From The Daily Beast: https://www.thedailybeast.com/republicans-are-adopting-the-proud-boys
Before and after the Manhattan brawl, GOP figures defended and promoted the far-right group. It’s a valuable and dangerous bridge between fascism and mainstream politics.
Kelly Weill, Will Sommer
Nine members of the far-right Proud Boys group and three protesters are facing riot and assault charges after a street brawl between them Friday night in New York.
The fight wasn’t a random clash, though: The Proud Boys were in Manhattan thanks to an invite from the Metropolitan Republican Club.
In a speech at the club, which was vandalized before the event, Proud Boys leader Gavin McInnes waved a sword at anti-fascist protesters and celebrated the assassination of a socialist Japanese politician. McInnes, a Vice co-founder who left the company in 2008, dressed up as the Japanese assassin who killed the politician, complete with glasses that made his eyes into a racist caricature of a Japanese person’s eyes.
It was a bizarre event to host at the GOP’s Manhattan clubhouse, but the Metropolitan Republican Club defended McInnes and the Proud Boys after the fight. In a statement released Sunday, the club said McInnes’ speech “was certainly not inciting violence.”
The Republican club’s role hosting the event highlights how the Proud Boys have managed to insinuate themselves with mainstream Republicans, even as they increasingly make the news for their violence. But the New York Republicans aren’t alone—the Proud Boys have already managed to make their way into other mainstream GOP campaign events and conservative media.
Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart and Devin Nunes have posed for pictures with Proud Boys on the campaign trail. Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson posed in a Fox green room with two Proud Boys and Republican operative Roger Stone earlier this year.
Stone has himself taken steps to be initiated into the Proud Boys and made headlines in March, when he used the Proud Boys as a security force at the Dorchester Conference, a Republican event in Oregon. By then, the Proud Boys were already notorious in Oregon for a series of bloody Portland brawls. But Dorchester board member and former Oregon legislator Patrick Sheehan defended the Proud Boys’ attendance, telling Willamette Week that Stone “was worried about getting killed… He gets death threats constantly.”
Continue reading at: https://www.thedailybeast.com/republicans-are-adopting-the-proud-boys