“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by”
Donald Trump responds to question asking him to condemn white supremacists and militia groups
— BBC North America (@BBCNorthAmerica) September 30, 2020
Courtesy of The Independent:
Donald Trump invoked a far-right group tied to violence after refusing to condemn white supremacism during his first debate appearance with Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
In a stunning and rare quiet moment in the chaotic debate, moderator Chris Wallace asked the president whether he is “willing to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and they need to stand down.”
“I’m willing to do that,” the president said, adding that “almost everything I see is from the left wing, not from the right-wing. … I want to see peace.”
Pressed by Mr. Wallace to denounce violent white nationalism, the president paused, then asked for a name.
He said: “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by, but I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you what, somebody’s gotta do something about antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem, this is a left-wing problem.”
Of course, the problem with Trump’s statement is that his own FBI Director has said that the white supremacists were the biggest domestic terrorism threat facing this country right now and that AntiFa was an ideology, not an organization.
But the main takeaway from this is that when given the chance to condemn Right Wing white supremacists Donald Trump instead told them to “stand by” as if they were his own personal army waiting for their marching orders.
Which by the way is exactly how the Proud Boys took it.
Courtesy of NBC News:
On the Proud Boys’ account on the social media app Telegram, the group appeared to take the statement as marching orders.
“Standing down and standing by sir,” the account wrote. The account then posted two videos of the answer, including one with the caption “God. Family. Brotherhood,” in which a man howled at the TV in response to Trump’s response.
Megan Squire, a computer science professor at Elon University in North Carolina who tracks online extremism, said Trump’s giving the Proud Boys orders was their long-sought “fantasy.”
“To say Proud Boys are energized by this is an understatement,” Squire said. “They were pro-Trump before this shoutout, and they are absolutely over the moon now. Their fantasy is to fight antifa in his defense, and he apparently just asked them to do just that.”
It should be noted that Trump also refused to agree to accept the outcome of the election, vomited forth an unending avalanche of lies, and personally insulted both of Joe Biden’s sons.
To call what happened last night a debacle is an insult to debacles.