Proud Boys: Debunking ‘Hostage’ Misuse in U.S Justice System

The Proud Boys’ Trial and Convictions The Proud Boys, a far-right group, made headlines when their leaders were charged with seditious conspiracy related to the U.S. Capitol breach on January 6, 2021. The group’s chairman, Enrique Tarrio, along with Ethan Nordean, Joe Biggs, and Zachary Rehl, were found guilty of plotting to oppose by force the lawful transfer of presidential power. Jeremy Bertino, another member, pleaded guilty.

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The Term ‘Hostage’ and Its Misuse In a recent speech, Donald Trump referred to the January 6th rioters as “hostages,” a term that sparked controversy. To be clear, a hostage is typically someone held against their will, often in exchange for demands. The individuals convicted for their roles in the January 6th events are not hostages; they are individuals who have been found guilty through the legal process for their actions on that day. They were not taken captive arbitrarily; they faced trial and were convicted based on evidence and due process.

Why ‘Hostage’ Doesn’t Fit The use of the term “hostage” by Trump seems to be an attempt to evoke sympathy and suggest that these individuals are being unjustly held. However, this narrative overlooks the serious nature of the charges and the convictions that followed a thorough legal process. Let’s not forget these people are dangerous.

The Bottom Line The Proud Boys leaders were not mere participants in a protest; they were convicted of seditious conspiracy, a charge that underscores the gravity of their actions. The term “hostage” is not only inaccurate but also diminishes the significance of what transpired on January 6th. Their actions were violent and it wasn’t the first time that they used violence to make a point.

So, there you have it — a detailed look at the Proud Boys leaders’ convictions and the misapplication of the term “hostage” in this context. It’s a reminder of the importance of words and the need to use them responsibly, especially when discussing matters of justice and democracy. Ask George Orwell, he wrote a whole book about it.

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