#ProudBoys was a trending topic on Twitter yesterday in several countries. The gay community massively shared wedding photos, videos and love stories. All tweets were provided with the hashtag.
Proud Boys, an extreme right-wing group that was founded in 2016, was frequently in the news this week. During the election debate between President Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, Trump refused to part with the group. He did not blame the Proud Boys and called on them to ‘be ready’.
Many of the members of the far-right group saw that as an encouragement. The neo-fascist club has been classified as a hate group by the civil rights organization Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
The hashtag is currently widely shared worldwide. “Make this a hashtag of love, not hate,” Bobby Berk, of Queer Eye fame, wrote under a photo of his husband and him:
The twitter account of the Canadian armed forces in the United States also shared a photo of two kissing men. “If you’re wearing a uniform, know what that means,” said another tweet. “Love is love.”
The leader of the far-right Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio, finds the action ‘hysterical’. He tells that CNN. “This is not something that offends us, we are not homophobic. We don’t care who people sleep with.” Tarrio says the gay community “will not succeed” to silence the group.
More tweets with the hashtag:
Following the election debate, Facebook decided to ban ads of the group. Far-right militias have repeatedly been responsible for violence against Black Lives Matter protesters, who have taken to the streets across the country to demonstrate against racism and excessive police brutality since the violent death of black detainee George Floyd in May.
Militia members also tried several times in recent months to intimidate politicians by demonstrating heavily in and around government buildings against corona measures, as happened in May at the Michigan State House of Parliament.