A Proud Boys leader is pushing back on mainstream media attempts to lump them together with white supremacist groups.
During the first presidential debate on Tuesday, moderator Chris Wallace and Democratic nominee Joe Biden encouraged Trump to denounce white supremacy. They then specifically named the Proud Boys, who have allegedly participated in agitation and violent demonstrations, for Trump to denounce.
But, a Salt Lake Utah Proud Boys Chapter leader, simply identified as, Thad, is pushing back on the claim that his group associates with white supremacy.
“I will go out and say that the #ProudBoys as a whole, I will say this on behalf of the entire national organization, denounce white supremacy,” he said in a video uploaded online.
“I will go out and say that the #ProudBoys as a whole, I will say this on behalf of the entire national organization, denounce white supremacy." – Thad, Chief of the Proud Boys Salt Lake Utah Chapter pic.twitter.com/WGlUEx3jeF
— 𝐁𝐫𝐢𝐚𝐧 𝐒𝐜𝐡𝐧𝐞𝐞 (@brian_schnee) October 1, 2020
Black Member from the Proud Boys debunks the Mainstream Media White Supremacist Claims pic.twitter.com/CDgM8PNKyv
— Dowop Robinson (@dowop_robinson) September 30, 2020
As Sky News reports, Proud Boys international chairman Enrique Tarrio said he did not watch the debate but that Biden made a “crucial mistake” naming his group as “white supremacists.”
“We’ve been called many names, but probably the most inaccurate name you can call us is white supremacists,” he said. “I’m a ‘person of color,’ I’m a brown person, I’m chairman of the organization [and] I got voted in…”
“I think it was a great moment that we were mentioned on stage… if we were recognized by anyone we were recognized by Biden,” he added.
Tarrio also said he interpreted the president’s controversial “stand back and stand by” remark at the debate to mean allowing law enforcement to do their job.
“We’ve always done that – we did this in Portland – we stood back and stood by in Portland on the 26th, and we had a great event,” he said.
“And basically I think what he [President Trump] meant was let the police do their job – which we have,” he added.
President Trump clarified the day after the debate that he did not know who the Proud Boys were and that he did mean for them to step aside and allow law enforcement to do its job.
“I don’t know who the Proud Boys are,” he told a reporter outside of the White House, as Axios reports. “You’ll have to give me a definition because I really don’t know who they are. I can only say they have to stand down and let law enforcement do their work.”
“As people see how bad this radical liberal Democrat movement is and how weak, the law enforcement is going to come back stronger and stronger. But again, I don’t know who Proud Boys are, but whoever they are they have to stand down and let law enforcement do their work,” he added.
A report brought up his “stand by” comment, asking him to clarify.
“Just stand by,” Trump continued. “Look, law enforcement will do their work. They’re going to stand down, they have to stand down. Everybody. Whatever group you are talking about, let law enforcement do the work. Now, antifa is a real problem. Because the problem is on the left. And Biden refuses to talk about it.”