On Tuesday night, while refusing to condemn white supremacy at the first presidential debate, President Donald Trump was specifically challenged to condemn the Proud Boys — a self-described “Western Chauvinist” group notorious for violent street brawls that participated in the neo-Nazi Charlottesville demonstration in 2017.
“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” he said when Joe Biden mentioned them as a group he should condemn.
According to The Daily Beast, members of the Proud Boys were thrilled that the president addressed them directly.
After the debate, on the right-wing alternative social network Parler, “Proud Boys leader Joe Biggs saw Trump’s remarks as permission to ‘fuck’ up the group’s foes,” reported Hanna Trudo, Will Sommer, and Spencer Ackerman. “Other Proud Boys leaders posted on Parler and Telegram, another social network popular with far-right figures banned, that they would follow Trump’s request to “stand down and stand by. ‘I will stand down sir!!!’ Proud Boys national chairman Enrique Tarrio wrote on Parler. ‘Standing by sir. So Proud of my guys right now.'”
“In an interview with The Daily Beast, Tarrio predicted that ‘stand back, stand by,’ would become a Proud Boys slogan. Earlier Proud Boys mottos have included ‘The West Is the Best’ and ‘Fuck Around and Find Out,’ a warning to the group’s perceived enemies,” said the report. “‘I think this ‘stand back, stand by” thing will be another Proud Boy saying,’ Tarrio said.”