Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes has been using the same anti-gay slur hurled in the NYC attack for at least 15 years

From The Southern Poverty Law Center:

Nick R. Martin
October 19, 2018

Back in 2011, Gavin McInnes, the writer and talk show host who would later found the Proud Boys, published his thoughts about anti-gay and racial slurs on the paleoconservative website Taki’s Magazine.

The essay, titled “I’m Not a Racist, Sexist, or a Homophobe, You Nigger Slut Faggot,” laid out a justification for using hateful words and phrases. His argument was essentially that they were simply “swear words” and that no one should assume what he means by using them.

From his essay (capitalizations his):

Using words such as “faggot,” “nigger,” and “slut” are obviously all about context. They are swear words. To go up to an old black guy and yell NIGGER in his face is exactly like going up to an old white lady and yelling CUNT in her face. It is not racist, sexist, or homophobic to swear. It’s just very rude.

What is more than rude, however, is to insist you know my motive for swearing. To police language based on thought is to police thoughts. It’s nobody’s business what our motives are.

In recent days, McInnes has been using a similar argument in response to videos that showed members of the Proud Boys viciously attacking people on the streets of New York City following a talk he gave Oct. 12 at the Metropolitan Republican Club in Manhattan.

In one video, a member of McInnes’ group could be heard screaming the word “faggot” as he repeatedly kicked a person curled up on the sidewalk. According to McInnes, the attack began after the victims, who he has claimed were antifascist activists, allegedly stole a “Make America Great Again” cap from a member of the Proud Boys.

“The antifa kid they beat up was in tears,” McInnes said with a chuckle during the opening minutes of his “Get Off My Lawn” podcast a day after the attack. “He was crying. Now, while this person’s crying, I’m sorry, but ‘faggot’ is a handy term.”

The Proud Boys have been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for their bigoted rhetoric disparaging women, Muslims and other groups, so such vulgarity is hardly out of character. But in an interview with Newsmax just two days later, McInnes toned it down.

“He didn’t mean it like it was some sort of homosexual attack,” McInnes said. He censored himself from repeating the word itself during the interview, using the phrase “F-word” in its place: “When someone’s adrenaline is pumping, he’s going to say, ‘Are you brave now, f-word?’”

The tactic is classic McInnes. Over the years, he has fancied himself as something of a hipster conservative. He often casts bigotry and slurs as some form of taboo-bending hijinks rather than as worn-out and stale ideas about gender, sexuality, race, religion and equality. Instead of the aging punk he makes himself out to be, his ideologies are more in line with the status quo in which straight white men reign. He’s obedient to power, not a rebel against it.

That dynamic goes a long way to explaining his frequent use of anti-gay slurs. For at least 15 years, dating back to his time as co-founder of VICE Media, McInnes has used the word in numerous essays in social media posts. He often portrays it as a term that doesn’t carry any inherent bigotry — even describing himself in one essay as “a complete fucking fag” for the emotions he felt being a dad. But even in that self-deprecating way, McInnes has routinely used the word as a synonym for weak or unmasculine. It’s a term of contempt. At times he has outright described gay men as “faggots.”

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