsea Clinton for being a man and another almost lose his job because he won”t watch gay movies.
The group started in the fall after congregating on Compound Media (full disclosure: I work there) and laughing at the politically correct culture they insist we take seriously. What began as a few fans in a bar across the street from the studio singing “Proud of Your Boy“ and laughing at the reparations videos of Gazi Kodzo soon became a bona fide men’s club with rituals, traditions, and even its own in-house court called “The Sharia.”
There is the Midwest chapter, the Pacific Northwest/Seattle chapter, the Louisiana chapter, Minnesota Proud Boys, Proud Boys Nashville, Proud Boys Texas, Proud Boys U.K., Proud Boys Canada, Proud Boys Australia, Proud Boys Brazil, Proud Boys NJ, and even a branch in the Middle East. It’s hard to determine just how many there are. The private Facebook page has just over 1,000 members and that’s as good a gauge as any.
There have been only a few meetings so far, but a massive gathering is planned for the election in November (open to girls as it won”t be an official meet-up). They usually involve a dive bar and then a trip to the tattoo shop where members can get their third degree. The NYC chapter has had two meetings now. The previous one was held at a dive in Brooklyn called Tommy’s Tavern. “It was infiltrated by journalists who assumed the Proud Boys were some kind of white supremacist organization they could earn brownie points shutting down,” says Queens Proud Boy Kosta Dagoulis. “After seeing Taleeb Starkes and our black pope Dante Nero, I heard some writer from The Village Voice say he was impressed by the diversity and wanted to go in a new direction.” Before the Voice could change its story, however, it was scooped by NY Mag‘s Bedford + Bowery, which called the group “white supremacist” and then was quickly forced to take it back. Like Milo Yiannopoulos, the Proud Boys confuse the media because the group is anti-SJW without being alt-right. “Western chauvinist” includes all races, religions, and sexual preferences.
As far as finding the group, they prefer to keep members above a minimal level of tenacity so they”d rather you figure it out yourself. If you”d like to start your own chapter, the rules are very simple. There are three degrees and they go like this…
You publicly declare you are a Proud Boy. This means you make your Western chauvinism public and you don”t care who knows it. If you support Trump (how can you not if you”re a Proud Boy?) and it comes up in the cafeteria, you proudly state your stance. If that gets you fired, so be it. Our forefathers died in battle to protect our freedoms. The least we can do is be inconvenienced. There is no anonymity in pride.
You must get the crap beaten out of you by at least five guys until you can name five breakfast cereals. If you hammer out, “Chex, Cheerios, Rice Krispies, Corn Flakes, and Special K” in a matter of seconds, you”re free to go. If you get flummoxed by the punches and cannot think straight, well, sorry, you”re going to get pounded.
The rationale here is we all need better “adrenaline control.” Both physical fighting and arguing require you to maintain your composure and not get petty with ad hominem attacks or “I just…can”t” forfeitures. Defending the West against the people who want to shut it down is like remembering cereals as you”re being bombarded with ten fists. The bonding and camaraderie this violence produces is inspiring. As Jeff Rojo from Arizona put it, “Proud Boys motivated me to be the unapologetic guy I should have been, starting in high school.”