Far-right Proud Boys member sits on city council of predominately Hispanic town in Michigan

Feb 4, 2020 at 3:38 pm

A member of the Proud Boys, a far-right group known for racist, misogynistic and violent rhetoric, sits on a city commission representing the predominately Hispanic population of Fennville in western Michigan.

Morgan Bolles, who has an extensive criminal record, was appointed to fill a vacant commission seat on Dec. 2. Soon after the appointment, city officials began making disturbing discoveries about Bolles, a 32-year-old who’s been charged with four assaults, at least three involving women. He also was charged twice with drunken driving, The Detroit News reports.

The Proud Boys are self-described western chauvinists with a history of engaging in violent street brawls and promoting racism, anti-semitism, homophobia, and closed borders. The Southern Poverty Law Center designates the Proud Boys as a hate group.

Bolles tweeted a photo of himself wearing a shirt depicting the Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara with the words, “Socialism is for f*gs,” and flashing an OK gesture, which has been adopted by some white supremacists to promote hate, according to the Anti-Defamation League. The rhetoric prompted Facebook and Instagram to ban the group.

At a December council meeting, about 50 residents turned out after learning about Bolles’ ties to the Proud Boys. He insisted the group is anti-racist and promotes limited government.

That wasn't the case in October 2018, when 10 members of the Proud Boys were charged following a violent street brawl in New York in which they were seen beating protesters and shouting homophobic slurs.

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