“The FBI categorizes the Proud Boys as an extremist group with ties to White Nationalism,” noted the report, which was acquired and published by Property of the People, a nonprofit focused on government transparency. “The FBI has warned local law enforcement that the Proud Boys are actively recruiting in the Pacific Northwest and that some in the group have contributed to the escalation of violence at political rallies held on college campuses.”
The Proud Boys are one of many predominantly male, right-wing groups to come to the fore since President Trump’s election. They describe themselves as a “Western chauvinist” fraternal group that believes in ending welfare, closing the borders and adhering to traditional gender roles.
But critics point to other statements and behavior to argue that these aims are a subterfuge for racist and hateful beliefs.
“Their disavowals of bigotry are belied by their actions: rank-and-file Proud Boys and leaders regularly spout white nationalist memes and maintain affiliations with known extremists,” the Southern Poverty Law Center, which considers the Proud Boys a hate group, wrote in a report. “They are known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric.”