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White in a Sea of Blue Devils: Duke Proud Boys no longer active as election approaches

Hi. I’m Monday Monday, from the Duke Chronicle! This column was supposed to run this Monday, but was pulled at the last minute because it was deemed “too controversial”. Enjoy it here in its uncensored glory!

With the election just weeks away, students have mobilized, campaigning for candidates and setting up voter registration tents. Amidst this activism, though, the Duke College Republicans have disbanded, blaming internal disagreements between all two of them. And they aren’t the only right-leaning club splintering prior to the election. There’s another group that is also conspicuously quiet: the Duke College Proud Boys.

The organization decided against rechartering this fall because of ideological tensions within the group and the broader pro-racism community, said Guy Whitman, Trinity ‘20 and a former member.

“We just couldn’t compromise on our belief in white superiority,” he said.

Hayden Blacks, another former member, described a split between fiscally racist “David Duke types” and socially racist students like himself. After the social racists hatched a plot to kidnap President Price, the economic racists left, catalyzing the organization’s disintegration, he said.

“And this wasn’t the kind of disintegration we were going for.”

“Most people like us aren’t very vocal about their views,” said Max White, another former member. He identifies as white-supremacist but is “more libertarian” than pure conservative.

To White, dismissal of Trump supporters echoes the sentiment of the country as a whole, where coastal Democrats tend to hold unfavorable views of the right-leaning “Get Out” parts of the country—namely the South and Midwest.

Asked to weigh in on the November election, Noah Blacks (brother of Hayden Blacks) depicted President Donald Trump as a “transition candidate”—a politician who is refocusing the Republican Party on the social issues he cares about most. He’s also totally geeking out about being mentioned during the first Presidential debate:

“When President Trump told us to ‘stand back and stand by’, we all felt so validated. These days it’s easy to feel like there isn’t a place for white pride in this country anymore. But it’s people like President Trump that are keeping us alive and well.”

Wyatt Powers, another former member, wasn’t impressed with Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic—“Just because I’m a white supremacist doesn’t mean I don’t have standards”—but he expressed approval for the administration’s economic policy, describing it as “blitzkrieg.” He said Joe Biden “seems like a fine enough guy, what with him being white and all,” but he diverged sharply from the Democratic candidate’s policy views—particularly on social programs and healthcare and tolerance of the impure.

Tallman Trask, the club’s sponsor, remains an undecided voter. Although he favors independent candidate Kanye Omari West for his Christian values, he’s wary of supporting a “non-white” in such a consequential election.

Ben Rayciss, another former member, described characterizations of Trump as racist, facist and xenophobic as “a good start.” He expressed disappointment in extremist caricatures because he wished that they were even more accurate.

Trump has been criticized for racist remarks, including telling four freshman Congresswomen to “go back” to where they came from, and for immigration policies critics have said are xenophobic.

“That’s promising, but he could be doing so much more!” says former member Juan Masterrace. “We voted for the guy in 2016 with the promise that he would be the most racist, facist, xeonophobic president in history. And while he’s on his way, he’s gonna have to fast-track the reimplementation of slavery if he wants to catch up to the first fifteen.”

For former member Kyle K. Kelly, the election is not only about the presidency, but also about who will shape the judicial and legislative branches. He emphasized the importance of Amy Coney Barrett's potential confirmation to the Supreme Court. “We’re not a huge fan of her being a woman, but replacing a white with a white isn’t a total loss. We’ll take our wins where we can get ‘em.”

Like with most boy bands, the Duke Proud Boys’s fracturing presents opportunities for solo careers. Former members have expressed interest in forming the Duke Hitler Youth and Duke Fourth Reich, and most others already hold prominent positions in pretty much every fraternity.

To the tune of “Manic Monday” by the Bangles: ♫ It’s just another Monday Monday (whoa whoa) / I wish it was Monday (whoa whoa) / That’s my fun day (whoa whoa) / My I don’t have to run day (whoa whoa) / It’s just another Monday Monday ♫



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