New York City police have arrested 38-year-old Geoffrey Young — one of the nine so-called Proud Boys suspected of beating a counter-protestor near the Metropolitan Republican Club last Friday — and charged him with rioting and attempted assault.
The attack happened around 8:30 p.m. following a speech by the Proud Boys’ transphobic and Islamophobic founder, Gavin McInnes. The Proud Boys’ attack, which was caught on camera, showed one of the assailants angrily asking the victim, “Are you brave now, faggot?”
McInnes has defended using of “faggot” as “a handy term” in a fight, saying that it’s meant as a heated insult against weakness rather than a specifically anti-gay slur. In our book, that makes no difference — it equates homosexuality with weakness and is commonly used in anti-gay violence.
The Proud Boys are a self-avowed anti-feminist, anti-Muslim group who beat each other up, never masturbate and attend white supremacist rallies. Among their political beliefs, they seek to “venerate the housewife” and return to the gender roles of the early 20th century. Charming.
Their leader and founder, McInnes, styles himself as a “get off my lawn” hipster crank who disavows “politically correct” speech, but he’s much worse than all that. He has previously referred to trans people as “gender niggers” and “mentally ill gays,” has supported Trump’s trans military ban, has called parental support of trans children “child abuse” and has called Muslims a bunch of interbreeding rapists.
In August, Twitter took down the Proud Boys Twitter account (@ProudBoysUSA), Gavin McInnes’ Twitter account (@Gavin_McInnes) and the accounts of regional Proud Boys chapters in violation of Twitter’s policy forbidding “violent extremist groups.”