Joe Henderson: Donald Trump’s racist call to arms is nothing to be proud about
President Donald Trump gestures while speaking during the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. Image via AP.

Donald Trump
Did the President tell the Proud Boys to bust heads if necessary? Yes.

During one of multiple contentious moments during Tuesday’s screamfest debate, President Donald Trump called on the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”

Twitter and social media exploded. Did the President of the United States on national TV green light the PBs to bust heads if necessary to keep him in office?

Sure sounded like it.

Most of us have long since lost the capacity to be astonished by Trump, but this remark made the cut.

For one thing, it tells me he believes he is about to lose, and he can’t handle that.

Just who are the Proud Boys?

The Southern Poverty Law Center put it this way.

The Proud Boys are self-described western chauvinists who adamantly deny any connection to the racist alt-right, insisting they are simply a fraternal group spreading an anti-political correctness and anti-white guilt agenda,” the organization said.

“Their disavowals of bigotry are belied by their actions: rank-and-file Proud Boys and leaders regularly spout white nationalist memes and maintain affiliations with known extremists. They are known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric. Proud Boys have appeared alongside other hate groups at extremist gatherings like the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville.”

Facebook banned the Proud Boys in July for violating the platform’s hate policies. It shut down accounts with a direct link between shut down pages and accounts linked to Roger Stone and the Proud Boys.

I can’t imagine that during debate prep, even the most subservient of Trump’s sycophants OK’d this line of attack.

“Hey, Mr. President, here’s an idea. Give a shoutout to the Proud Boys and tell them to get their tire irons and clubs ready.”

Yeah, that probably didn’t happen.

We also know, though, that Trump has no filter. Trump just spit out something rolling around in his head. He never considers the consequences, and it would surprise no one if later today he denies he ever said that.

Business Insider reported the Proud Boys immediately used Trump’s remarks to recruit new followers.

And the reaction from some key Florida lawmakers?


U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, by this writing, had no response to the Proud Boys remark. He did take time, however, to be one of five votes against a non-binding U.S. House resolution demanding a peaceful transfer of power after the election.

He explained via Twitter that while he supports peace and all that, “the resolution was a way for Dems to attack @POTUS and disguise the fact that they will refuse to accept the election results unless they win.”

Gaetz also jagged about voter fraud. Translation: Republicans will refuse to accept the election results unless they win.

Florida Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio also apparently heard no evil, although Rubio did tweet Bible verses from Job and Revelation.

But what say ye about an overt racist air-horn from the President of the United States? Not satisfied with undermining mail-in ballots, now Trump wants to intimidate in-person voting as well.

Will PBs show up at polling places to badger and threaten voters unless they wear Trump buttons? You’re OK with that?

Speak up, I can’t hear you.

Oh, you know, that’s just Trump.

Yeah, it sure is.

Joe Henderson

I have a 45-year career in newspapers, including nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. Florida is wacky, wonderful, unpredictable and a national force. It's a treat to have a front-row seat for it all.


  • go proud boys

    September 30, 2020 at 11:55 am

    So, let me figure this out. Its ok for the Democrats to support black lives matter, to bail out those arrested for looting and burning? But, it is wrong for people to stand up against them and take America back, like the Proud Boys do?? Well I support the Proud Boys!!!!!! and I am against blm and antifa, how about that.

  • Ray Blacklidge

    September 30, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    A Proud Boy must declare that he is “a Western chauvinist who refuses to apologise for creating the modern world”.

    Their platform, such as it is, includes Trumpian ideas (“glorify the entrepreneur”, “close the border”) libertarianism (“give everyone a gun”, “end welfare”) and traditional gender roles (“venerate the housewife”).

    They’re not exclusively white

    So basically a Suburban Men’s Club

  • Dan

    September 30, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    Biden claims the White Supremists are at fault for the Rioting, Looting and Arson. If that was true, the arrest records would reflect it, yet All the arrests (hundreds) including the Arson in Tampa were either ANTIFA or Black Lives Matter member. The Tampa Arson was arrested in the Brox, NY. and the ones shot in Wisc. were all Antifa members from Out of State, like Portland. So who is paying for them to fly coast to coast to riot? We know Kamala Harris and the Hollywood Oligarchs are bailing them out of Jail. ANTIFA & BLM are trained Marxist Revolutionaries that are the thugs of the Democrat Party and are defined as Terrorist organizations like their KKK organization.

  • Ron Ogden

    September 30, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    “. . .western chauvinists.” Perhaps the author can explain just what he thinks that term means. It is another leftish made up term, a generalization, a piece of newsroom cant that the vaporous intellects of the dying industry called journalism use because they can’t think of one better. Joe — Nicolas Chauvin, the source of the word, never existed. You and your predecessors made him up to smear men and women who value and are loyal to their civilization and their country–because loyalty is civilization and to country is hateful in your ears.

  • Ocean Joe

    September 30, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    If you grew up in the south, you already know these people. They come out of the woodworks and swarm like they once did for George Wallace. I remember when Wallace came to the local “Searstown” shopping center. A friend went to get a look and said he was a very small man.

    Trump may be even smaller.

  • Paul

    September 30, 2020 at 1:22 pm

    Proud Boys are armed fairy’s who parade like soldiers which they are not fit to be just like their bone spur commander.

  • James Robert Miles

    September 30, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    Proud boys and Trump should be charged with treason because that is what they are ALL about! Neither love this country and have set about to destroy EVERYTHING that it stands for. The voters better wake up or this country will become a fascist state which os obviously Trump’s goal! Supporting “proud boys” means you right-wingers support the real rioters and looters which you claim to be against! Black and brown people, Jewish people and LGBT people need to understand that this election is perhaps, the most important election in U.S. history. A vote for Trump is a vote AGAINST AMERICA!!

  • Sonja Fitch

    September 30, 2020 at 4:40 pm

    Will you shut up,man? Is the best advice for trump. Yo proud boys Trump
    Is just faking you out! Trump will sacrifice you in heartbeat! Love it. Vote Democrat up and down ballot!

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704