Violent Proud Boys Will Have To Be Proud In Prison For Next Four Years
Last October, former Proud Boy leader Gavin McInnes was invited to the Metropolitan Republican Club of New York for the purpose of speaking about and reenacting the assassination of Japanese Socialist Party leader Inejiro Asanuma at a political rally by a teenage member of a far-right group — an incident McInnes referred to as "inspiring."
And, it seems, some of his followers were indeed inspired. Because as soon as they left that speech, they chased down some folks they thought might be antifascists and proceeded to brutally assault them. And when their victims were finally on the ground, the Proud Boys kicked them while screaming, "Are you brave now, faggot?" at the top of their lungs. There is video of the attack here, but if you've already seen "A Clockwork Orange," you can get a good enough gist of what went on without needing to watch it. Following the attack, the Proud Boys recorded a now-deleted video in which they bragged about kicking a "foreigner" in the head.
Now, a year later, two of the Proud Boys who were there that night, Maxwell Hare and John Kinsman, have been sentenced to four years in prison for their part in the assaults. The judge in the case, Justice Mark Dwyer, said that the harsh sentences were imposed in order to deter political violence in the future, citing the conflicts between the Proud Boys and Antifa that have occurred elsewhere in the United States these past few years.
"In cities across America these two groups have repeatedly engaged in violence against one another," Justice Dwyer said. "It became clear during this trial that violence is very much ingrained in the Proud Boys ethos."
Which it is!
Without specifically saying his name, Dwyer also nodded to the influence of founder Gavin McInnes.
"It's a shame when some people jump up and down on a platform, and their followers, their soldiers, get in trouble."
Maybe. Although it seems very possible that these followers are just as reprehensible as McInnes, just not as famous. These people do not even have the excuse of "only following orders," as, legally, Gavin McInnes cannot compel them to do anything. It was their choice to chase people down the street and bludgeon them.
On Telegram, one of the only social media sites he is allowed on, McInnes claimed, erroneously, that Hare and Kinsman were being sent to prison for "defending themselves too much after an ambush." There was, of course, no ambush. There were people protesting outside and Gavin waving his wee sword, but that was about it. The people Hare and Kinsman assaulted were walking away from the alley, down the street. There is video of this.
He then proceeded to blame the SPLC for calling the Proud Boys a "gang" and several journalists for reporting on their violence and appalling beliefs.
But the SPLC didn't force them to chase a bunch of liberal protesters down a street and reenact "A Clockwork Orange" on their faces. No journalists told them to go out and call themselves "Western Chauvinists." That was all them, and they should really learn to take "personal responsibility" for their actions, instead of blaming everyone else for refusing to play along with them when they piss on their faces and tell them it is raining.
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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. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse