One of the issues that has been at the forefront in the country in the last few months is race and the topic came up for discussion during Tuesday night’s presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. When moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump specifically about whether or not he would be willing to denounce Antifa and other left-wing, political extremist movements and finally condemn his association with white supremacy by announcing that racist groups need to stand down and not incite further violence as has been seen in Kenosha, Wisconsin and Portland, Oregon, the president’s answer caught many by surprise.
“I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace,” said Trump who then followed that statement with, “Proud Boys! Stand back and stand by” before then saying that someone has to do something about Antifa and acknowledging that it’s not his problem, its “a left-wing problem.”
NEW: Trump struggles to condemn white supremacists.
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) September 30, 2020
Biden followed by saying that Antifa is “an idea not an organization,” before Wallace then moved the conversation forward. It was enough to get Twitter reacting with many saying that Trump’s inability to provide a hard and fast condemnation of the Proud Boys only further contributes to the notion that he embraces white supremacy and supports their anti-Muslim, misogynist, and racist ideologies and endeavors.
Even dictionary Merriam-Webster joined the backlash tweeting the definitions “stand down” and “stand by.”
'Stand back': to take a few steps backwards
'Stand by': to be or to get ready to act #Debates2020
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) September 30, 2020
A post on the far-right message board TheDonald dot win is asking if others are joining the Proud Boys in response to Trump's remark. pic.twitter.com/Xz5aWbFMqx
— Alex Kaplan (@AlKapDC) September 30, 2020
The Proud Boys are already incorporating Trump's statement into their branding. pic.twitter.com/ShMgcvw1z5
— nikki mccann ramírez (@NikkiMcR) September 30, 2020
Trump’s comment is of particular concern given he refused to commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses the presidential election when asked by a reporter earlier this week
“Well, we’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump said Wednesday.
Trump has also previously refused to say whether he would accept the election results and has joked about staying in office past two terms.
Also in other news;
Kenyan footballer Victor Wanyama has issued a strongly-worded statement after a Kenyan woman went on live video, claiming she had se-xual relations with the international soccer star.
Taking to Twitter, Wanyama dismissed the video as salacious and an attempt to scandalize his good name and reputation. Learn more