Gavin McInnes, the founder of the alt-right group “Proud Boys,” defended using the word “faggot” while beating people up.
On Friday, after McInnes gave a speech in New York City, several fights broke out between his supporters and anti-fascist (antifa) counter-protestors.
In video that has gone viral, around 15 Proud Boys and skinheads can be seen beating up and kicking a protestor while he’s on the ground.
One of the assailants can be heard shouting, “You’re not so brave now, faggot.”
Another says of the victim: “He was a fucking foreigner.”
“So the colon after that headline, and the gays know their colons, ‘Are you brave now, faggot,'” he said, referring to ThinkProgress‘s headline.
“Now there is truth in the word faggot,” he continued. “It was used.”
He justified this usage by arguing that the attackers didn’t know the victim’s sexual orientation. Instead, they called him a “faggot” because he was crying about getting beaten by a group of 15 men.
“You know, someone jumps you, steals your hat and then gets beaten so bad that the kid, the antifa kid they beat up was in tears. He was crying. Now, while this person is crying, I’m sorry, but faggot is a handy term.”
“It’s very rarely used against gays,” he said, citing a Louis C.K. joke as evidence.
He also went on conservative media to defend the term. On Newsmax TV, the host asked McInnes if the use of the slur “plays into [the left’s] narrative,” showing no concern for the homophobic violence in the video.
“When someone’s adrenaline is pumping, he’s going to say, ‘Are you brave now, f-word?'” McInnes said. “He didn’t mean it like it was some sort of homosexual attack.”
He then accused the Antifa protesters of getting the Proud Boys so riled up that they had to use the word “faggot.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center described the Proud Boys’ history of violence.
Police arrested three of the Antifa activists who were protesting McInnes’s speech on Friday. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered state police to assist the NYPD in investigating the violence.