President Joe Biden on Tuesday described white supremacist ideology as the “poison” behind a deadly mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, and said racism was being incited for political gain.
Speaking in a city where a white teenager has been charged with killing 10 African Americans in a supermarket, Biden said: “What happened here is simple and straightforward terrorism. Domestic terrorism.”
“White domination is a poison that flows through the politics of our bodies and it is allowed to explode right before our eyes,” Biden said.
In a scathing speech calling for restrictions on the ownership of assault-style rifles, Biden listed the victims, describing how one of the dead, 53-year-old Andre McNeil, bought a birthday cake while fighting tears. Her three-year-old son when the gunman enters the store.
He described Biden’s harshest remarks as a “perverted ideology” of white supremacists that police say inspired the shooter.
In a statement, the alleged genocide perpetrator referred to the so-called “replacement theory” which claimed the existence of a leftist conspiracy to subjugate the white population with white immigrants.
Biden described “a hatred that through the media and politics (and) the Internet angrily, isolated, lost and falsely believing that people will be replaced – that is the word, substituted – by ‘other’.”
“No more. I don’t want to say it anymore. We have to say as clearly and emphatically as possible that there is no place for white supremacist ideology in America,” he applauded.
‘Spirit of the Nation’
Peyton Gendron, the 18-year-old murder suspect, had been planning the shooting for months – and according to a stream of posts blaming him on social media sites, the place was vacated prematurely.
Gendron first wrote about the killing of black people in December and, according to U.S. media analysis of hundreds of pages of messages, decided to target the Buffalo Store based on the surrounding African American population.
Earlier Tuesday, Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, placed a bouquet of flowers at a makeshift memorial outside the supermarket where the killings took place.
Balloons and flowers piled up under a tree took a strong breeze as the bidders paid their respects, with the president leaving his own bouquet and making the sign of the cross before giving way to a delegation of elected officials.
Biden then went to private meetings with relatives of the victims and first responders, where the White House said it was offering “sympathy and condolences.”
The story of the replacement is a conspiracy theory that, like the bizarre QAnon belief, has spread from the most remote corners of society to surprisingly mainstream areas – most notably Tucker Carlson’s lot of influential night talk shows on Fox News.
The White House has steadfastly refused to join the ranks of those who directly blame and expand on Carlson and several prominent Republicans for propagating the theory, blaming violent white hegemonic attacks.
However, Biden’s strong remarks in Buffalo leave no doubt that he is referring not only to the real shooter but also to the powerful voice that spreads the ideology.
“Democracy is in danger, as it has never been in my life,” he said. “Hate and fear have been given a lot of oxygen by those who pretend to love America. They don’t understand America.”
“Now is the time for all races, for all backgrounds, to speak out as America’s majority and reject white supremacy,” he said. “We cannot allow them to destroy the soul of the nation.”
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)