Thursday, July 7, 2022

Overreacting? Maybe, but they are very similar

Okay, here is an issue that strikes me somewhere between scary and crazy. On the continuum, it is a lot closer to crazy than scary. BUT, stay with me here, it is not nearly as crazy as a President leading an insurrection at the Capital.


Despite the coverings, you can se the yellow and black favored by the Proud Boys

Here is my query; are Proud Boys a precursor to domestic terrorism like the Brown Shirts were with Hitler? I know we cannot make a comparison of Hitler to Trump or Republicans. But we can make that comparison as to HOW Hitler came to power.

The Proud Boys have high profile backing from Donald Trump, Roger Stone, Sean Hannity, and soft coverage from the rest of Fox News. They were officially formed in 2016 and had their first large violent event in 2017 – the March on Charlottesville. By 2020 there were 43 proud boy chapters, when hundreds showed up for the Jan 6th insurrection. 

Since 2020 their growth has been striking. Unofficially membership numbers show a growth from about 3,000 to 35,000. In 2021 (after the insurrection) chapters grew from 43 – 72. In 2022 the Proud Boys claim 155 chapters. They have been tasked with protection for Roger Stone, Matt Geatz, Steve Bannon and Donald Trump - who reached out for them to Stand Down and Stand By. That “stand by” was invoked on Jan 6th, less than 3 months later.


Senator Mo Brooks (Alabama) speaking to the Jan 6th crowd, wearing the Proud Boy colors.

Since 2019 the Proud Boys have attacked Black Lives Matter protests, women’s protest, Oregon protests, their own “Demand Free Speech” rally and more. They have often attack individuals they disagree with. They have menaced and intimidated many individuals, killing some.

With Covid, the Proud Boys were welcomed into partisan protests. They were the individuals that planned to kidnap and murder the female Democratic governor of Michigan.

Now, let’s look at the Brownshirts that supported Hitler’s rise to power.

Brownshirts BEFORE Hitler cam to power, threatening the German Parliament (echos of Jan 6)

In 1929 thru 1922 the number grew from 70 to 130 people. They were part of a failed political attack in Munich in 1919 (the Beer Hall Putsch). By 1925, they had grown to 30,000 (six years, versus the 4 years it took the proud boys to reach 30,000).

Many Brownshirts were ex-Military, feeling left out after the Great War (WWI). During the insurrection at the Capital, many of the identified Proud Boys are ex-military or police.

I worry that in 2024, particularly if Trump is on the ballot, they may grow bolder with the tacit approval of Trump and his enablers. In 1933 the federal government put Hitler in power. They hoped that putting the leader of the Nazi’s in charge, it would force both Hitler and the Nazi’s to restrain their more radical members and the Brownshirts. It did not work that way.

The Republican orthodoxy has embraced the fallacy that our last election was rife with fraud, even though under oath, they admit it wasn’t. But the rank and file Republicans and FOX News viewers would never know that. The Jan 6th hearings are not mentioned on the channel. The lawsuits and settlements pertaining to illegal fraud reporting are not mentioned. The Proud Boys look like the

Look, this probably won’t happen. But the probably gets weaker every time they and their backers are ignored or excused. They are now going after gays with planned attacks on two gay pride events, and multiple story times in libraries attended by families. Kids love Drag Queens and will go to story time with them. They intimidate the Drag Queens, librarians, and the attending families. In most instances, the police simply make them leave, rewarding what are illegal acts.

“It could never happen here”. Said the great majority of Germans in 1933. And the great majority of Americans in 2022.


1 comment:

  1. Pround Boys, white nationalists, white supremists, Brown Shirts -- if it walks like a duck.....It absolutely could happen here. If people don't get their head out of the sand, it may be too late to stop it.

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