Right-Wing Extremist Groups Step Up Gay Bashing Game For Pride Month

Right-Wing Extremist Groups Step Up Gay Bashing Game For Pride Month

Here are the next chapters in the story that started at the beginning of this month, when extremists harassed people at a kid-friendly drag show at Dallas Pride. Over the weekend, two of America's most repugnant fascist far-right organizations found themselves at odds with law enforcement for attacking or planning to attack LGBTQ+ events in California and Idaho.

A group of alleged Proud Boys is being investigated by police for a hate crime after storming a drag queen story hour at a Bay Area library Saturday, ostensibly to scare the crap out of both the drag queen and the children trying to enjoy an entirely voluntary event they attended with the permission of their parents. Drag queen story hours have become a major target of hysterical right-wing scolds who hate both reading and fun, and love telling other people how they should raise their children.

According to Cindy Chadwick, librarian-on-duty at the time, the men frightened the children when they came in and "began insulting and otherwise verbally abusing our performer."

"We had parents and children there who wanted to come to this event and chose to be there. And to have people come in and try to intimidate those folks and us from trying to do a program like this was just beyond the pale for me," Chadwick said.

Local station KTVU reports:

Alameda County sheriff's deputies said the men stormed in shouting homophobic and transphobic slurs, filming as they yelled. The men were extremely aggressive with a threatening violent demeanor, according to authorities. Many wore shirts emblazoned with assault rifles that are popular with the far-right extremist group.

In a video filmed after things died down, a Proud Boy in an assault rifle t-shirt condescendingly asked "You guys called the cops?" as if it would absurd to report five adult men attacking a children's story hour in a library to the police. Another could be heard protesting that "It's sexual! It's sexual! I don't understand it, it's not about being bigoted." Except, of course, for how it is.

At least one of the five men seemed to believe the story hours were not optional, and that there was a chance that someone was going to take his two daughters from him and force them to attend one of these story hours. "Two little girls! Two little girls! I support and I love," he said, "I will never allow you to take them. Nope! You will not have them! Get it right."

The police are investigating this as a hate crime, and if convicted, that man could find himself serving up to a year in prison. So if he's a single parent, it is entirely possible his children will be taken away from him.

Meanwhile, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, 31 members of the white supremacist group Patriot Front, including founder Thomas Rousseau, were arrested for allegedly planning to riot at a nearby pride parade. As is their custom, the men were packed inside a U-Haul wearing matching outfits of polo shirts, khakis and white turtlenecks pulled up over their faces. They were pulled over after someone saw them and called 911, describing them as resembling "a little army."

The chief of the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office said that the neo-Nazis were "en route to the Pride in the Park event with riot gear, a smoke grenade and paperwork police say resembled an operations plan."

Patriot Front was planning on joining several other white supremacist and christo-fascist groups who harassed Pride attendees in Coeur d'Alene on Saturday, including members of Atomwaffen Division, Ammon Bundy's group Ammon's Army (AKA Peoples' Rights Group), Groypers, Three Percenters, PDX Liberation and other neo-Nazis and extremists.

This, for the record, is what they missed (warning: there is some terrible singing in the video):

Despite sharing most if not all of their beliefs, other right-wing extremists, such as Nick Fuentes, Jordan Sather, and Arizona GOP state senator Wendy Rogers, have decided for some time now to collectively insist that Patriot Front is made up entirely of federal agents. Many of them are citing this video of a cop saying he found out about the group's plan because he has "informants," to bolster this belief.

This is of course, not especially plausible given that Thomas Rousseau himself is a known entity and has been since he led the Vanguard America contingent at Charlottesville when he was 16 years old. Several other members, including many of those who were arrested, are also known entities who have committed other crimes. While it would be easy enough for government agents to spy on the group considering that most of their organizing is done online in Discord chats, the group is by and large quite sincere about its terribleness. Also, aside from the get-ups, there's not a whole lot to distinguish it from any other far-right extremist group in either beliefs or activities.

At this point, it would be entirely impossible for government agents to invent a fake right-wing group that would be worse than what is already out there. And if they did, they'd probably end up with a whole lot of very sincere people wanting to join them.

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse


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