The " Boys", a self-described "" group founded by Vice Media co-creator , has officially been labeled by the FBI as an " group with ties to ". News of the classification (which had previously not been made public) was broken by the Guardian, which reported that disciplinary action taken against a female sheriffs deputy in , led to the designation.
In a warning issued to police departments in , the FBI described the Proud Boys as "contributing to the escalation in street violence" at political rallies and noted that they are "actively recruiting" in the area. The report was first issued two months ago. "The FBI has warned local agencies that the Proud Boys are actively recruiting in the Pacific north-west," and: "Proud Boys members have contributed to the recent escalation of violence at political rallies held on college campuses, and in cities like , , , , and , ." Of course, this isn't the first time that a conservative or "alt-right" group like the Proud Boys has been lumped in with overtly , white supremacist or otherwise extremist groups. have repeatedly insisted that they condemn bigotry in all of its forms (though their embrace of traditional gender roles has led to them also being labeled "misogynist".) However, the involvement of the FBI represents a troubling escalation. In recent years, organizations like the ACLU and SPLC have started lumping in socially and politically conservative groups like the Family Research Council with overtly racist groups, effectively opening the door to the criminalization of conservative groups. Meanwhile, groups like Antifa, which regularly participates in street violence and vandalism, have evaded this classification, despite warnings from the Department of . 🖐🏾More in comments👇🏾