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Governor denounces white supremacists groups, falls short of calling out president

President Trump’s failure to denounce the Proud Boys in Tuesday night’s debate is sparking concern in Nebraska
Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 6:27 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - President Trump’s failure to denounce a white supremacist group in Tuesday night’s presidential debate is sparking concern right here in Nebraska.

While Governor Pete Ricketts condemned such groups on Wednesday, the Anti Defamation League told 6 News it’s not enough.

“Proud Boys, Proud Boys stand back and stand by” said President Donald Trump.

Those words triggering celebration among the Proud Boys and fear among potential targets.

“I got a lot of texts and emails from people immediately following that and the common theme through all of them was that they were afraid,” said Murphy Wulfgar, Associate Director, Anti-Defamation League, Plains States Region.

The FBI classifies the Proud Boys as an extremist group; this summer members were spotted at pro-police rally at Memorial Park in Omaha.

“People walked away from that debate. Particularly that moment … feeling unsafe and feeling that somehow what they believe, and what they feel they are is being threatened and the threat is being condoned,” said Wulfgar.

6 News asked Governor Ricketts what he had to say to Nebraskans in light of the president’s comments.

“Proud Boys and standing by or whatever, I don’t recall exactly what the quote was, but again I think we have fine police and National Guard and we don’t need any of these groups getting involved.”

When asked directly if he would condemn white supremacy groups the Governor said, “Absolutely, there’s not a place for white supremacy groups in Nebraska or our country.”

“We obviously applaud the denouncement of white supremacy in any form even in the most general forms,” said Wulfgar. “Because that’s more than we got in the debate.”

But there’s concern the governor’s message is muddied by his praise of the president.

“In regards to the debate last night,” said the Governor. “I thought the president was really strong.”

“The unwillingness of folks to call the president out for his behavior is where I think our leadership lacks resolve,” said Wulfgar.

It’s important to note the Proud Boys have not been connected to any known crimes or violence in the metro.

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