Honors Senior Theses/Projects

Date of Award

6-2022

Exit Requirement

Undergraduate Honors Thesis/Project

Department

Honors Program

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Henry Hughes

Honors Program Director

Dr. Gavin Keulks

Abstract

The Proud Boys are a right-wing political organization set in opposition to immigration, political correctness, multiculturalism, and feminism. The group has been active in public right-wing demonstrations and counter-protests, and were present at both the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville as well as the January 6th Insurrection. After public acknowledgement from their symbolic figurehead, former president Donald Trump, the group saw an increase in both membership and media attention. This research paper seeks to compile various pieces of data concerning the Proud Boys to create an accurate and well-rounded picture of the organization. This data consists of political science research, news articles, and material created by members of the Proud Boys in order to investigate the claim that the group is a danger to both public safety and discourse. The group’s reputation for violence is earned. Their members have been brought up on assault charges in numerous cases, thanks in part to the aggressive rhetoric and goals of prominent Proud Boys. Additionally, two conditions for full group membership involve acts of violence– both enduring and perpetrating it. The Proud Boys are also a political danger. Their tenets are largely crypto-facistic in nature. While they allow non-whites into the group, the Proud Boys provide an effective starting point for their members to branch out into more overtly-racist vi organizations and hate groups. As such, this paper argues that the Proud Boys are an insidious threat that, despite their public image, supports political violence and fascist ideologies.

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