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An alleged “pro-Western fraternal organization for men who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world,” the Proud Boys were founded in 2016 by conservative media personality Gavin McInnes, who, once upon a time, cofounded Vice magazine.

McInnes’ Proud Boys, whose uniform includes black Fred Perry polos with yellow stripes, are generally thought of as an alt-right group, though McInnes, in an effort to distance them from alt-right’s racist connotations, prefers the term “alt-lite.” On Saturday night at Ye Olde Bull and Bush near the Cultural District, a few of my friends ran into about 20 of these jagoffs, and my friends said that while the group members were vague about their beliefs, they were explicit in trying to be intimidating by the sheer number of their bodies. Katreeva Phillips, a local playwright and musical theater composer, arrived at the bar to meet some friends, one of whom was surrounded by a group of men dressed “in these really lame uniforms, black-and-yellow shirts and Doc Martens.” 

Phillips asked her friend what was going on. “And then I was immediately surrounded,” she said. “They started talking to me. … It was maybe 10, 15 minutes before I could even get to the bar to get a drink, because they wouldn’t stop. Any time I would ask a question, another Boy would come up and engage. … Every word was met with another scare tactic of them surrounding me, but they wouldn’t tell you what their opinions were other than that they believe in restoring Western culture, the way American culture is supposed to be.”

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Jay Wilkinson, a local artist who, like Phillips, frequents the Bull and Bush, was at the bar with his friends, bartender Tony Green and carpenter Brandon Pederson. Wilkinson said they ended up thronged by an ever-increasing circle of Proud Boys after Green engaged in conversation with one of their members.

“I looked around and saw all these guys,” Wilkinson said, “and I didn’t know who they were, but there were 11 or 12 of them standing around, and when [Green] started talking to one of them, that’s when they all started to come over.”

Green, who is African-American, remarked on their presence. “I was just saying how crazy it was that the Proud Boys were at the bar, and then this guy turns around to me, this Latin guy, and he was like, ‘Well, what would it mean to you if I was a Proud Boy?’ And I said, ‘Well, we need to talk, because you’re a person of color.’ ”

Wilkinson said two or three guys came over and asked what was going on, and at that point, Pederson told them to leave his friends alone, which prompted even more Proud Boys to join their circle. 

“I felt like I was going to change the mind of this person,” Green said. “I was like, ‘You’re brown, you’re a person of color, I’m gonna change your mind, I’m gonna fix this,’ and as more and more people started showing up, I realized that wasn’t a possibility.”

The Proud Boys engaging Green were nonspecific about their beliefs, he said. “It wasn’t racism,” Green said. “It was mostly women-hating. … That’s where I had a big disconnect. … I never felt discriminated against as a black or a gay person, talking to this guy. I was more of the mindset that they’re about oppressing women.”

As for McInnes’s presence, I showed a photo of him to Green, Phillips, and Wilkinson. They all confirmed that he was there, sort of hovering in the back of the sea of black polos. What they were doing in Fort Worth is anyone’s guess.

As the conversation escalated and the crowd of Proud Boys thickened, Wilkinson corralled his friends and left before things heated into a confrontation. “They were standing around like some kind of Ninja Turtles gang,” Wilkinson said, “like a bunch of soccer hooligans.”

When Wilkinson and company reached their car, the bartender came out and apologized for the encounter. 

25 COMMENTS

  1. So the racist theme didn’t stick and now they’re misogynist. Check. Got it. Are we calling them rapist yet or do we wait until they are found to be supportive of women? Just trying to stick to the neo-liberal script you’re runnin.

  2. This article is a total hit piece and racist! Saying that Hispanics can’t be a proud boys is woefully ignorant and blind to the fact that the Proud Boys is multi-racial fraternity, with many gay members as well. I expect this ignorant and shoddy reporting from Dallas or Austin but from cow town is totally depressing. Do research before you cry wolf

  3. You could’ve reached out to the actual Proud Boys for a comment, but then you might have to write truths. We were engaged in conversation by these women, and had a polite conversation. Gavin was not there. Kind of hurts your credibility in the mock up

  4. This unimportant groups of hipster thugs deserves no attention, but now they have it. Everyone that is a regular at the B&B knows well that immature boys like the PB’s aren’t welcome there. Do us all a favour and don’t give them more attention than they deserve, which is zero. Little boys eventually grow up, we hope.

  5. The proud boys are pathetic, but this article is literally a hipster diary submission. This is a lame xanga post. I’m so done with fw weekly.

  6. Sounds very dangerous! Keep your women close & protected! Sounds like mad dogs in a pack mentality, which means once one of them breaks blood, it’ll become a bloody frenzy… Male or Female… next time someone needs to call the cops, they need to know about this threatening group…Be Safe!!!

  7. Damn, they were a few minutes from my home, too bad I was in Europe last Saturday. Hopefully I can find them again at the pub next Saturday so I can finally said stomp a couple of these nazi hipsters with my Solovair boots.

  8. Why does Wilkinson not have a first name? Is it Steve? One of y’alls writers. This article is ridiculous. All it does is show blatant judgmentalism for anyone different that you. Also at the bull and bush… I call bullshit. I’m there multiple times every week and I would have heard about it if remotely true…

  9. This is one of the sorriest excuses for journalism that I have read from the left….this week. The DFW Proud Boys will drink when and where they please. They will not be intimidated by the idle threats of some of those in this comment section, and will certainly not be deterred by delusional morons who believe that the Proud Boys are racist in any way.

  10. My Grandson mentioned joining a proud boys. I told him he didn’t NEED to because my wife and I are proud enough of HIM. Hahahahaha

    I GREAT article
    Good job.
    God bless.

  11. Do you have to prove you’re a greasy liar to get a job at this blog parading as a newspaper? People who oppose filthy, subhuman Communists are wonderful to be around unless you’re a filthy, subhuman Communist. Proud Boys are about what they love. America, freedom and hanging out with one another in peace. Filthy subhuman Communists can’t abide this because hate is the only idea in their diseased minds. It is good to be a Proud Boy and is is misery to be one of the vermin who attack us with vile lies. Their misery is deserved Leftists are the scum of the earth. Uhuru.

  12. Is this a letter to your mommy or your dad attempt at journalism? Proud Boys are a great group of gentlemen. It is usually them being attacked by ill-informed douche-bags.

  13. Ahhh look at the comments from all the Incells. How cute are they in their wannabe skinhead uniforms. Back in my day actual skins would relieve you of your boots for such a poser slight.

  14. How pathetic a group of little boys trying hard to become something they will never be Men. We are the proud boys facebooks version of skinheads internet tough guys

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