While Donald Trump refuses to condemn white supremacy, the Proud Boys are gleefully standing by. Last night’s presidential debate offered a jarring example of the president’s penchant for inciting right-wing extremist groups when he couldn’t bring himself to denounce his followers who stoke hate and violence. Instead, Trump offered a near-explicit call to arms: “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.”

Now many are asking, “Who are the Proud Boys?” As Keith explains, the group was formed by former Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes in 2016, and there’s a strong thread of racism, misogyny, and violence running through its identity. The Proud Boys actively promote political violence, making Trump’s remarks on Tuesday all the more terrifying. “The president is fomenting civil war,” he writes, “and lining up the Proud Boys as recruits in his Army.”

Editor/writer. Words in GEN, The Atlantic, Glamour, The Intercept, MSNBC, NBC News, NYT, Vice, Vox, and more.

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