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Donald Trump Blatantly Avoided Condemning White Supremacy In Last Night's Presidential Debate

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  • Tip Bones

Last night kicked off the first 2020 United States presidential debate during which moderator Christ Wallace, of Fox News, posed the question very clearly to Donald Trump: "Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say they need to stand down?” Unconvincingly, Trump said he would. Instead, he said to white supremacist group the Proud Boys to "stand back, and stand by."

The current President seemed unsure what direction to take, asking "what do you want to call them? Give me a name, give me a name," just before Wallace answered with "Proud Boys." The question references the upsurge in police and white supremacy groups' violence in Kenosha, Portland, and cities across the US. 

This was a pivotal moment in the presidential election where the president of the United States directly declines to denounce and condemn white supremacy, as many voters say that the debate aids their decision, but it was not necessarily a shock. The President has loudly proclaimed in the past that he sees more violence stemming from left-wingers, as he did again in Tuesday's debate. 

Trump pivoted from telling the Proud boys to stay on hold to condemning Biden for the actions of the left wing during recent protests. "But I'll tell you what: Somebody's got to do something about antifa and the left," he said. 

The Proud Boys rejoiced on social media platforms such as Parler and Telegram at the mention of their group by the President during the debate. They even incorporated the words "stand back and stand by" into their logo. “This makes me so happy," wrote a prominent Proud Boy on the social media site Parler. "STAND BACK AND STAND BY … SOMEONE HAS TO STOP THESE FAR LEFT RIOTERS," wrote someone anonymously on 4chan. 

The Anti Defamation League's CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted out demanding that the President give an explanation to his statement.


While Trump believes "this is not a right wing problem, this is a left wing" problem, as he said in the debate last night, the federal government deemed white supremacists groups to be the greatest terror to the United States, as stated in a report by the Department of Homeland Security. Christopher Wray, FBI Director, described antifa as more of a movement or an idea, not an organized group. 

The failure from the President's end to condemn white supremacist groups was only a fraction of the conflict and contradiction presented during the discussion. The debate seemed much more like a fight than a debate. Joe Biden has taken it upon himself to act as a fact checker for Trump rather than actually debating the questions at hand; Trump used the debate as an opportunity to bash his opponent and spew blatant lies; Wallace, an unofficial third party in the debate, has spent most of the night unsuccessfully trying to tame the interjecting force that is Donald Trump.