Staten Island has always been a racist hotbed. When I was growing up Blacks who moved into White neighborhoods occasionally had their homes bombed. The house across the street, a cousin of a very close friend had their house bombed a couple of years before my mother bought her home. We did not know ab out it until afterwards. I went to high school a few miles from where this bar is in Richmondtown. I was called the "N" word on a daily basis, it was chanted in classrooms. I was the only Black child in the class throughout high school and the only Black child in the high school two of the four years. This is Staten Island. I right wing Trump supporting island in New York City with a population of about 475,000 people. During my high school years it was under 200,000. I want you to know who the MAGA people are. They are brutal savages. If you have seen the Sopranos on HBO, you have seen these "people". When I see an American flag, hear the Pledge of Allegiance or Star Spangled Banner these are the people it represents to me. I have not partook in those patriotic charades since I was in the 8th grade. As Samuel Smith said in 1775 "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel".
"Proud Boys confirm they were at Mac’s Public House rally; what they want you to know
By Irene Spezzamonte | firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated Dec 10, 2020; Posted Dec 09, 2020
Mac's Public House Protest
Hundreds of Staten Islanders showed up in support of the tavern owners whose bar was closed by NYC Sheriffs. (Staten Island Advance)Staten island Advance
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — About 30 members of the controversial Proud Boys group attended the rally in support of Mac’s Public House last week, the president of the New York City Chapter of the group told the Advance/SILive.com.
“We attended the protest in Staten Island — uninvited by anyone there — to stand in support and solidarity against the socialist, Marxist, and communist policies being enacted in NYC and throughout New York state in the name of ‘public safety’ by power-hungry elitists that fail to understand or comprehend the results of their own policies,” Randy Ireland said.
Local artist Scott LoBaido organized the rally 24 hours after Danny Presti was arrested for the first time for allegedly refusing to close his pub during the pandemic, and reports of the Proud Boys attending the event started circulating online shortly after.
Members of the group decided to attend after they learned of Presti’s arrest, Ireland said.
“All small business owners are being unjustly targeted and shut down — while corporate national chains are allowed to remain open and see record profits! We are witnessing the greatest transfer of wealth from everyday Americans to globalist, multi-national conglomerates that the world has ever seen,” Ireland continued.
LoBaido, who has been a visible presence at Mac’s Public House since its owners declared the bar to be in an “Autonomous Zone,” previously told the Advance/SILive.com that he was unaware that the Proud Boys were planning to attend.
“Didn’t invite them,” LoBaido said Friday. “They showed up to support Mac’s.”
The news of the group attending the rally reached Mayor Bill de Blasio who, during a Q&A session on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show, said he vowed to “follow up to find out what happened.”
While responding to a listener, who asked the mayor if City Councilman Joe Borelli should be censured for “participating in a rally with a known hate group,” de Blasio said: “Everyone should be condemning what the Proud Boys stand for.”
Borelli was one of numerous speakers to address the gathering, and told the Advance/SILive.com in a statement that he condemns white supremacy.
The Anti-Defamation League describes the Proud Boys as “an unconventional strain of American right-wing extremism.”
It says: “While the group can be described as violent, nationalistic, Islamophobic, transphobic and misogynistic, its members represent a range of ethnic backgrounds, and its leaders vehemently protest any allegations of racism.”
Others, like the Southern Poverty Law Center, have labeled the Proud Boys as a hate group.
However, in his statement to the Advance/SILive.com, Ireland emphatically denied allegations of racism within his chapter:
“We condemn all racism in the strongest possible terms. Any racism found within our ranks are quickly expelled and disavowed and dealt with decisively. Any notion otherwise is blatantly false, erroneous, and untrue.”
Ireland insisted that the Proud Boys “do not initiate violence of any kind.”
“However, we will not tolerate acts of harassment, intimidation, censorship or violence directed at any American ... and, oftentimes, we will put ourselves directly between Americans exercising their First Amendment Rights and those who actively seek to intimidate, harass, censor, assault, or inflict violence on those Americans,” Ireland said. “Are we violent? Absolutely. But this violence — in every scenario — is wholly justified by our constitutionally-protected right to self defense.”
Proud Boys confirm they were at Mac's Public House rally; what they want you to know