After the first presidential debate on Tuesday, many on the Left went nuts over President Donald Trump’s meandering answer to moderator Chris Wallace’s completely unnecessary question about condemning white supremacy. Trump should have responded better, but he has repeatedly condemned white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan. He also told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by,” as in “stand aside” to let the police do their jobs in response to the violent riots.
Yet the Left appeared to have a conniption after Trump’s debate response. Some called Trump a white supremacist (days after Trump announced a $500 billion plan to help black communities. Others acted as though the president had endorsed the Proud Boys, and falsely condemned the Proud Boys as “white supremacist.” One brave left-leaning reporter dared to buck this Chicken-Little narrative, however.
Michael Tracey revealed the true ally of “white supremacists” — and it isn’t Donald Trump (obviously). Tracey noted that many on the Left prop up “white supremacists” and the Proud Boys as a way to deflect from the obvious leftist inspiration behind antifa and Black Lives Matter rioters, who have wreaked havoc on American cities.
“The media’s total incuriosity about the ideological underpinnings of the most pervasive riots in half a century now creates a situation where pundits can say with a straight face that the most worrisome source of potential street unrest are joke organizations like ‘Proud Boys,'” Tracey tweeted.
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Rioters have made no secret of their inspiration — and it’s the farthest thing from “white supremacy.” When vandals toppled a statue of George Washington in Portland, they spray-painted “1619” on the statue, referencing the “1619 Project.” When Claremont’s Charles Kesler wrote in The New York Post, “Call them the 1619 riots,” 1619 Project Founder Nikole Hannah-Jones responded (in a since-deleted tweet) that “it would be an honor” to claim responsibility for the destructive riots. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) called for the “dismantling” of America’s “economy and political system,” in order to root out supposed racist oppression.
Tracey noted that “left-wing media activists” have a “comically apocalyptic conception of Trump,” one that inspires lashing out. “Bernie screams about the need for a Popular Front, AOC says literal fascism is on the ballot, etc.”
Yet this lashing out has devastated the very black communities many activists claim to champion. The riots have disproportionately damaged black communities in Kenosha, Wisc., Minneapolis, and Chicago. The riots destroyed black lives, black livelihoods, and black monuments. At least 26 Americans have died in the riots, most of them black.
Meanwhile, the left-leaning legacy media focuses on the supposed threat of “white supremacists” and Proud Boys.
“Bold, adversarial Progressives love citing unsubstantiated FBI claims when it bolsters their ‘white supremacist’ alarmism and fear-mongering,” Tracey tweeted. “Kind of like when they loved repeating FBI propaganda with regard to Russian collusion. What a bunch of easily duped feeble-minded frauds.”
Tracey charged that “manufacturing hysteria around ‘Proud Boys’ and other joke right-wing groups is a standard left/liberal conformity-enforcing tactic. Instead of producing a rational argument against Trump (not difficult) they once again use emotional manipulation to stoke fake ‘fascism’ fears.”
This point leads to Tracey’s key point: “The biggest ally of the small number of ‘white supremacists’ who actually do exist is the hysterical profit-driven corporate media — as well as activist dupes who march in lockstep — which constantly pumps up these non-entities for clicks, ratings and cheap anti-Trump theatrics.”
In fact, this hysteria reminds me of a certain far-left smear factory. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has long propped up hysteria about “hate groups” and the “radical right,” in order to smear its political opponents and scare donors into ponying up cash. Legacy media outlets continue to cite the SPLC despite its key scandals: a racial discrimination and sexual harassment scandal, former employees confessing to being “part of the con” of bilking donors by exaggerating “hate,” an attempted terrorist attack against the mainstream conservative Christian nonprofit the Family Research Council, and a slew of defamation lawsuits.
Recently, 100 rabbis warned Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos not to rely on the SPLC, noting that the SPLC refuses to condemn Muslim anti-Semitism, making life more dangerous for Jews.
Why does the legacy media keep relying on the SPLC? This far-left smear factory is extremely convenient for the narrative Tracey has identified. The SPLC has condemned Trump for designating antifa a domestic terrorist organization. While the group has exposed a racist or two in the federal government, it has also reached to smear Trump’s close advisers. The SPLC accused the Proud Boys of being a “hate group,” placing that organization on a list with the Ku Klux Klan and … the Family Research Council. Following the SPLC’s leader, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) and Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-N.Y.C.) used the Proud Boys as a scapegoat after clashes with antifa in 2018.
The Proud Boys may have occasionally acted as provocateurs, but they are a drop in the bucket compared to antifa and Black Lives Matter. Proud Boys Founder Gavin McInnes sued the SPLC for defamation after the far-left group claimed he supported “white supremacy.” In reality, the Proud Boys’ bylaws explicitly exclude racists from the group, and the group’s Florida leader is an Afro-Cuban.
Tracey focused on the fact that the Proud Boys are a small organization. “Here are the Proud Boys in all their glory. How embarrassing for everyone,” he tweeted with a video of a Proud Boy initiation.
I don’t usually agree with Michael Tracey, but it’s refreshing to see a liberal acknowledge the Left’s serious problems in this arena. Not all of the unrest in American cities traces back to the Left, but most of it does, and pointing the finger at “white supremacists” or Proud Boys only distracts from the truth. In fact, by propping up the “white supremacists,” the legacy media and its allies in the Democratic Party and at groups like the SPLC are actually enflaming the leftists responsible for most of the unrest.
Tragically, white supremacists have held power and influence in American history. Thankfully, white supremacy is a marginalized and rightly demonized ideology today. Tragically, a few isolated white supremacist terrorists have indeed carried out mass murders — but they are not proof of some secret cabal of “hate groups” scheming together to turn America into Nazi Germany.
Yet by propping up white supremacy as if it were a real threat, the Left — and especially the SPLC — is emboldening the few white supremacists who do exist while simultaneously driving the exponentially larger group of far-left agitators to commit more violence. The legacy media isn’t just burying the truth, it’s exacerbating the underlying problems.