On Saturday, September 8th, 2018, the streets of downtown Las Vegas got a little bit more patriotic when the “Proud Boys,” a self-identifying chauvinist Men’s group, rocked the town with their annually held “West Fest” venue. The group, founded by comedian and Conservative commentator Gavin McInnes, had a confirmed tally of three-hundred and forty men in attendance that day. The men were all dressed in signature black-and-yellow collared shirts to showcase their support for their country, cause, and slogan, “The West is the Best.”
But make no mistake, it was not easy scheduling and getting all of these men on-board. “It’s like herding cats,” joked Enrique Tarrio, a high-ranking Proud Boy of Cuban decent in the Miami chapter. “So basically, what we did to prepare for the event is that we had one main event — which turned into actually two main events — which was ‘Margarita Boys’ on that Friday [September 7th]. . . . Basically what we said was, ‘We’re all going to stay at this hotel; everybody book this hotel and these are the dates.’ The only two things that every Proud Boy had to get to was Friday night and Saturday night our [second] main event.”
“We don’t really have a message for ‘West Fest,’ ” continued Enrique, when asked what the message was for the event. “Basically it’s a gathering of men, and [emboldening] our great fraternity. Most of the time, we do travel — or do things for activism — community service, or political activism, or going to rallies across the nation. So ‘West Fest’ is the only time of the year where our organization” — from every chapter across the nation — “just gets together and doesn’t have to worry about anything but hanging-out with ourselves and having a good time with our brothers. It’s a camaraderie and unity between our brothers; it’s our main event every year.”
Besides vetting and background-checking all of their potential prospects, these men have many quirks within the organization, and within the actual history of the organization: Screaming the emblematic “Proud of Your Boy” (POYB) song/jingle, written and composed by the creators of the Disney musical “Aladdin,” whilst drunkenly greeting their brothers with an “Uhuru!” a term coined by pro–Black Reparations YouTube internet commentator Gazi Kodzo. Maybe even going up the ranks by having five of your boys punch you in a circle, not stopping until you name five breakfast cereals. The group, while eccentric in scope, is all about showcasing individual patriotism for country, with an emphasis on Conservative values.
“From the moment I arrived at West Fest I was welcomed with open arms,” said René Rivero, a 3rd-degree Proud Boy of Cuban decent in the Miami chapter. “I mean, I met up with Jerry Edmens; it was the first time. I walked into the casino where they were in Rush Lounge and the gentleman was like, ‘Ah, you’re one of our brothers, man? Aye, come up to our suite party, let’s go upstairs and have a great time.’ And from the moment I got there, it was like everybody kind of congealed immediately. It’s like, I never been around so many good people.”
“First-degreers,” or new-comers looking to enter into the group, had to first state their names on high-ranker’s smart-phones before chanting their mantra: “I’m a proud Western Chauvinist, and I refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.” Gavin McInnes and political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos were both at the event. The two of them were having a grand-slam ole time with the boys, wearing black-and-yellow POYB scarfs, drinking pints of beer like fishes, and even singing along to the boy’s jingle down the streets of the lovely Sin City.
“Right before Saturday’s main event, I had dinner with Milo and Gavin,” said Enrique. Meeting them was described as “a great experience.” “I just think they are regular Joes,” recalled Enrique, when asked what the men were like. “They’re real good dudes. A lot of people hold them in celebrity status, but to me they are just regular guys. They’re just really good at being celebrities.” When asked what they were like behind the camera, Enrique stated that both Milo and Gavin had a very relaxed, chill composure, despite how wildly outrageous they may be on camera. “They’re men, you know? At the end of the day, they’re men,” continued Enrique. “They don’t hold they’re noses in the air; they talk to everybody, take pictures with everybody.” Their table conversations were described as “normal, everyday” — topics like family, family values, they’re organization, they’re future plans, future media projects, et cetera. . . . It should also be side-noted that Milo, a gay man with a black significant other, got 2nd-degreed and rattled off his five breakfast cereals in rabid-fire succession. “I remember ‘Apple Jacks’ distinctly being said by him,” recalled René.
