Trump Tells Far-Right Militia Groups To 'Stand By'
Start writing a post
Currently

Trump Was Asked To Tell White Supremacists To Stand Down — Instead, He Told Them To 'Stand By'

The comments were taken as a call to action by the Proud Boys, a militant far-right group.

1627
Trump Was Asked To Tell White Supremacists To Stand Down — Instead, He Told Them To 'Stand By'

In the first debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, one moment stood out among all of the insults and interruptions.

In a serious conversation on race relations in America, Fox News' debate moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump to condemn white supremacy and right-wing militias. The president did not.

Trump first responded: "Sure, I'm willing to do that." Moderator Chris Wallace responded: "Then do it, sir." When pressed to offer a formal condemnation of white supremacists and militia groups by Wallace and asked to specifically denounce the Proud Boys by Biden, Trump instead told the Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by."

The Proud Boys are designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Anti-Defamation League also designates the Proud Boys as an "alt-lite" extremist organization whose ideology encompasses "misogynistic, Islamophobic, transphobic, and anti-immigration" views. In some ways, the Proud Boys resemble a gang, with initiation rituals and ranks of membership. The group often counter-protests at Black Lives Matter rallies, sometimes carrying assault rifles, where members have also attacked protesters and journalists. The Proud Boys appeared at the infamous Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA alongside Klansmen, militias, and other white supremacist groups. The rally turned violent and a young woman, Heather Heyer, was murdered when a white supremacist drove a car through a crowd of counter-protesters.

President Trump offered tacit condemnation of white supremacist groups like the Proud Boys in Charlottesville, saying "they didn't put themselves down as neo-Nazis, and you had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides."

It is clear that nothing has changed since then, Even though a draft from the annual report of Trump's own Department of Homeland Security stated that "ideologically motivated lone offenders and small groups will pose the greatest terrorist threat to the Homeland through 2021, with white supremacist extremists presenting the most lethal threat."

In electing not to unconditionally disavow white supremacist groups like the Proud Boys, the president is declining to address one of the greatest domestic terrorist threats to America.

In fact, his comments did not just circumvent a denouncement, they acted as a call to arms for the Proud Boys. Following the president's debate comments, a Proud Boys channel on Telegram wrote: "Standing down and standing by sir." Another post included a recording of a man watching the president's "stand by" comment on TV and howling in response, the post captioned "God. Family. Brotherhood." A Proud Boys organizer wrote: "President Trump told the proud boys to stand by because someone needs to deal with ANTIFA... well sir! we're ready!!"

White supremacists are celebrating the President's rhetoric.

I'm afraid Trump's comments will incite further white supremacist violence, exacerbating the greatest terrorist threat to America. His comments on the debate stage stoked the fire of racial hatred that he has all too frequently given oxygen to. It is evident to me in his behavior that he feels that white supremacist ideals are present in his electoral coalition in a manner that is important to his reelection bid. He is willing to encourage these extremist organizations to terrorize Americans in exchange for some chance of political viability. It is the action of a desperate man clinging to his last few moments in power and it is a disgrace to the principles of liberty, equality, and justice that form the basis of America's democratic society.

Report this Content

Keep Reading... Show less
News

T-Mobile is facing two class-action lawsuits as a result of a catastrophic data breach.

Lawsuits are piling up in the wake of the massive data breach.

2638

Two class-action lawsuits have been filed against T-Mobile in the wake of a massive data breach that left millions of customers' personal information exposed.

Keep Reading... Show less
Currently

Biden's Inauguration Signals A Time Of Healing After A Dark And Painful Period

Joe Biden's inauguration marks the beginning of a time of healing for America.

11444

The day finally arrived. Joe Biden has been inaugurated and is now the 46th president of the United States of America. Kamala Harris has been sworn in as our country's new vice president. She is the first woman and the first person of color to fill the role. After years of fighting, frustration, and fear, this is a day of celebration. It's a day of hope as we look to the future. It's also a day of healing, as our collective wounds are still very fresh.

Keep Reading... Show less
Currently

Victory For LGBTQ Americans As The US Gains 6 New LGBTQ Government Representatives

Regardless of who is president, let's celebrate these huge victories for LGBTQ representation in various states' governments.

8954

The presidential election was extremely stressful for us all, causing us to worry about who will win and what it means for the future. For many of us, this can mean the difference between life and death, especially for BIPOC and members of the LGBTQ communities who are at the mercy of homophobes and racists — many of whom are proud supporters of the color orange.

Instead of worrying whether I'll be sent to a conversion camp next year or not, I'd rather celebrate the much bigger and more important wins. There have been six representatives added to state governments this past election who are all a part of the LGBTQ community.

Keep Reading... Show less
Currently

Who Said It — Donald Trump Or A Villain From The Avatar Universe?

A hilarious and frightening game of who said it: Donald J. Trump or a villain from "Avatar: The Last Airbender" or "The Legend of Korra."

8494
Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons; Nickelodeon

Have fun guessing whether outgoing President of the United States Donald J. Trump or a literal anime villain said each of these 26 quotes. To keep the answers a surprise (not being able to see the answer right below the quote), I will have all of the answers at the bottom of the page.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments