During a discussion on racial sensitivity training, Mr Biden called the president racist for his decision to ban the practice for federal contractors earlier in the year.
Mr Biden, who took the training, said: “He’s a president who used everything like a dog whistle to try to generate racist hatred, racist division.”
Mr Biden added later in the debate, as candidates clashed over the Black Lives Matter protests: “He’s the racist. “
However, there were other times during the debate where the president used racist tropes – while talking about the coronavirus pandemic, white supremacists and Senator Elizabeth Warren.
President refused to condemn white supremacist groups
On Tuesday, the president refused to condemn violence by far-right and white supremacist groups during the Black Lives Matter protests this summer, when Fox News moderator Chris Wallace repeatedly asked him to do so.
Mr Trump initially tried to avoid the question by asking Mr Wallace about a specific group he wanted him to condemn, but ultimately chose to address the far-right white supremacist group, the Prouds. Boys.
He said, “Proud boys, take a step back and stay there! But I’ll tell you what, someone has to do something against the antifa and the left.
In response to the president’s comments, a key organizer of Proud Boys wrote on the free speech social network, Parler: “Standing by sir.”
After the debate, experts warned that Mr. Trump’s comment could encourage violence from extremist groups.
Kathleen Belew, a historian of America’s white power movements, tweeted: “A green light like ‘step back and stand by’ is catastrophic.”
Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), also tweeted his concern and said the president “owes America an apology or an explanation. Now, ”for his comments.
President Trump called Senator Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas”
During the debate, Mr. Trump questioned whether Mr. Biden would have won the Democratic nomination if Senator Elizabeth Warren had not dropped out of the race and called her “Pocahontas” in doing so.
He said: “If Pocahontas was gone [the race] two days earlier you would have lost all the primaries on Super Tuesday, ”referring to the senator’s previous claims that she has Native American heritage.
Pocahontas was a Native American woman, who belonged to the Pamunkey tribe. She was born in 1596 and died in 1617.
In 2018, President Trump claimed Ms. Warren was lying about her Cherokee heritage for political purposes, and in response the senator took a DNA test, which showed she was between 1/64 and 1/1028 Native American. She later apologized for her previous complaints.
However, Mr. Trump continued to refer to Ms. Warren as Pocahontas, and while this was not commented on during the debate, the president using the term has upset Native Americans in the United States.
In 2019, the National Congress of American Indian (NCAI), which describes itself as the oldest and largest indigenous rights organization in the United States, said the president’s actions were part of a long tradition of insults endured by Native Americans.
“For centuries, Indigenous peoples have endured such insults – from ‘R * dskins’ to ‘Injuns’ to ‘savages’ – that the forces of racism and intolerance are deployed to dehumanize our people, to make fun of our people. crops and interfere with our inherent right to control our own lands and destinies, ”said Kevin Allis, CEO of NCAI.
He added: “Not only does this not respect Pocahontas’ legacy and life, but it equates his name with an insult.”
President calls coronavirus a “Chinese scourge” again
During the debate, the president again called the coronavirus pandemic the “bane of China,” while defending his administration’s response to tackle the virus.
He said, “We built the biggest economy in history, we shut it down because of the Chinese plague. “
According to a follow-up project hosted by Johns Hopkins University, in the United States as a whole, some 7.1 million people have tested positive for the coronavirus, while the death toll has reached at least 206,351.
Mr. Trump, alongside other Republicans, has repeatedly called Covid-19 a “Chinese virus,” or “Wuhan flu,” and other slurs during the pandemic, which have been criticized for blaming the virus on a single country and a single group of people. .
In addition, according to NBC News, there are concerns that this phrase could lead to an increase in harassment and mistreatment of Asian Americans.
Speaking at an invitation-only virtual fundraiser for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign last month, former US President Barack Obama criticized Mr. Trump’s use of the phrase, according to The hills.
“I don’t want a country in which the President of the United States actively tries to promote anti-Asian sentiment and thinks it’s funny,” Obama reportedly said.
“I don’t want that. It still shocks me and pisses me off, ”he added.
Earlier this year, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom, said that the name did not specifically “refer to any geographic location, animal, individual or group of people, and that is also pronounceable and related to disease, ”according to Forbes.
He felt that “having a name is important to prevent the use of other names which may be inaccurate or stigmatizing”.
The second presidential debate is scheduled to take place on October 15 in Miami with C-SPAN’s Steve Scully as moderator.