Utilizing knowledge offered by the whistleblower website Distributed Denial of Secrets and techniques, Carless discovered that donations from the Chinese language diaspora comprised greater than 80% of the $106,107 raised thus far to defray medical prices for Proud Boys who had been injured throughout their mid-December attacks on downtown Washington, D.C., as a part of the “Cease the Steal” protests.
The flood of donations started instantly after that Dec. 12 protest. It’s doable that the Chinese language group was alerted by coverage from the Epoch Times, a newspaper operated by the anti-Communist Falun Gong cult which prior to now few years has turn out to be unabashed supporters of Donald Trump and the conspiracy theories on which his followers subsist.
Probably the most fascinating side of that is the rationalizations supplied by the donors. When Carless reached out to them, just a few responded, a few of them hostile. One who did reply gave solely a one-sentence response: “Quite simple, in a time of social chaos, they’ve braveness to face up for supporting legislation and order.”
Others defined their pondering by leaving messages on GoFundMe on the time they made their donations.
“The Proud Boys are defending the harmless individuals,” stated Donald Wang, a Queens, New York, resident who donated $50. “Lots of people in my group assist them.”
“You’re the true heroes and patriots!” wrote a donor named Janice Wang after donating $100.
“Thanks to your braveness to battle for our freedom!!” wrote a donor named Ao Liu after donating $30.
“Thanks, proud boys. You might be my heroes,” wrote a donor named Nancy Chang, who despatched $300 the day earlier than members of the Proud Boys helped storm the U.S. Capitol.
Having coated the Proud Boys from their beginnings, I can attest that this type of Manichean and heroism-centric worldview is the essence of what attracts individuals to proto-fascist teams just like the Proud Boys, and what continues to bind them collectively even after the disagreeable actuality of their violent and ugly nature begins to sink in.
Each Proud Boy I’ve ever interviewed—notably, together with the few individuals of coloration and transgender activists who marched with them—defined their involvement and motivations in related phrases: They see themselves as patriotic “actual” People, saving the nation from godless Marxists and anarchists, standing as much as the “oppression” of Black Lives Matter and gender expression and cultural shaming for racism, misogyny, and homophobia.
The time period for this type of pondering is authoritarianism. We normally consider it by way of political methods, notably as top-down impositions of dictatorial rule by tyrannical dictators. Nevertheless, it’s in actuality a phenomenon solely made doable by the massive armies of authoritarian followers who assist and empower these dictators—individuals who need heavy-handed authoritarian rule by glorified, instinct-led nationwide leaders who naturally rise to that place by dint of their superiority in thoughts and character, and whose edicts naturally are de facto virtuous and efficient.
As Matthew MacWilliams defined it in Politico just a few years in the past:
Authoritarianism is greatest understood not as a coverage choice, the way in which we discuss decrease taxes or sturdy protection, however fairly as a worldview that may be “activated” in the best historic second by anybody with a sufficiently big megaphone who’s keen to play on voters’ fears and insecurities.
When activated by concern, authoritarian-leaning People are predisposed to commerce civil liberties for strongman options to safe legislation and order; and they’re able to strip civil liberties from these outlined because the “different”—a far cry from the picture of America as a rustic constructed on a shared dedication to liberty and democratic governance.
Authoritarianism is a typical phenomenon arising from primary human situations—notably a need for safety and the concern that accompanies it—that seem in all cultures and societies. Thus it cuts throughout all racial, ethnic, and different identification traces, and attracts individuals from each stroll of life.
Members of the Asian-American group attested to this to Carless, noting that Trump himself drew pockets of assist from conservative members of their group, together with those that adhere to previous social norms. So naturally, the Proud Boys’ ethos revolving round masculinity and “conventional” Western tradition faucets into a strong vein of sympathy.
“The Proud Boys are a really engaging place for males of any ethnic background who’re a part of a poisonous masculinity,” stated Jennifer Ho, president of the Affiliation for Asian American Research. “As a result of what they share is a elementary perception of their maleness—a elementary perception that U.S. society has gone off the rails.”
“This is no surprise for us,” stated Kaiser Kuo, host and co-founder of the Sinica Podcast, which discusses present affairs in China. “I do know these individuals, I do know what they’re all about. Even this current wave of anti-Asian hate crime, which you’d assume might need shaken them out of their admiration for these racists and crypto-fascists just like the Proud Boys—it is truly solely strengthened their beliefs.”