Op-Ed: 'Proud Boys' cheers Trump's refusal to condemn white supremacy

Posted Sep 30, 2020 by Karen Graham
President Donald Trump, when asked on national television to explicitly condemn white supremacy, responded by saying: "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I'll tell you what, somebody's got to do something about antifa and the left."
US President Donald Trump gave a call-out to the Proud Boys  a far-right extremist group  during the...
US President Donald Trump gave a call-out to the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group, during the debate when asked about white supremacy in America
Maranie R. STAAB, AFP
The moment that has made headlines and outraged social media users occurred during Tuesday night's first presidential debate between Trump and Democratic contender, Joe Biden.
Moderator Chris Wallace gave President Donald Trump an uninterrupted opportunity to condemn the nation's biggest domestic terrorist groups such as white supremacists, according to Politico.
US President Donald Trump speaks during the first presidential debate at Case Western Reserve Univer...
US President Donald Trump speaks during the first presidential debate at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland
It's safe to say that the only group that took the president's comment to heart was the Proud Boys organization. Officially, the group rejects white supremacy, although members have participated in multiple racist events and events centered around anti-left violence. Actually, in 2018, the FBI classified the Proud Boys as an "extremist group."
The FBI's report describes how the group has “contributed to the recent escalation of violence at political rallies held on college campuses, and in cities like Charlottesville, Virginia, Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington”.
The group took Trump's comment as an order, and in the group's Telegram account answered their commander - writing: "Standing down and standing by sir." On the right-wing social media site Parler, Proud Boys leader Joe Biggs said he took Trump’s words as a directive to “f--- them up.”
Failure to condemn
Strange as it may seem, Trump has been quick to condemn groups like Black Lives Matter and anyone who protested the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, Black Americans killed by law enforcement and white civilian vigilantes. Trump has referred to such groups as the "left," or in the case of the BLM movement, "a symbol of hate."
Just keep in mind that if you are a Democrat, you are considered to be lower than a piece of bull dung floating in a pond. He made that perfectly clear during the debate in a section pegged as “race and violence in our cities." Trump by-passed the subject of police reform and racial injustice - instead, going back to his over-used claims that violence is rampant in Democrat-controlled cities and states.
Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, told Politico, "There are protests happening in this country right now because of the lack of racial justice. But alongside those protests there is a campaign of racial terror,” she said.
Protesters call for justice for George Floyd  a black man who died after a policeman kneeled on his ...
Protesters call for justice for George Floyd, a black man who died after a policeman kneeled on his neck for several minutes, at Hennepin County Government Plaza, on May 28, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota
kerem yucel, AFP
“Rather than focus on the issues at hand, rather than addressing and solving problems, this administration has done more to stoke fear, to stoke division, to create anxiety and frankly to leave a very complicated narrative that distracts us from the utter failures of this administration to deliver on the issues that most Americans care about.”
Miles Taylor, a former Trump appointee who served as Chief of Staff to Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, said this in a CNN News interview Tuesday night: The president's refusal to criticize the Proud Boys is “disqualifying from the presidency. I helped run the department responsible for thwarting terrorist threats to Americans."
Then, he added, “I'm sad to say a U.S. President is winking and nodding at violent groups that threaten American lives and our way of life.”