Kyle Chapman, the founder of a “tactical defense arm” of the Proud Boys known for engaging in street violence, claimed in a message on the encrypted chat app Telegram that he has staged a “coup” against the current leader of the Proud Boys — a Black man named Enrique Tarrio.
“We will confront the Zionist criminals who wish to destroy our civilization,” Chapman wrote after using other bigoted language. “We recognize that the West was built by the White Race alone and we owe nothing to any other race.”
Chapman also wrote that he has renamed the group the Proud Goys, referring to the Jewish term for non-Jews that neo-Nazis have tried to appropriate and use to symbolize their antisemitism.
The Proud Boys were founded in 2016 by Gavin McInnes, a far-right provocateur and misogynist who also co-founded the Vice media brand. The group has billed itself as a “Western chauvinist” fraternal organization but thus far has insisted that its preference for “Western civilization” was not built on racist or antisemitic views.
It is unclear how Chapman’s call has been received by others in the group. Other Proud Boys channels on Telegram have not reflected the changes he wants to institute, and a message from the administrator of one said, “No, we are not the Proud Goys. No, Kyle didn’t stage a coup,” and then referred to him with an ableist slur.
“I denounce antisemitism. I denounce racism. I denounce fascism,” Tarrio has said, according to the Washington Times. “I denounce communism and any other -ism that is prejudiced toward people because of their race, religion, culture, tone of skin.”
However, the Proud Boys have documented ties to white supremacist groups. McInnes posted videos surrounding a 2017 trip to Israel in which he made antisemitic statements. A former Proud Boys member was the organizer of the deadly 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Members are known for wearing gold-and-black Fred Perry polo shirts, which the retailer has discontinued in opposition to the group, and engaging in street brawls with left-wing protesters.
In his post on Telegram, Chapman said he deposed Tarrio, whom he referred to with a racial slur. He wrote that the group will now focus on “the issues of White Genocide, the failures of multiculturalism, and the right for White men and women to have their own countries where White interests are written into law and part of the body politic.”
“White genocide” is a myth advanced by white supremacists that falsely claims that nonwhite immigration and interracial marriage are a conspiracy to destroy white people.