President Joe Biden on Tuesday condemned the poison of white supremacy and said the nation must “reject the lies” of the racist “replacement theory” backed by the gunman who killed 10 black Americans in Buffalo.
Speaking to victims’ families, local officials and emergency services, Biden said America’s diversity is its strength and the nation should not be distorted by a “hated minority”.
“Evil will not prevail in America, I promise you,” Biden said. “Hatred will not win, white supremacy will not have the last word.”
Biden spoke after he and First Lady Jill Biden paid tribute Tuesday at an impromptu memorial of flowers, candles and condolences near the Tops supermarket, where on Saturday a man armed with a machine gun attacked black people in the deadliest racist attack. The United States since Biden took office.
In Buffalo, the president again faced forces of hatred that, he often says, prompted him back to seek the White House.
“Jill and I came to be with you, and for the families we came to grieve with you,” Biden said. He added: “Now is the time for people of all races, of all backgrounds, to speak out as the majority and Americans and reject white supremacy.”
Replacement theory can be described as a racist ideology that has shifted from white nationalist circles to the mainstream, saying that white people and their influence are deliberately “replaced” by colored people.
Biden’s condemnation of white supremacy is a statement he has made several times since becoming the first president to specifically address white supremacy in his inaugural address, calling it “internal terrorism that we must confront.” However, such beliefs remain an entrenched threat at a time when his administration has focused on fighting the pandemic, inflation and war in Ukraine.
The White House said the president and first lady would “miss the community that lost 10 lives in a senseless and horrific mass shooting.” Three more people were injured. Almost all the victims were black, including all the dead.
On Monday, Biden paid a special tribute to one of the victims, retired police officer Aaron Salter, who worked as a security guard at the store. He said Salter “gave his life trying to save others” by opening fire on an armed man, but he himself was killed.
Upon arrival in Buffalo, the president and two New York senators were greeted by Governor Katie Hochul, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and representatives of the local police and fire department.
The hated writings of the shooter echo the writings of white supremacists who marched with torches in 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, a scene that Biden said inspired his decision to speak out against President Donald Trump in 2020 and led him to join. what he calls the “battle for the soul of America”.
“It’s important for him to appear before families and society and express his condolences,” said Derrick Johnson, NAACP president. “But we are more concerned that this will not happen in the future.”
It is unclear how Biden will try to do this. Proposals for new gun restrictions are usually blocked by Republicans, and racist rhetoric spreading on the fringes of national politics is only intensifying.
18-year-old Peyton Hendron was arrested at a supermarket and charged with murder. He pleaded not guilty.
Hendron reportedly posted a banner full of racism and anti-Semitism on the Internet before the shooting. The author called himself a supporter of Dylan Rufus, who killed nine black parishioners at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, and Brenton Taranto, who attacked a mosque in New Zealand in 2019.
Investigators are considering Hendron’s connection to the so-called “big replacement” theory, which unreasonably claims that white people are deliberately attracted to other races through immigration or birth rates.
The claims are often intertwined with anti-Semitism, with Jews identified as the culprits. During the Unite the Right march in 2017 in Charlottesville, supporters of white supremacy chanted “Jews will not replace us.”
“Many of these dark voices still exist today,” White House spokeswoman Caryn Jean-Pierre said Monday. “And the president is set up like then. . . to make sure we fight back against these forces of hatred, evil and violence. ”
In the years since Charlottesville, substitution theory has shifted from the Internet country to the mainstream politics of the right. One-third of U.S. adults believe that there is “a group of people in this country trying to replace Native Americans with immigrants who agree with their political views,” according to a December poll by the Associated Press and NORC. for public relations research.
Tucker Carlson, a well-known Fox News presenter, accuses Democrats of organizing mass migration in order to consolidate their power.
“The country is being stolen from American citizens,” he said on August 23, 2021. He echoed the same topic a month later, saying “this policy is called a great replacement, a replacement for the legacy of Americans by more obedient people from far-flung countries.”
Carlson’s show usually gets the highest ratings in cable news, and he responded to a furor Monday night by accusing liberals of trying to silence their opponents.
“Therefore, because a mentally ill teenager killed strangers, you cannot be allowed to express your political convictions out loud,” he said.
His commentary shows how this conspiratorial view of immigration spread through the Republican Party ahead of this year’s midterm elections, which will determine control of Congress.
An ad on Facebook posted last year by MP Eliza Stefanik’s election committee, RN.Y., said Democrats wanted a “permanent MEMORIAL OF THE ELECTION” through an amnesty for illegal immigrants. This plan should “overthrow our current electorate and create a permanent liberal majority in Washington.”
Alex Degras, a senior adviser to Stefanica’s company, said Monday that she had “never advocated racist positions or made racist statements.” He criticized the “nasty and false messages” about her advertising.
Stefanic is the third-ranked leader of the Republican House of Representatives, replacing MP Liz Cheney, R-Vayo, who angered the party with her denunciations of Trump after the January 6 attack on the Capitol.
Cheney tweeted Monday that the Caucasus leadership “allowed white nationalism, white supremacy and anti-Semitism. History has taught us that what begins with words ends much worse. ”
The rhetoric of replacement theory has also swept through primary Republican campaigns.
Although Biden did not speak directly about the theory of substitution, his warnings about racism remain an integral part of his public speeches.
Three days before the Buffalo shooting at a Democratic rally in Chicago, Biden said, “I really think we’re still fighting for the soul of America.”