Local NAACP advocates condemn Trump's debate remarks on Proud Boys
The chaotic presidential debate in Cleveland Tuesday night touched on many issues, but local civil rights advocates are worried about one particular remark by the president - some say it's a call to incite violence.
"Proud Boys - stand by and stand back," President Donald Trump said during the debate.
That particular comment set off a firestorm of controversy.
Critics say Trump's shout out to Proud Boys, a group the FBI has listed as an extremist organization with ties to white nationalism, is a call to arms.
Wilbur Aldridge, of the NAACP Mid-Hudson/Westchester, says Trump was "encouraging anarchy and encouraging a race riot" with that comment.
Proud Boys immediately embraced Trump's remarks, emblazoning his words onto their logo.
On Wednesday, a Trump spokesman said he was not encouraging the group, but actually denouncing it.
"He wants them to get out of the way. He wants them to not do the things they say they want to do. This is a reprehensible group," said Hogan Gidley, Trump campaign spokesman.
Incidents of hate have been on the rise across the country, including in the Hudson Valley.
Recently in Chappaqua, a noose was found painted outside of a Black family's home.
Last week, hateful stickers were found throughout the Rochelle Heights neighborhood of New Rochelle.
After Tuesday's contentious debate, the Commission on Presidential Debates says it's adding new "tools to maintain order" for the remaining debates. There is no word yet on what those tools are.