Last night, we all watched on in horror as Donald J. Trump, President of the United States, stood on stage in front of the entire nation, broadcasted on national TV, and absolutely refused to outright condemn white nationalist groups in the United States.
Not only did Trump refuse to issue a clear and concise condemnation, he actually appeared to call on these white supremacy groups to be ready to fight for him.
On stage, during last night’s first round of presidential debates, after prodding from both the moderator and his opponent to condemn these groups, Trump said this:
Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what. I’ll tell you what. Somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left, because this is not a right-wing problem.”
But folks, it gets scarier.
Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman sat down for an interview with former neo-Nazi who now leads the Free Radicals Project, a group with the goal of helping people disengage from violent extremism, Christian Picciolini, to discuss Trump’s apparent call on the Proud Boys last night. And the warning he uttered will chill you to the bone.
“Well, Amy, it’s very crystal clear to me what President Trump was calling for last night, and it’s, I think, crystal clear to the Proud Boys what he was asking for. And that was for continued pressure, continued violence against what he is calling the threat of the left,” Picciolini stated at the beginning of the interview. “So, he was completely wrong. But it was a clear-cut call to a violent white supremacist group that they must stay vigilant. If I were a Proud Boy, which essentially is version 2.0 of a neo-Nazi skinhead, I would see that as a call to arms, specifically against anti-fascist groups and protesters like Antifa and Black Lives Matter.”
The interview goes on to take a deep dive into the meaning behind Trump’s statement from an actual former neo-Nazi as well as commentary from Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill who stated clearly of Trump’s debate performance, “He wants violence in the streets, he wants chaos at the polls because he wants Americans to feel a sense of unsafety. It’s its own kind of diplomatic terrorism.”
Now is the time to worry.
You can read the full interview here.