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Joe Biden says ‘white supremacy is a poison’ after Buffalo shooting

  • Joe Biden says ‘white supremacy is a poison’ after Buffalo shooting
    Biden pays respects to Buffalo shooting victims Joe Biden says ‘white supremacy is a poison’ after Buffalo shooting
Region:
USA
Category:
Politics
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President attacks those who promote racist conspiracy theory ‘for power, political gain and for profit’ but says ‘evil will not win’.
Biden pays respects to Buffalo shooting victims.

 

Joe Biden has condemned those who spread white supremacist lies “for power, political gain and for profit” during a visit to Buffalo, New York, where 10 people were killed in a racist shooting last Saturday.

The US president was close to tears as he recalled the victims’ lives, then became angry as he described forces of hatred that have haunted his administration.

“In America, evil will not win, I promise you,” Biden said. “Hate will not prevail and white supremacy will not have the last word.”

The mass shooting shook a nation that can sometimes seem numbed to atrocities and marked an alarming convergence of racist extremism, gun violence and the radicalizing effects of social media.

It also revealed the scale of the challenge facing Biden, who ran for president to restore “the soul of America” after his predecessor Donald Trump’s failure to denounce a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and took office weeks after an assault on the US Capitol that included white nationalist groups.

Authorities say Payton Gendron, 18, opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle on Saturday at the Tops Friendly Market in a predominantly Black neighborhood of Buffalo. He struck 13 people with gunfire, killing 10, and used a camera to livestream the rampage.

Police have said they are investigating Gendron’s online postings, which included a 180-page manifesto he was believed to have written outlining the “great replacement” theory, which baselessly claims white people are being intentionally overrun by other races through immigration or higher birthrates.

The “great replacement” theory has been dragged into the mainstream by some Republican members of Congress as well as Tucker Carlson, the most watched prime-time host on Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News network.

In emotional and pointed remarks in Buffalo, Biden did not name names but made clear that such violence takes place in a wider political context. “What happened here is simple and straightforward terrorism,” he said. “Terrorism. Domestic terrorism. Violence inflicted in the service of hate and a vicious thirst for power that defines one group of people being inherently inferior to any other group. Hate.

“And through the media and politics the internet has radicalized angry, alienated lost and isolated individuals into falsely believing that they will be replaced – that’s the word, replaced – by the other. By people who don’t look like them and who are therefore, in the perverse ideology that they possess and are being fed, lesser beings. I and all of you reject the lie.”

He added to applause: “I call on all Americans to reject the lie and I condemn those who spread the lie for power, political gain, and for profit.”