Why would the Proud Boys have a flood of Chinese donors? It’s all about the authoritarianism – By David Neiwert (Daily Kos) / May 4 2021
On the surface at least, one of the more mystifying aspects of far-right street gangs like the Proud Boys who espouse a fundamentally white-nationalist ethos is their ability to attract recruits and supporters who are nonwhite—a small number, to be sure, but often as intense as the most rabid of the extremists. The Proud Boys’ national chairman, Enrique Tarrio, is the leading example—a Cuban-African man.
The question was raised this week again by a story from Will Carless at USA Today reporting that a significant portion of the Proud Boys’ fund-raising in recent months has come from the Chinese immigrant community. Carless wonders: “Why would people from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and members of the Chinese American community, donate to an organization with deep ties to white supremacists, whose members flash white power signals and post racist memes on social media?”
There is an explanation, albeit one that is simultaneously simple and complex, wrapped up in a single word: authoritarianism.
Using data provided by the whistleblower site Distributed Denial of Secrets, Carless found that donations from the Chinese diaspora comprised more than 80% of the $106,107 raised so far to defray medical costs for Proud Boys who were injured during their mid-December attacks on downtown Washington, D.C., as part of the “Stop the Steal” protests.