Keeping track of right wing extremist groups

It can be difficult to keep track of the various extremist groups on the right since even though they share certain broad goals, they each have their own agendas and membership. In an article After The Storm in the April/May 2021 issue of The Progressive magazine, Matthew N. Lyons provides a handy list to enable us to keep track of whoo’s who and doing what.

Boogaloo bois: Started around 2018, this loose collection of people advocate overthrowing the state and view law enforcement as the enemy. While largely made up of white nationalists, they claim to have factions that support Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ+ movements. They often wear Hawaiian shirts as identifiers.

Oath Keepers: Founded in 2009, it focuses its recruiting on current and former law enforcement and military people who claim to want to ‘preserve the constitution’ (as they see it). They promote anti-globalist conspiracy theories, Islamophobia, and anti-immigrant nativism while claiming to have a color-blind ideology.

Proud Boys: An all male group founded in 2016 by Irishman Gavin McInnes (born to Scottish parents in England but now a Canadian) and now headed by Enrique Tarrio who identifies as Afro-Cuban. The group promotes ‘western chauvinism’, homophobia, and misogyny. Initially pro-police but since the 2020 election have clashed with them. They wear black and yellow.

Three Percenters: Founded in 2008, it now consists of several factions. Its name is based on the notion that just 3% of American colonists actively took part in the War of Independence and that hence you do not need a large number to overthrow the government. Their politics is similar to Oath Keepers but this group is more militant and confrontational.

Groypers: A loose, youth-oriented group that promotes white nationalism, misogyny, antisemitism, and anti-LGBTQ+ that repackages white nationalism so that it will appeal to a broader segment of the white conservative population.

Patriot Front: Neo-Nazi group founded in 2017 by Thomas Rousseau after the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville that year.

QAnon: A conspiracy network that believes that Democratic party leaders, top government officials, and many celebrities are part of a secret group of Satanic, cannibalistic, pedophiles at war with Trump.

There are other smaller groups listed by Lyons, such as Identity Evropa (white nationalists), People’s Rights (anti-government with hostility to pandemic public health measures), and New Apostolic Reformation (theocratic branch of the Christian right that uses prayer to exorcise demons).

You may notice that many of these groups started after 2008. I wonder what might have happened that year that gave a boost to anti-government, white chauvinist sentiment? It is a puzzle, no?


  1. blf says

    Surely the Republican Party (GOP) also made the list?


    Mano, No link is cited — is there one?
    I just took a quick look at the site and didn’t see one. None of the three most-probable-seeming April/May 2021 articles, The Armies of the Right (“Though Trump is gone, the legions of far-right extremists he inspired will continue marching on”), or The Enemy Within (“State and local Republican parties have been taken over by white supremacists, conspiracy mongers, and insurrectionists”), or Eyes on the Rise (“One People’s Project tracks the boom in the power and might of the far right”), appear to be such a list per se (albeit I admit I only quickly skimmed them and the site).

  2. jrkrideau says

    Irishman Gavin McInnes ?

    Wiki says he was born in Hertfordshire, U.K. and is a British & Canadian citizen.

    Presumably he move to the USA to avoid Canadian hate-speech laws but retains the two citizenships in case he needs healthcare.

  3. Mano Singham says

    blf @#1,

    At the time I wrote the article, there was no link. I subscribe and get the hard copy and the magazine does not provide access online to all its articles and I assumed that this was one of them. The article After The Storm has since appeared online and I have provided the link in the first paragraph of the post.

  4. Mano Singham says

    jrkrideau @#2,

    I don’t know why I was so sure that he was an Irishman. Maybe I was led astray by his name. I have corrected it.

  5. Steve Cameron says

    McInnes is also infamous as one of the founders of Vice Magazine, and was its main writer and editor in the early years, so was largely responsible for setting the irreverent, too-cool tone which led to its great success. I remember getting issues of it in the late 90s and being both impressed with it and a little turned off at the “jokey” misogyny and racism that was already bubbling over in his writing. Apparently he was holding back, so it’s no surprise that his co-founders took the first opportunity to ditch him when Vice started to really take off (and have tried to write him out of the history of the magazine to limited success).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *