Pushing Back Against the Proud Boys in Michigan

Pushing Back Against the Proud Boys in Michigan

Screen grab of the Proud Boys speaking at the Grand Traverse County Commissioner meeting The Jewish community must stand against hate. Back in March, the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners held a public hearing , a piece of local red-region political theater really, on a resolution to make the county a “Second Amendment sanctuary.” A non-county resident wearing a “Proud Boys” T-shirt stepped up to the microphone and said he was “representing friends of mine from Grand Traverse County who couldn’t be here today.” And, with that, he waxed philosophical about his interpretations of the Second Amendment. Well, I was surprised, and so were many in Traverse City, because the Proud Boys are designated a “hate group” by both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center . Both organizations say the group is racist, antisemitic and misogynistic. Not only that, they played a large role in planning 2017’s Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., during which a local synagogue was terrorized and a young activist, Heather Heyer, was murdered in a car-ramming of counterdemonstators by an avowed antisemite. County Commissioner Rob Hentschel was eager to defend the honor of the Proud Boys when it was suggested they were a hate group. “Someone told me you were neo-Nazis,” Hentschel said. That gave the two members in attendance an opportunity to repeat their usual line about how they are “proud western chauvinists” and “believe there’s no room for hate when we’re trying to make America great.” They […]

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