The Western campus viewed from the air looking out towards the islands and Bellingham bay

Class Notes: Journalist and author Andy Campbell, '08

Americans are becoming desensitized to political violence, Campbell warns in his new book
Window magazine staff

As a senior editor at HuffPost, Andy Campbell, ’08, B.A., journalism, has spent years covering the roots of modern American political extremism. His book, “We Are Proud Boys: How a Right-Wing Street Gang Ushered in a New Era of American Extremism,” published in September by Hachette Books, tracks the rise of the gang from disorganized agitators drawn together by their support for “Western supremacy,” violence and Trump, to their status as fixtures at GOP rallies. Campbell warns the Proud Boys have desensitized Americans to political violence, such as when Republican leaders characterized the Jan. 6 insurrection as “legitimate political discourse,” and urges Americans to act now to prevent more violence. “Over time, the goalposts have been moved to the degree that political violence, as a justified response to the things that the (GOP) is mad about, is totally normal now,” Campbell told Politico. “Going into the next two election cycles, it is totally normal to see guys in football pads and military camo with AR-15s or batons. I mean, this is a totally normal thing (now), where it wasn’t in 2016. It’s scary knowing that this is the baseline that we have to deal with.”

Photo by Andrea Fumagalli

cover of "We Are Proud Boys"
Campbell's book chronicling the rise of the "Proud Boys" was published in September by Hachette Books.