May 17, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Biden says "white supremacy is a poison" after Buffalo shooting

President Biden condemned the deadly mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, as an act of domestic terrorism on Tuesday, calling white supremacy "poison" and vowing that "hate will not prevail, and white supremacy will not have the last word."

Driving the news: Biden and first lady Jill Biden visited Buffalo on Tuesday to pay tribute to those killed in the racially motivated shooting.

  • They met with the families of the shooting victims as well as first responders.

What they're saying: "Jill and I have come to stand with you, and to the families, we've come to grieve with you," Biden said, going on to describe each of the individuals killed and wounded in the attack.

  • "Individual lives of love, service and community — that speaks to the bigger story of who we are as Americans."
  • "What happened here is simple and straightforward terrorism. Terrorism. Domestic terrorism."

Biden went on to address the so-called "great replacement" theory repeatedly referenced in a screed allegedly authored by the suspect in the Buffalo shooting, an 18-year-old white man.

  • "A hate that 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," Biden said.
  • "I call on all Americans to reject the lie, and I condemn those who spread the lie for power, political gain and for profit."
  • "White supremacy is a poison … running through our body politic."

The bottom line: "Look, I'm not naive. I know tragedy will come again," Biden said, adding, "But there are certain things we can do."

  • "We can keep assault weapons off our streets."
  • "We can't prevent people from being radicalized to violence, but we can address the relentless exploitation of the internet to recruit and mobilize terrorism. We just need to have the courage to do that, to stand up."
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