Now, you would think that with all of those men at one hotel, goofing off, drinking, spending copious amount of cash, and appearing to be like your average Las Vegas degenerate that visits every day would be an extreme issue everywhere these men went . . . but that was not the case. “We all congregated at the restaurant,” said Enrique. “The staff loved us. Tens of thousands of dollars into the hotel, that’s first and foremost. And two, imagine three-hundred and forty alpha-male-type dudes without a single problem. Not a single issue. Everyone was drinking, no trouble, no fights between us. . . . We actually at the ATF lounge had friendly bouts where either you were boxing or wrestling in like an official sanction.”
Another Proud Boy, nick-named “Tiny,” was at one of these sanctioned brawls. Tiny, per the vouch of René, was not very “tiny,” despite how his nick-name portrays him. Before the fight, René saw Tiny and with a twinkle in his eye and a hankering for bruises, René asked if they could have a sanctioned brawl together. Tiny nodded his head in agreement. Needless to say, Tiny won the battle, but René won the fight with a huge, cheesy grin on his face. “I blocked his punches with my face,” said René jokingly, when recollecting the fight. “You can watch the video and judge for yourself,” [source]. Afterwards, the two men hung-out for the rest of the night.
Gavin has stated on Radicatus Dextra, published on Jun 23, 2018, that “fighting solves everything.” When asking a few Proud Boys what exactly that meant — because that sentiment has stirred some fright on the internet — it appeared to not be as bad as it sounds in the face-value sense of the word: “In most instances, fighting can solve everything — when there is no dialogue,” reiterated Enrique on Gavin’s quote. “That’s why us as humans go to war. We can’t talk all of our problems out, so we fight each other. Now that doesn’t mean that the Proud Boys fight until the death, but you do live to fight another day.” Both Enrique and René have come to the conclusion that fighting solves everything if there is a brother hood, or if there is a kind of mutual respect involved. “We fight each other and shake hands,” continued Enrique proudly. “And then you go have a beer.”
The Proud Boys, it should be expected with them having Conservative values, are pro–Second Amendment. The second main event had an outrageous award show that was less than serious. Awards such as Entrepreneur of the Year (given to Enrique Torres), Best Chapter (given to the Atlanta Chapter for the restructuring of the entire Georgia chapter made by Heath Hair), and even Best Black and Best Gay. “If the Left was putting together an event like this they would never have as much fun as we do,” said Enrique, “because we have these awards and, well, put it this way: I’m not even black and I was nominated for Best Black. I was also nominated for Best Father and, uh, I don’t, like, have any kids. . . .” “You’re our Daddy!” René added jokingly. They also had speeches from high-rankers and from Gavin and Milo. One high-ranker by the name of Rufio Panman had a particularly heart-felt and important speech, recalled René, that he felt embodies what the Proud Boys are and what they stand for:
In the wake of a divided country within a Trump presidency, and despite all the hatred in the media on both sides of the aisle, the Proud Boys feel that comedy is what ultimately is going to narrow the divide. “Bill Maher is a guy who I 90% don’t agree with, but Bill Maher is a funny dude! Some of his humor is out-there and anti-Trump, but I still can appreciate the humor involved. We consider him as an independent-thinker, and we respect that.” When asked if it’s true that political commentators of a more serious composure, when fully shutting-down opposers, are actually turning-off potential viewers from swaying to their side, Enrique said that was very accurate. It should be noted that Bill Maher, on February 17th, 2017, had Milo on his show. To the Proud Boys, comedy is the key to spreading good politics and making the American people enjoy the nature of it all. Which begs the question if that may have contributed to Trump’s win.
The only hate in the hearts of these men is Communism, states Enrique. He recalls The Daily Beast stating that he, Enrique, identifies himself as “Afro-Cuban,” which he states is wholly inaccurate. “I believe that there shouldn’t be Afro-anything. I believe that African-Americans should just be called Americans.” “White Americans don’t call themselves ‘European-Americans,’ ” René chimed in. “Why are we going to call black people African-Americans? Most of them have no link to Africa whatsoever — it’s insulting to them. Zero link.” When asked if the west is the best, Enrique made a devious grin and said, “Is that even a question? Does a bear shit in the woods?” In the eyes of this journalist, the Proud Boys are by far the most entertaining bunch in the political sphere.
Sally Fairfax, Contributing Writer to Uhuru News