If you have Black Lives Matter gear, you might have purchased it from a racist.
The leader of the far -right Proud Boys has revealed that one of his companies has been profiting off Black Lives Matter slogans, and there is a good chance his racist followers are ironically buying them in support of the pro-Trump group.
Disgraced leader and FBI informant Enrique Tarrio told The Wall Street Journal part of the group’s financial operations of late is selling “Black Lives Matter” T-shirts because according to them, PayPal and Stripe card-processing companies refused to allow their traditional products to be sold.
The Journal couldn’t officially confirm the name of the Proud Boys’ website that sells inauthentic BLM products, but a reporter managed to witness a Proud Boy printing out a shirt at the Miami headquarters.
Usually, Proud Boys makes products for its online store 1776, which sells conservatively themed products.
However, since 2017, the Proud Boys have been canceled after reports connected the group with the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA, that led a neo-Nazi to deliberately drive his car into a crowd of people who were peacefully protesting, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.
In addition the rally had self-identified members of the alt-right, neo-Confederates, neo-fascists, white nationalists, neo-Nazis, Klansmen, and various right-wing militias.
On January 6, the Proud Boys, and another racist pro-Trump faction called the Oath Keepers, coordinated the Capitol insurgence using walkie-talkies while sporting “military-style outfits,” the Journal reported.
Since the attack on the Capitol, the organization has not been financially stable due to its reliance on online stores to afloat. And with financial firms and social media blackballing the Proud Boys, its e-commerce business model is dead.
“We’re bleeding,” Tarrio said. “We’ve been bleeding money since January, like hemorrhaging money.”
What is keeping groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers alive are unorthodox crowdfunding sites to pay for the legal defense of certain members who got caught rioting on the Capitol.