The Chinese military strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu said, “Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.”
Matthew Lyons was a friend of ours who lost his life in a battle against addiction. He was 27 years old.
Matt was a good dude. He was friendly to everyone he met and his energy was infectious. Like me, he was a member of the Proud Boys, a pro-West fraternal organization founded by Gavin McInnes. Recently, the Southern Poverty Law Center labeled us a “hate group” under its “General Hate” category. At least we are in good company there, joining the ranks of lifelong feminist scholar Christina Hoff Sommers and Somali author Ayaan Hirsi Ali. But we aren’t a hate group. We’re a men’s group from all backgrounds that likes to drink Budweiser and believes in community service. That’s about it.
Matt joined us a year ago. He was a conservative and, above all, a patriot who never hesitated to fight for what he believed in. Tragically, this month, his demons got the better of him and, like so many good people across this country, an overdose took his life.
When we heard the news, our friend Enrique Tarrio got in touch with Matt’s mother and organized a Gofundme campaign to raise money to cover the costs of his memorial service. Matt’s family didn’t have a lot of money, and we knew we had to help out. Almost overnight, the campaign raised nearly $4,000.
“He was a person that always brought a smile to our faces,” Tarrio said to me of Matt.
With the funeral paid for, people who knew Matt from all over the Northeast prepared to take a ride to southern New Jersey to celebrate his life. Carpools were organized, train schedules synced, and tributes spread on social media.
Then, out of nowhere, with just two days’ notice, Matt’s grieving mother canceled her own son’s funeral. We were shocked and confused. Matt’s best friend, who knew his mother well, called her immediately, but she wouldn’t answer.
Just before that, liberal writer Alan Feuer of the New York Times barbarically contacted people who knew Matt, including myself. Feuer has written unflattering pieces about the Proud Boys and now wanted an invitation to attend Matt’s funeral to get material for a book he’s writing.
“… Condolences on the death of Mathew Lyons. I was sorry to have to read it. I have a question for you though: If the funeral hasn’t happened yet would you be willing to let me attend?” he texted me. “I’m working on a book now about the long season of fighting between Antifa and groups like [Proud Boys]. I realize Matthew’s death was unrelated to that but the book will get into the culture of both sides so I wanted to at least ask. Your call obviously. Just wanted to put it out there.”
As Feuer groveled for an invitation to a funeral, leftists on social media were spreading the word about, and celebrating, Matt’s death.
One user named Alex wrote on Facebook, “hope you all follow his lead lmao.”
Another named Jacob said “Hope it was painful.”
The leftist page Wolftrap AF posted Matt’s picture on Facebook with the caption:
Second Degree Proud Boy Matthew Lyons just accidentally became a Good White Nationalist.
HEARTS AND LAUGHS ONLY, GANG!
Comments on that post included, “Rest in piss mother fucker,” and “Fuck your dead friend. I hope it was miserable.”
When friends of Matt called out the members of the communist page, it responded, ” ‘He wuz naht raycis!!’ – typed the sad boys, though they knew they were lying.”
Like most communists, their tastelessness knew no bounds.
Word of the harassment got to Matt’s mother. Although she’d been in touch with several of his close friends since his death, the Thursday before his funeral her tone changed. She called multiple people who she had been encouraging to attend the memorial and announced the services were off. She was confused about why people were trashing her son online and even more confused about flippant accusations about “white supremacy” lauded against Matt and his friends. Who knows if Feuer also reached out to her.
People close to Matt were shattered and asked his mom to reconsider, but she wouldn’t take any more calls on the subject. Instead, Matt’s remains were quietly cremated and his mother has secluded herself to mourn for her son.
No doubt there are people smirking and cheering that as a victory.
It looks that they’re now taking their cues from the Westboro Baptist Church, celebrating deaths of people who don’t share their bizarre dogma. Perhaps they can picket the next funeral so we can all get a good, hard look at them.
People wrap themselves in beliefs under the guise they have the moral high ground. They tell their followers how “caring” they are. They make every argument about emotions to show their side is the sensitive, loving one.
When Osama Bin Laden was killed liberal mouthpiece Michael Moore couldn’t wait to play virtue signaling king-of-the-hill, saying “…To celebrate someone’s death I think goes a step further…”
No such accommodation was given to a laborer from New Jersey named Matthew Lyons.
It should go without saying, Matt wasn’t a “Nazi” or “white nationalist” or “fascist.” He was a guy who voted differently from liberals because he didn’t like the baggage of their philosophy.
At the out-of-hand “Unite the Right” riot in Charlottesville last year, a woman name Heather Heyer died. I didn’t agree with her politics but this is what I wrote about her death on the Proud Boys’ official site: ” …I didn’t ask who she voted for… She wasn’t Isis. She was just like everyone else that day, doing a thing ’cause they believed in something silly. She’s dead for absolutely no reason ’cause a dickless psychopath thought he was a ‘revolutionary.’ I feel horrible for her mother….”
I cannot think of a more clear example of right and wrong. The folks who couldn’t stop laughing in the face of a tragic death; the people who couldn’t wait to see if they could hurt Matt’s loved ones just a little more, competing for the most over-the-top comment, are despicable, worthless shit heaps born out of an immoral world view.
They proved nothing less.
These people left no doubt in my mind that conservatives and patriots around the world are on the right side of history. They didn’t get Matt’s memorial cancelled. The opposite happened. They turned the real memorial into us remembering what Matt stood up against and why we won’t put up with the ugliness that neo-Marxism brings to our doorstep.
What Matt’s mother is going through is incomprehensible. Being preyed upon by radicalized ideologues isn’t something any parent is prepared for while burying their child. The scum who attacked her son are the lowest of the low. I’m sorry she was burdened with more heartache than she already had.
The people who kicked Matt while he was lying cold in a morgue gave us a gift. We got a good look at the true nature behind antifa, Black Lives Matter, the Occupy Movement, and the other hateful extremists of the far left who only thirst for power.
We understand why Matt, like the rest of us, didn’t want them to dictate the terms of his life.
We fight on for people like Matt.
Pawl Bazile is Patriotism Correspondent for DANGEROUS and Production Director for Proud Boy Magazine. He tweets at @PawlBazile.
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