BUFFALO, NY (Fwrd Axis) — President Joe Biden met with the families of victims from Saturday’s mass shooting at a Buffalo grocery store, calling out the racism that officials say motivated the gunman.
Speaking at a local community center, Biden condemned the hate while pushing Americans to move past the hate, not allowing it to consume the country.
“In America, evil will not win, I promise you. Hate will not prevail, and white supremacy will not have the last word,” Biden said.
“What happened here is simple, straightforward terrorism,” he said. “Terrorism, domestic terrorism, violence inflicted in the service of hate and the vicious thirst for power that defines one group of people being inherently inferior to any other group.”
The President and First Lady met with victims’ families, law enforcement officials, first responders, and community leaders again comforting those who lost loved ones in a mass shooting.
“White supremacy is a poison. It’s a poison … running through our body politic,” Biden said.
And it’s been allowed to grow and fester right before our eyes,” he continued. “No more, no more. We need to say as clearly and as forcefully as we can that the ideology of White supremacy has no place in America. None.”
Biden read out the 10 names and descriptions of those killed, citing why they came to the store that day, becoming visibly emotional as he described how their families and their community remembered them. He pointed out Celestine Chaney was in the store to buy strawberries to make a shortcake.
“His son’s celebrating a birthday, asking, ‘Where’s daddy?’” the President said.
Biden called on Congress to pass an assault weapons ban, something he’s done before even taking office as President but knows he faces an uphill battle in the Senate.
“The media and politics, the internet, has radicalized angry, alienated, lost, and isolated individuals into falsely believing that they will be replaced,” he said. “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.”
“This venom, this violence cannot be the story of our time. We cannot allow that to happen,” he said. “Look, I’m not naive, I know tragedy will come again. It cannot be forever overcome, it cannot be fully understood either, but there are certain things we can do.”
Republicans and some media members such as Tucker Carlson have come under fire for promoting the far-right conspiracy theory that investigators say the gunman in Buffalo wrote about in a lengthy “manifesto”. Tuesday, the White House refused to name specific people but Biden did call on Americans to reject the notion.
“I call on all Americans to reject the lie, and I condemn those who spread the lie for power, political gain, and for profit,” Biden said.