Entertainment

Woman charged in Capitol riot says Proud Boys recruited her

BELLE PLAINE, Kan. — An Arizona lady charged in relationship with the Jan. 6 onslaught of the U.S. Capitol bragged in a Snapchat video clip that she was not too long ago recruited by a Kansas Metropolis chapter of the Proud Boys, a neofascist organization that describes itself as “Western chauvinists” and has extensive forbidden female associates.

Felicia Konold’s claim that the chapter recruited her and she was “with them now,” even however she’s not from the Kansas Metropolis region, has intrigued gurus who analyze extremist proper-wing movements.

“It is ironic that these a deeply misogynistic corporation has captivated someone who is a lady to join their group,” said Eric Ward, a senior fellow with the Southern Poverty Legislation Heart. “It tells us there is dissention in the ranks of Very pleased Boys correct now.”

Specifics of the movie surfaced previous 7 days in a probable cause affidavit versus Konold, 26, of Tucson, who is billed with conspiracy, civil disorder and other federal rates stemming from the melee.

Konold sounded pretty much euphoric in the Snapchat online video she posted soon after the Capitol assault, declaring she hardly ever could have imagined obtaining this kind of an impact on the events that unfolded that working day. She laughingly references “all my boys, driving me, keeping me up in the air, pushing again. We (expletive) did it!”

In get to seemingly verify her point that she experienced just been “recruited into a (expletive) chapter from Kansas Metropolis,” she shown on the online video a two-sided “challenge coin” that seems to have markings that designate it as belonging to the Kansas Metropolis Proud Boys.

The problem coin denotes membership, one thing that looks to go in opposition to the rhetoric about gals from the organization’s nationwide management, Ward said.

“The reality she has that coin, the problem coin, tells me there is some thing going on about gender in the Proud Boys — and it is some thing truly worth spending notice to,” explained Ward, who is also the govt director of the Western States Heart, a civil legal rights advocacy team that will work to progress gender fairness.

Gurus who check appropriate-wing extremist groups position to the controversy that erupted when previous blended martial arts fighter Tara LaRosa tried using in December to establish a Proud Ladies offshoot on the social media app Telegram.

The Happy Boys’ social media channels swiftly responded, calling auxiliary teams this kind of as Proud Boy’s Girls or Proud Girls “ridiculous ideas.” “Don’t trip our coattails,” 1 article examine. “Want to help us? Get married, have infants, and just take treatment of your family.”

Alex DiBranco, govt director of the Institute for Exploration on Male Supremacism, explained there are variances among the Very pleased Boys chapters about no matter if to embrace females as Very pleased Women, even as the group as a complete has come to be additional hostile to women’s auxiliaries in recent yrs. Mothers of Proud Boys have posted about Happy Boys gatherings they hosted for their sons.

But DiBranco explained the persons in her group who have labored on this topic are even now unaware of a scenario the place a lady was truly recruited to be a member of a Very pleased Boys’ chapter itself, which is strictly in opposition to the Happy Boys regulations.

Cassie Miller, a senior investigate analyst for the Southern Poverty Regulation Centre, claimed that for a period of time there had been auxiliary groups of Very pleased Boys’ Girls produced up of the wives and girlfriends of users, but they have been not authorized entire membership inside the team. She claimed as far as she is aware, none of all those auxiliary teams are energetic appropriate now.

“The group has been extremely distinct from the commencing it is an firm for gentlemen only and they keep misogynistic believes and believe that women of all ages are very best suited for domestic labor and ought to act as mothers and homemakers,” Miller mentioned.

Prosecutors allege in a court filing that William Chrestman, who they explained as the chief of Kansas City Happy Boys mobile, “readily recruited” Felicia Konold and her brother, Cory Konold, from Arizona to join the team of Kansas City Proud Boys.

Neither her protection attorney nor her father immediately responded to messages Tuesday in search of remark.

The Very pleased Boys have been recognized to incite road violence with counter-protesters. The team gained prevalent attention throughout a presidential discussion in September when then-President Donald Trump famously advised them to “stand again and stand by.”

Prosecutors allege that that commencing in December, the Very pleased Boys inspired its members to go to the Jan. 6 demonstration in Washington, D.C. A massive team of them, including Felicia Konold and other members of its Kansas Metropolis cell, was captured on video clip marching jointly and afterwards entering the U.S. Capitol.

Though there ended up a good deal of white ladies at the Jan. 6 protests, white supremacists teams typically tend to be dominated by white adult males, DiBranco mentioned. Groups like QAnon are inclined to be common with girls, but Happy Boys supporters and QAnon supporters appear jointly at these forms of protests. The anti-vaxxer motion towards vaccinations is dominated by women of all ages.

“Those lockdown protests exposed their members to these aspects of a significantly-ideal coalition that these ladies might not usually be a element of,” DiBranco stated. “Women may possibly have moved from anti-vaxxer into QAnon and other forms of conspiracies.”