The Proud Boys is a far-right, male-only organization that promotes and engages in political violence in the United States and Canada. The group was created by Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes in 2016. The Proud Boys have been described as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and are designated as an extremist group by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The group rejects the label of "white supremacist" or "alt-right," instead identifying themselves as a "western chauvinist" fraternity. They claim to be part of a new wave of conservatism that believes in closed borders, gun rights, minimal government, and traditional gender roles.
Members are known for their distinctive black and yellow Fred Perry polo shirts, although Fred Perry has publicly distanced itself from the group. The Proud Boys have been involved in several violent incidents at political rallies.
The group gained significant attention during the first 2020 presidential debate when then-President Donald Trump told them to "stand back and stand by" after being asked to condemn white supremacists and militia groups. This comment was widely interpreted as an endorsement, although Trump later claimed he didn't know who the Proud Boys were.
As of 2021, Enrique Tarrio serves as the chairman of the Proud Boys. He has been involved in multiple legal issues related to his role in the organization, including charges related to destruction of property during protests and possession of high-capacity firearm magazines.