Black Lives Matter Jacarri Kelley found herself in a unique position last week after she met with members of the Proud Boys and found out that the groups were not that different.
Kelley met with Proud Boys Chief Thad and Proud Boys President Seth and found them so agreeable that she called for a joint presser where she said she has a lot in common with the group. KUTV reports both men declined to offer their last name.
“The reason I wanted to call this press conference is because of what happened during the presidential debate,” she said. “I know when I seen it and heard the words ‘Proud Boys,’ that scared me to death because I am a Black Lives Matter leader and I’ve been working with these Proud Boys to know who they truly are.”
“I had no idea who the Proud Boys were. I just didn’t know who they were,” she admitted. “Then I started to hear they were white supremacists.”
Kelley then explained she sought out some of the group’s members to “reach across the aisle” and learn more about their organization.
Pointing to Thad, Kelley asked: “How is he a white supremacist if he’s not white?”
“So we set up a meeting,” she explained. “We had a conversation about each others’ myths that we heard about Black Lives Matter movement and about the Proud Boys. And we came to realize that we had more in common than not.”
Kelley continued: “In order to combat evil and racism and hatred in this country we do need to be able to reach across the aisle and have these tough conversations that everybody is scared to have. So we met and had a couple of conversations.
“I learned that they’re not white supremacists,” she said. “These are proud American men.”
Kelley said both groups have been misrepresented and that both groups have problems with the media. Watch her comments below:
During the presser, Thad also denounced white supremacy:
“I will go out and say that the #ProudBoys as a whole, I will say this on behalf of the entire national organization, denounce white supremacy." – Thad, Chief of the Proud Boys Salt Lake Utah Chapter pic.twitter.com/WGlUEx3jeF
— 𝐁𝐫𝐢𝐚𝐧 𝐒𝐜𝐡𝐧𝐞𝐞 (@brian_schnee) October 1, 2020
The two groups are now trying to work together after dispelling “misconceptions”:
— 𝐁𝐫𝐢𝐚𝐧 𝐒𝐜𝐡𝐧𝐞𝐞 (@brian_schnee) October 3, 2020
Here’s how some people responded to the presser, via BizPac Review: