A Lesson to the Alt-Right in Trolling
It has been brought to my attention that not everyone thrives on conflict.
My partner pointed this out as we were joking about a cease and desist letter from the Proud Boys’ “attorney.” The letter followed a Twitter message from their founder, Gavin McInnes; I think he meant to sound threatening, but it had an old-man-shakes-fist-at-cloud tone about it. It’s a kind of impotence I’ve come to expect from his group — the Wisconsin chapter invited me to a meeting to prove that they “aren’t bigots,” but rescinded the offer (after I accepted) over “some apprehension” from other members. To be fair, I am pretty intimidating.
Nevertheless, my partner had a point. The alt-right excels at using the legal system as a weapon. It’s pretty ingenious: their continued existence depends on supporting a right to free speech, but they control their own narrative by — ironically — censoring their opposition.
I decided it was time to hit back.
It all started with a typo.
When Jason Lee Van Dyke sent me the cease and desist letter, I thought it was weird that he capitalized the “T” in “The Proud Boys.” I wanted to make sure he was wrong (he was) before correcting him, so I looked up the organization.
The Proud Boys claim to be headquartered in McInnes’ home state of New York, but they actually only have a registered service mark with the US Patent and Trademark Office (A service mark is like a trademark, but for services instead of products).
In fact, there is no entity called “the Proud Boys” in New York.
Well, to be more accurate — there wasn’t an entity called “the Proud Boys” in New York.
There is now. And I own it.
So, without further ado, I’d like to introduce:
The Proud Boys, LLC
The Proud Boys are a queer, pan-gender, multi-racial organization who will no longer apologize for our space in the modern world.
The website, proudboys.me, is a work of art, if I may say so myself. I encourage you to check it out and take a look at some of the resources provided, including this pamphlet about science and gender I made over the summer. I’ll be using this site to announce future projects, including a slate of public debates meant to elevate civic discourse and confront the alt-right. We’re also working on educational materials from trustworthy sources about how far-right shock journalism is manipulating public opinion and interfering with fights for justice.
So, take some time, order a T-shirt, and make some popcorn. If you don’t understand the threat of fascism by this point, writing another 20 articles won’t help you. I’m done analyzing; it’s time to go on the offensive.