The right-wing Proud Boys are getting a huge wave of support from Asian Americans who fear Antifa and Black Lives Matter want to bring communist rule to the US, according to a new investigation.
Recent fundraising efforts for the Proud Boys saw as many as 80 percent of the donations coming from people with Chinese surnames, according to a review of leaked information obtained by USA Today.
The data — as well as a series of experts and supporters — show “significant support” specifically from the Chinese American community as well as ex-pats in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, the paper said.
“You have to understand how we feel – we came from communist China and we managed to come here and we appreciate it here so much,” Rebecca Kwan, who recently donated $500 to the group, told the paper.
Her support came specifically because the Proud Boys “are fighting Antifa,” she said. “And can you see anything good that Antifa did except destroy department stores and small businesses?”
USA Today said the info came from a trove of hacked GiveSendGo data it was provided.
In one fundraiser for Proud Boys members who were stabbed during violent clashes in Washington in mid-December, almost 1,000 people with Chinese surnames gave about $86,000 — more than 80% of the $106,107 raised, the paper said.
Joohn Choe of the Intuitive Threat Assessment also examined the data and said it showed came from “real people – real estate agents, scientists. Just Chinese American boomers.”
“This isn’t a surprise for us,” said Kaiser Kuo, host and co-founder of the Sinica Podcast, which discusses current affairs in China.
“Even this recent wave of anti-Asian hate crime … actually only reinforced their beliefs.”
The Proud Boys’ controversial chairman, Enrique Tarrio, thanked the Asian community for its support.
“I am happy that Asians support the ProudBoys because of the continuous hate and the relentless assault they get from BLM supporters,” he texted USA Today.
As a self-identifying Afro-Cuban American, Tarrio’s leadership has also helped garner support from Latin Americans, the report noted.
That, too, is also largely due to the Proud Boys strong stance in defiance of communism, experts said.
“For large parts of the world, there is a context and implication and history to communism and how it has affected several countries,” said Jared Holt, a fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab who studies extremism.
“So there are some communities of immigrants and descendants of immigrants for which the Proud Boys’ projection as a group combating communism in the United States resonates favorably.”