Proud Boys is a far-right men’s organization founded in 2016 by Vice Media co-founder and former commentator Gavin McInnes. McInnes describes the organization as a “pro-Western fraternal organization” for men who “refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.” The group has been referred to as alt-right or alt-lite.
The group takes its name from the showtune “Proud of Your Boy,” a song introduced in the 2011 stage-show version of Disney’s Aladdin.
In 2017, Kyle Chapman, also known as “Based Stickman,” formed a new wing of the Proud Boys called the “Fraternal Order of the Alt-Knights” (FOAK).
The Proud Boys have a four-degree initiation process for new members. In the first degree, a recruit must declare “I am a Western chauvinist who refuses to apologize for creating the modern world.” According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the second degree involves five or more Proud Boys punching the recruit until he names five breakfast cereals. To earn the third degree, the recruit must get a Proud Boy tattoo. The fourth degree requires the recruit to get into a physical fight with an anti-fascist activist at a public rally.
The ten tenets of the Proud Boys are: 1) “venerating the housewife,” 2) closing all prisons, 3) arming the citizenry with guns, 4) legalizing drugs, 5) ending welfare, 6) ending immigration, 7) banning censorship, 8) glorifying entrepreneurs, 9) recognizing “the West is the Best,” and 10) “shutting down the government.”
The Proud Boys have adopted a black Fred Perry polo shirt with yellow piping as their unofficial uniform. Fred Perry was previously associated with the Mod subculture and skinhead groups, including the British National Front. Fred Perry’s CEO John Flynn denounced the affiliation with the Proud Boys in a statement to CBC Radio saying, “We don’t support the ideals or the group that you speak of. It is counter to our beliefs and the people we work with.”