Gavin McInnes: The Neighbor from Hell
By Melissa Ryan
Confession time: I love internet pie fights, especially hyperlocal ones. I’m one of those people who subscribes to their neighborhood listserv mainly for the drama (and my neighborhood’s listserv is always chock full of it!) For that reason alone I’ve found Gavin McInnes’ trouble with his neighbors to be highly entertaining. It is the gift that keeps on giving.
McInnes and his wife live in Larchmont, an NYC suburb. Understandably his neighbors were not thrilled to learn they have the founder of the Proud Boys living in their midst. There was an organized effort to blanket McInnes’ neighborhood with signs reading Hate Has No Home here.
McInnes was triggered. Via Huffington Post’s Andy Campbell:
Now McInnes’ demons are catching up with him in his own community. On Friday, HuffPost obtained a letter penned by McInnes and dropped off at the homes of several residents who had the signs displayed on their properties. In a three-page, computer-typed screed dated Dec. 28, McInnes tells numerous and blatant lies about the Proud Boys, his status as their leader and his intolerant views.
HuffPost is not publishing McInnes’ letter, as it misrepresents his past actions, on which HuffPost has reported extensively.
He claims that his wife is a Democrat in an apparent attempt to level with his neighbors (public records show that she’s a registered voter but not party-affiliated); that he is a “businessman and humorist” (he is indeed the co-founder of Vice Media and therefore a onetime businessman, but his incitement of violence and his public comments about rape, women and LGBTQ communities are anything but funny); and that the Proud Boys are merely a “drinking club I started several years ago as a joke” (that’s simply not true).
But wait there’s more! McInnes and his wife have taken their fight to Nextdoor, an app that seems built solely for the purpose of hyperlocal internet pie fights.
More from Andy Campbell, who’s been on fire with this story:
But on Monday night, that simmering local feud began to boil over. The McInneses joined a private online discussion about the squabble, held by the Larchmont community on the social media app Nextdoor, in an apparent attempt to clear the air with their neighbors.
A transcript of their comments, which mostly parroted lies that Gavin McInnes told about his past and his affiliation with the Proud Boys last week, was obtained by HuffPost.
“The Jewbag quote was a character,” Gavin wrote in response to a community member’s questions about his rampant anti-Semitism, which has been lauded by the likes of David Duke and Richard Spencer.
Emily McInnes wrote in another post, “I assure you as a Native American woman raised with a full-blood mother and a longtime liberal, my heart is full and open to all.”
Reader, the McInneses did not clear the air.
Generally, I avoid overly snarky writing in CARD but for this one, I’m making an exception. McInnes’ whole shtick is that people are too easily triggered. He’s made a career out of it. And dude can’t deal with yard signs? If you’ve ever suspected that the Frogs’ obsession with safe spaces and trigger warnings is almost entirely a form of projection, the McInnes family in Larchmont make for quite a case study.
But tempting as it is to only write snark about the Proud Boys, it’s also not the full story. They’re a violent group of extremists who for too long were able to pass themselves off as a silly drinking club for politically incorrect men. Just this week the Proud Boys’ most recently deposed leader, was arrested for making violent threats, triggering a revoke of his bail from a previous arrest for filing a false police report. Another self-proclaimed member was arrested for murdering his brother with a sword.
No one is enjoying McInnes’ downfall more than me but his and the Proud Boys’ implosion is also a giant relief. The sooner we can dissolve this movement of fascist foot soldiers, the better off we’ll be.
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HOPE not hate Podcast: Discussing the UK Yellow Vests
We’ve gotten a few questions about the Yellow Vest protests and the far right. Thankfully, HOPE not hate’s podcast has you covered! In this special episode, Matthew Collins, Head of Intel at Hope not Hate, discusses the new approach of the British far right in their desperate bid for attention. In recent days various individuals have been seen wearing the hi-viz vests of the french anti-Macron protesters while abusing journalists and MPs outside of the UK parliament. Matthew warns that this is not a movement just another costume for a post-organizational, DIY, and donation thirsty bunch of neer-do-wells. Duncan Cahill joins Matthew for this short episode that explains the significance of these protests and provides an insight into some of the mucky motivations and murky characters (such as the nazi Nick Griffin) lurking behind the scenes.
- Political Research Associates is out with a comprehensive timeline of Alt Right and Far Right Mobilization in 2018.
- Nature Human Behavior has retracted a study from 2017 claiming that fake news is just as likely to go viral as true content. Vice has a write up of the retraction and the errors that made it necessary. I’ve linked to the study and cited it in trainings before so I wanted to make sure I noted Nature’s retraction here.
- A new report by Antisemitism Policy Trust and the Community Security Trust combines Google search data and posts from far-right site Stormfront to give insights into the prevalence of anti-semitic tropes online in the UK.
- Memes counter disinformation, spread awareness of pollution in Beijing (Columbia Journalism Review)
- GOP Ejects Charlottesville Hate Marcher James Allsup After Daily Beast Exposé (The Daily Beast)
- Facebook took advice from a far-right figure who blamed gay marriage for hurricanes (Media Matters)
- The Far Right Is Trying to Co-opt the Yellow Vests (The Daily Beast)
- How to Get Free Promo from Breitbart (Medium)
- American Psychological Association links ‘masculinity ideology’ to homophobia, misogyny (NBC News)
- Cambridge Analytica Pleads Guilty in U.K. Data Trial (The Daily Beast)
I’m really proud of this opinion piece, my first for Buzzfeed News. Is That A Russian Troll Or An American Super PAC? It ties together internet trolls, our broken campaign finance system, and the hell that 2020 will be online.
Have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share? You can reply directly to this email. I read everything that lands in my inbox and respond to most. You can also hit us up on Twitter @melissaryan and @hopenothate.
That’s a wrap on this week. Until next time!