In one of the first good twists of 2020, the #ProudBoys hashtag turned into a thing of beauty.
Sunday morning, #ProudBoys was all the rage on Twitter, but not for the reasons you might think. Although the hashtag has recently been used in tweets regarding the far right, the Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate group called the Proud Boys – which Donald Trump recently shouted at during the first presidential debate – members of the LGBTQ community decided to redefine the meaning of “proud boys” by flooding the hashtag with messages of gay pride, love, acceptance and positivity.
The hashtag, which was tweeted 314,000 times Sunday afternoon, is now filled with wonderful memories of the pride parade, odes to romantic partners and photos of men kissing. It’s a truly heartwarming spectacle and a remarkably creative way to downplay the attention paid to the far-right group.
During Tuesday’s presidential debate, moderator Chris Wallace asked Donald Trump, “Are you ready tonight to condemn white supremacists and militias and say they must step down?”
Instead of speaking out against white supremacy on live television, Trump said very clearly, “Proud Boys, stand back and stand ready. But I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something against the antifa and the left. “
It is absolutely disgusting to see an American president fail to condemn white supremacy, and while little can be done about it as the American people wait for their chance to vote in the 2020 election, hijack the Proud Boys hashtag on social media is a delicious effort that Is make an impact.
As small as the flood of hashtags may seem, it still sends the message that hatred, discrimination and everything the far-right group stands for will not be tolerated.