Monday, February 8, 2021

Can We Call the Proud Boys Terrorists?


Proud Boys white supremacy racism xenophobia violence terrorism politics Nazi Canada

On Feb. 3, Canada’s Public Safety Ministry designated the Proud Boys as a terrorist group, fulfilling the wishes of many Americans in the wake of the neofascist group’s involvement in the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Indeed, the Canadian government’s decision to designate the Proud Boys as terrorists seemingly centered on what its statement describes as the “pivotal role” the group played in the insurrection.

The U.S. Department of Justice underscored this very point last week when it announced that it had indicted two Proud Boys for their key roles in leading the insurrection. Canada’s Feb. 3 terrorist designation is not an outlier. In 2019, Canada designated two neo-Nazi groups, Combat 18 and Blood & Honour, as terrorist groups. Perhaps lost in the noise surrounding the Proud Boy’s designation were other important Canadian sanctions—chiefly those of the Atomwaffen Division, the Base, and the Russian Imperial Movement, all far-right groups.

Many in the United States may be now wondering, can the Biden administration follow Canada’s lead?

It is an important question, especially when, upon examination, the U.S. Department of State has no radical right-wing terrorist groups on its Foreign Terrorist Organization, or FTO, list. How does Canada have six white supremacist groups on its list of terrorists while the United States has none? Is this an issue of political will, or is there something else that can explain this discrepancy? After all, it was less than one year ago that the United Nations said there was more than a 320 percent increase in right-wing terrorism.  (more...)

Can We Call the Proud Boys Terrorists?


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