The Proud Boys took Manhattan Friday night, attending a lecture by their founder, Gavin McInnes, at the Metropolitan Republican Club of New York City.
Following the event, the white nationalist group took to the streets, brutally beating and kicking several individuals while shouting “faggot” and “cocksucker,” reportedly because one of them stole one of their MAGA hats. Fox News responded by only reporting on anti-fascist vandalism that had taken place at the venue, while continuing to portray Democrats as the real angry mobs.
McInnes’ lecture was about Otoya Yamaguchi, who himself was a member of an extremist right-wing group in Japan. In 1960, Yamaguchi stabbed Japan Socialist Party leader Inejiro Asanuma to death, and he has been celebrated as a hero of extreme nationalist groups.
McInnes claimed on Instagram that he would actually be “re-enacting this inspiring moment” at the event. That the Proud Boys were hyped to engage in violence of their own afterward appears to be no coincidence.
Twitter user and photojournalist Shay Horse followed the Proud Boys after they left the event and documented a group of about 30 Proud Boys “pummeling a guy on the ground screaming, ‘Are you brave now faggot?!'” He later noticed from his own photographs that several fights were playing out simultaneously. He also showed the Proud Boys proudly flashing white power hand symbols afterward.
Filmmaker Sandi Bachom documented the beatings as well, reporting that after “a protester tried to take their MAGA hat, they were brutally kicked and punched.”
Christopher Wright, who describes himself as a “conservative in NY” who has walked away from “the Democrat Plantation,” was among the Proud Boys who attended the event and was present for the beatings. His Facebook live video shows perhaps the closet view of the attacks, as well as how hyped the Proud Boys were after they walked away.
In his video, in which he claims members of Antifa attempted to jump them, the Proud Boys can be heard calling the victims “faggot” and “cocksucker.” The group also chanted, “I like beer!”, referring to Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony when he denied sexually assaulting Christine Blasey Ford. One individual can be heard boasting, “I kicked him right in the fucking head!” and “Dude, I had one of their fucking heads and was just smashing it in the pavement!” Another replies, “Whoo, yeah!”
“Once again, you see who the enemy is,” Wright says of the victims who were far outnumbered as they were brutally beat and kicked. “That’s the enemy of the country back there. That’s the enemy of the state. That’s fascism back there, and you saw where it ended up: on the ground! Where they belong, like the bunch of little punks they are.”
Fox News’ coverage of the event, however, did not in any way highlight the Proud Boys’ gang violence. Instead, it focused exclusively on the Antifa vandalism that targeted the Metropolitan Republican Club in advance of McInnes’ lecture, framing the anti-fascist group as responsible for instigating violence.
Elsewhere on the network, pundits continued to echo the Republican drumbeat that it’s liberals who are an “intimidating” political “mob.”
As ThinkProgress has reported, the Proud Boys have a penchant for violence at their events, seeming to even delight in initiating it. McInnes himself has told his followers that “fighting solves everything.”
Several people have pointed out that the police appeared to protect the Proud Boys in these altercations. Indeed, Rebecca Kavanaugh, senior staff attorney for The Legal Aid Society, confirmed on Twitter that three arrests were made, but all three were anti-racist protesters — none of them members of the Proud Boys.
As Huffington Post National Reporter Christopher Mathias pointed out, U.S. media would describe the Proud Boys’ behavior as a fascist gang in any other country, but somehow their extremism continues to be downplayed.
Despite claims by the Proud Boys that they are not a racist organization, the Southern Poverty Law Center identifies them as a hate group and has documented their affinity for white nationalism and association with other racist groups, including their participation in the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally.