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Donald Trump's message to the Proud Boys: Stand back and stand by meaning

Iram Sharifah Khan October 22, 2020
proud boys stand back and stand by meaning
Photo by JIM WATSON,SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

During last night’s US presidential debate, one comment by the incumbent president stood out to viewers – Donald Trump’s message for the Proud Boys to ‘stand back and stand by’ meaning explained.

When Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace asked Trump whether he was willing to “condemn white supremacists and militia groups” Trump replied with: “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.”

You can view the full clip of Trump’s answer here:

What does ‘Proud Boys stand back and stand by’ mean?

Many people watching the debate have been wondering why Trump refused to condemn white supremacist groups and instead chose to refer to the Proud Boys. For those who may not know, Proud Boys is an organisation in which its members deem themselves “Western chauvinists”.

It is seen by the FBI, the Anti-Defamation League and others as as an extremist organisation.

What did Trump mean when he said: “Proud Boys stand back and stand by”? Many people took to Twitter with Variety publishing some of the best reaction tweets, while celebrities such as Sophia Bush and Andy Richter read the comment to mean a call to arms for the group.

Media response to “stand back and stand by”

On ITV’s Good Morning Britain today, Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid invited former Democratic state senator Capri Cafaro and Sebastian Gorker, a former trump adviser, to discuss the comment.

Cafaro called the Proud Boys a “radicalised hate group”, while Gorka discussed the group’s origins.

He said it was started by Gavin McInnes as a joke and added Wallace should be sued for calling Trump a supporter of neo-Nazi groups.

According to NBC News, Proud Boys members have been “celebrating Trump’s call-out” and the group has now made it an official slogan.

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Iram is a London-based freelance journalist with a BA in Journalism and Media from Birkbeck University. She studied several modules, including Journalism in British Life, Interview skills and Feature Writing, Introduction to Journalism Practice and Manga and Anime. Iram went from university to work with GRV Media at The Focus Writers’ Academy and enjoys learning Japanese, taking singing lessons, playing video games and watching Korean dramas in her spare time.