Gavin McInnes, the co-founder of Vice and the far-right pro-Trump hate group the Proud Boys, called on his neighbors to take down signs against him and the organization, news website Daily Beast reported Friday.
The Proud Boys, a male-only organization, describes itself as "western chauvinists."
According to the report, signs reading "Hate Has No Home Here" started appearing across the New York village of Larchmont after followers of the Proud Boys attacked left-wing protesters following a speech by McInnes.
McInnes addressed the signs in about a dozen letters he wrote to his neighbors. As a "pro-gay, pro-Israel, virulently anti-racist libertarian of ethnically mixed, working-class heritage," he knows "more than a little bit about you're responding to [sic]," one letter obtained by Daily Beast reads. "Hate certainly has no place here, and like you I am committed to keeping it that way!" the letter continues.
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Following a visit to Israel in 2017, however, McInness held a rant against Jewish people and the Jewish state in a post titled "10 Things I Hate About Jews." Israelis, he said, have a "whiny paranoid fear of Nazis that’s making them scared of Christians and Trumps who are their greatest allies."
In the letter to his neighbors, McInnes reportedly also denied that he or the Proud Boys hold extremist views. "The Proud Boys are a drinking club I started several years ago as a joke," McInnes writes in the letter. "There is no racial or ethnic component to its membership, its program or the idea behind it."
At the same time, McInnes denied leading the group. "You may have heard that I am the leader of a hate group called the Proud Boys. Everything about that rumor is false," he reportedly wrote, adding that his neighbors will not find anything "hateful, racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic or intolerant" in "any of my expressions of my worldview."
McInnes reportedly took a less friendly tone in a podcast on Friday, saying that "If you have that sign on your lawn, you're a fucking retard."
McInnes was fired from Blaze Media and had his YouTube account blocked in December after Blaze merged with Mark Levin's CRTV. McInnes used to host a podcast with CRTV called "Get Off My Lawn," which often featured anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiments.