A Black Lives Matters banner was torn down from a historic Black church in Washington, D.C., in which Proud Boys leader, Henry “Enrique” Tarrio is now facing five months in jail for. Tarrio was sentenced on Monday, August 22nd, expressing apologies to the court during his sentencing. The event happened way back in December, at Asbury United Methodist Church, but he wasn’t arrested until shortly before the ambush at the capitol. Tarrio admitted to partaking in taking down the banner and then setting it ablaze with lighter fluid and lighters, just pleading guilty last month.
The Proud Boys are an extremist group known for anti-muslim, anti-Black, and misogynistic views, to name a few. The group was founded in New York City in 2016, by Canadian-American extremist Gavin McInnes. The Proud Boys, as stated in the name, is an exclusively male group. Known as a hate group, they act in support of white nationalist and supremacy ideals, with extreme far-right ideologies. Tied to working with Neo-Nazi terrorist groups and upholding close connection to other extremist parties, they ensue political violence.
The Proud Boys, also tied to the invasion of the capitol, was confirmed when one of the Proud Boys members was identified after using a U.S. Capitol Police riot shield to break in the Capitol’s windows to lead rioters in. The crowd was identified as “pro-Trump,” and consisted of other extremist militia groups such as the Oath Keepers; intending to disrupt the certification process of the presidential election. Ultimately the Proud Boys’ agenda is to defend “Western culture.” Even calling themselves “Western chauvinists.” The term “Western chauvinists” expresses a belief that Western European culture is superior. This explains the Proud Boys relations to white supremacy groups such as Identity Evropa–a white supremacist group that was also founded in 2016… But the line of relations isn’t qqdrawn there.
The Proud Boys, deeply embedded in misogynist, fascist, and patriarchal values, opposes what is thought of as most far-left movements. Women empowerment, Black equality, gay rights, islamic views, anti-police… This is just a few of the movements opposed by the Proud Boys, driving them to do hate crimes. But whether the repercussions of their hate crime feels fair or not, leads to controversy.