The Proud Boys, a far-right group with a history of violent confrontations, is gaining increased national scrutiny as academics and advocates have warned the group has ties to white supremacy.

The Proud Boys were catapulted to the forefront in a debate Tuesday night when President Donald Trump dodged a chance to condemn them.

That’s worrying to Amy Cooter, a Vanderbilt University senior lecturer who studies nationalism, race and ethnicity. Cooter told USA TODAY on Wednesday that the Proud Boys have a history of tolerating racism among their ranks, associating with overtly racist figures and are becoming increasingly armed as they mingle with other right-leaning groups.

The Proud Boys publicly deny supporting white supremacy and style the group as a counterbalancing force against the loosely organized anti-fascist movement known as Antifa, Cooter said. Read More..