Big boys playing dress-up: Proud Boys and Oath Keepers are dangerous — and deeply embarrassing

To me, however, the most embarrassing thing of all is the fact that nine veterans of service in the United States military have been indicted for seditious conspiracy to overthrow the government for their roles in the violent assault on the Capitol. Not only that, but they dressed up and play-acted their parts as veterans. Some of them, specifically the Oath Keepers, wore military-style camo outfits complete with bulletproof vests and Kevlar helmets, and used a military-style “stack” formation to lead the breach of the Capitol building. Others, the Proud Boys, gave orders to their membership not to wear military-style gear and remain incognito: “come as a patriot” and “do not wear colors!” (referring to their yellow and black Proud Boy uniforms) and “be decentralized and use good judgement” because “we are trying to avoid getting into any shit.” 

All of the above was in preparation for the assault launched by the Proud Boys on the Capitol. Many of the texts were exchanged before the rally on the Ellipse had even begun.

The indictment lays out this embarrassing behavior by military veterans in excruciating, painful detail. It describes the childish delight they took in each other and the pride in the crimes they were committing by citing the selfies they took, to which they attached such grand comments as, “So we stormed the fucking Capitol. Took the motherfucking place back. That was so much fun.” Another Proud Boy added, “January 6 will be a day in infamy.”

The Proud Boys used “1776” as a private code for what they called their revolution throughout their text messages to each other. The year of the signing of the Declaration of Independence has also become a key part of the rhetoric of many of Trump’s defenders, as if by invoking the founding of the country they can excuse its destruction.–and-deeply-embarrassing/

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