The donations started coming in around 10 p.m. on Dec. 17.
A donor named Li Zhang gave $100. A few minutes later, someone named Jun Li donated $100. Then Hao Xu gave $20, followed shortly by $25 from a Ying Pei. In all, almost 1,000 people with Chinese surnames gave about $86,000 to a fundraiser on the crowdfunding platform GiveSendGo for members of the extremist street gang the Proud Boys.
Their gifts made up more than 80% of the $106,107 raised for medical costs for members of the Proud Boys who were stabbed during violent clashes in Washington in mid-December.
The donations, which are included in a trove of hacked GiveSendGo data provided to USA TODAY and posted on the whistleblower site Distributed Denial of Secrets, raise several questions. Chiefly: Why would people from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and members of the Chinese American community, donate to an organization with deep ties to white supremacists, whose members flash white power signals and post racist memes on social media?