Proud Boys on Trial: Examining the Group’s Contradictory Nationalism and Misogyny

During the Trump era, the Proud Boys, a right-wing group, gained cultural prominence. They embraced Euro-nationalism, supported MAGA-oriented alliances, and opposed civil rights for minority groups. This was manifested both online and in public through displays of aggression.[0] The group is characterized by brazen nationalism, misogyny and aggressive opposition to “Antifa” socialists, the Black Lives Matter Movement and Muslims.[1] Its founder Gavin MacInnes, a British-born Canadian grievance-monger and co-founder of Vice Media, created a group defined by its ability to publicly position itself around an array of rotating grievances and associated scapegoats.[1]

Currently, five members of the Proud Boys are on trial in Washington, DC, facing a raft of federal charges, including seditious conspiracy, for their alleged role in the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol.[0] Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, the national chairman of the organization, is arguably the most prominent of the defendants.[0] Tarrio, an Afro-Cuban, was not present in Washington, DC, on January 6, but prosecutors aim to present his role in the group’s leadership as making him culpable.[0]

In January 2022, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland released a research paper which stated that, despite the Proud Boys' denials of racist beliefs, their organization is deeply entrenched in white nationalism and misogyny.[0] The Huffington Post editor and author of the new book, “We Are Proud Boys,” Andy Campbell further explains the group’s seeming contradictions regarding race.[0] Before officially joining the group, a member must publicly recite the following statement and then be hit five times by their peers: “I take pride in being a western chauvinist and will not apologize for the development of the modern world.”[0]

Since the Proud Boys' founding, they have been seen attending numerous violent events with neo-Nazis and Oath Keepers, such as anti-Shariah and anti-immigrant protests, as well as the January 6 insurrection. Despite this, the group's guidebook claims to “disavow” Nazis and racists.[0]

0. “Opinion: The head crab anomaly at the heart of the Proud Boys” know news, 6 Feb. 2023,

1. “Opinion: The head-scratching anomaly at the heart of the Proud Boys”, 7 Feb. 2023,