A clip has gone viral of a far-right activist trying and failing to destroy a rainbow anti-fascist placard.
The clip posted to YouTube sees an alleged supporter of extremist group the Proud Boys – which is considered a white nationalist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center – take issue with a placard protesting fascism.
The man was reportedly attending a Proud Boys rally outside an immigration conference in Seattle when he seized the Pride flag-coloured sign from anti-fascist protesters, which bears the message: “NO! In the name of humanity, we refuse to accept a fascist America.”
Onlookers in the liberal city watched with glee as the man, who was sporting 1980s-chic fingerless gloves, repeatedly tried and failed to break apart the placard to put it in a bin.
A woman heckled him consistently throughout the two-minute video, telling him: “Oh, it’s so hard! You’re so close. The other way? You’ve got to do it again.”
As the man tries folding the placard to help him tear through it, she jokes: “This is a very educated city, there’s a lot of engineers in this city. You could get a lot of help.”
After an excruciating minute, the woman points out that he could simply remove the lid from the bin to fit the placard in, quipping: “You needed a liberal to help you with that? You’re too fucking stupid to work it out on your own?”
After her encouragement the man decided to walk away from the bin still carrying the placard.
The man has been named by Newsweek as college student Luke James Mahler, who denies he is a “member of Proud Boys” despite his presence at the group’s protest.
On Facebook Mahler wrote of going viral: “At first I was angered, then I realized this guy has nothing better to do than film me destroying a sign. Thank you people for wasting your time watching some random guy try to rip a polyester sign.”
He added: “All of the people who are giving me shit clearly don’t know how laminated materials work.”
Of the Proud Boys, the SPLC notes: “Proud Boys and leaders regularly spout white nationalist memes and maintain affiliations with known extremists. They are known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric.”
Proud Boys co-founder Gavin McInnes has a history of anti-LGBT rhetoric, describing transgender people as “gender n***ers” and “stupid lunatics.”
He has also claimed that “sexless, depressed, old, chubby dykes control the political narrative” and insists closeted gay men “tend to be sociopaths who have a lot of bottled up sexual rage and want revenge on the world.”