Culture Wars/Current Controversies

They joined the Wisconsin Proud Boys looking for brotherhood. They found racism, bullying and antisemitism.

By Will Carless, USA Today

KENOSHA, Wis. – Daniel Berry said he was searching for camaraderie.

The 40-year-old Army veteran yearned to forge the sort of bonds he had in the military: a brotherhood of like-minded men watching one another’s backs, holding one another up, united in a common goal.

Last year, Berry said, he remembered a guy at the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall asking him if he had heard of the Proud Boys. The group was vocal in its support for then-President Donald Trump, whom Berry had voted for. Members called themselves “Western chauvinists” and said they welcomed true men. That sounded about right for Berry, who considers himself a dyed-in-the-wool patriot.

He did some internet searches and sent off an email. Almost immediately, he received a link to an encrypted chatroom.

So began Berry’s journey into the dark world of the Wisconsin chapter of the Proud Boys.

Berry, along with a member of the Wisconsin Proud Boys and another former recruit, told USA TODAY the group is a den of racism and antisemitism. Moving up within the group, they said, is dependent on sadistically bullying potential members and promoting white supremacist talking points.

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