A quick read about the Bowery Boys vs Dead Rabbits (early to mid 1800’s) and I am struck by the similarity of today’s populist movements (particularly in the USA).
In my opinion; the Proud Boys is inspired by the Bowery Boys? Similarly; the modern Tea Party movement is inspired by the Boston Tea Party.
The Bowery Boys (with their red shirts) seemed to inspire some in the Wilmington insurrection in 1898 and that certainly smells familiar.
Make no mistake – the Dead Rabbits and Bowery Boys were more than just street gang’s they were political. John Morrissey was a leader (and a bruiser) among the Irish gang’s (Dead Rabbits in this case) and he became a New York State Senator.
A political movement (Know Nothing) about the same time sounds familiar today. What I find interesting here is the need to speak in code – that even back then you could not come right out and say you are promoting only the interest of a subset of the population (along religious/ethnic lines) and hope to gain power – you do it covertly.
This is why it is so frustrating trying to debate facts with some folks today. They can not come right out and tell you why they choose a certain position – in some cases they may not even be aware of what they are truly about (think White, Christian, Capitalist and definitely not those other people (Coloured, Muslim, Socialist – except Nationalist Socialist)).
Of course some people just buy into falsehoods because they are fools being lead by disingenuous people.
I wonder how the Bowery Boys would feel today – knowing that so many recent USA Presidents have been of Irish roots?