Biden delivers moving speech after Buffalo shooting: ‘White supremacy is poison’


“White supremacy is a poison, it’s a poison … running through our body politic,” Biden said, adding that silence is “complicity.”

“And we let it grow and fester before our eyes. No more, no more. We need to say as clearly and forcefully as possible that white supremacist ideology has no place in America. . None.”

He added: “In America, evil will not win, I promise you. Hatred will not prevail. White supremacy will not have the last laugh. Evil has come to Buffalo and it has come to too many places. places, manifested by gunmen who slaughtered innocent people in the name of a hateful and evil ideology rooted in fear and racism. It took so much.”

Speaking at the end of his visit to the city, the president remembered each of the victims of the shooting at a grocery store frequented by a majority black clientele, becoming visibly emotional as he described how their families and community remembered their ‘they.

Among the victims, he described how Célestine Chaney was in the store to buy strawberries to make a shortcake, how Roberta Drury came home to help her brother who had a bone marrow transplant and was grocery shopping for dinner , and how Andre Mackniel “went to buy his 3-year-old son a birthday cake.”

After pausing, Biden said, “His son is celebrating a birthday and asks, ‘Where’s daddy?’”

The president said that at the root of the violence is hatred fomented by “the media and politics, the internet, has radicalized angry, alienated, lost and isolated individuals into falsely believing that they will be replaced … by the Other, by people who do not resemble them and who are, therefore, in the perverse ideology which they possess and (are) nourished, inferior beings.”

Biden said he rejects “the lie” of white supremacy and called on all Americans to do the same. And he condemned figures “who spread lies for power, political gain and profit”, but he did not name specific individuals.

The president also recalled the chant heard at a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlotteville, Virginia, where protesters were heard saying, “You won’t replace us.” The president has long said the rally served as the engine for his 2020 race.

Earlier Tuesday, the Bidens visited a memorial site for the victims, where the first lady laid a bouquet of flowers and the first couple bowed their heads in a moment of silence.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and other officials also added bouquets to the memorial site.

The president also addressed gun violence in America during his events in Buffalo – the nation has seen at least 198 mass shootings in 2022 alone according to Gun Violence Archive, which – like CNN – defines a mass shooting as four people or more downed, not counting the shooter.

Josh Geltzer, deputy homeland security adviser at the National Security Council, suggested on Tuesday that further executive action on guns may be forthcoming, but did not elaborate.

“We have a gun problem in this country,” Geltzer told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins on “New Day.” “This weekend brought that home, not just to Buffalo, but to other parts of the country. And so you’ll hear more from the president about how we’ll continue to use executive action where we can to try to protect Americans.”

Buffalo shooting investigated as hate crime

Saturday’s Buffalo massacre is the latest high-profile mass shooting in which authorities have said the suspect was motivated by hate, including attacks at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas; the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh; Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina; and the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

The 18-year-old suspected of opening fire at a Tops Friendly Markets store in a predominantly black neighborhood told authorities he was targeting the black community, according to an official familiar with the investigation. He traveled from another New York county a few hours away and live-streamed the attack on social media platform Twitch. He intended to continue his shooting and kill more black people, authorities said Monday.
Online posts reveal alleged shooter spent months planning racist attack at Buffalo supermarket

The suspect, Payton S. Gendron, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, and the district attorney said he expects to bring other charges. Gendron is being held without bail and under suicide watch. If found guilty, he faces a maximum of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The US Department of Justice is investigating the mass shooting “as a hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism,” according to a statement from US Attorney General Merrick Garland. The FBI is involved in the investigation.

A 180-page document attributed to the shooting suspect and posted online ahead of the attack outlines the alleged shooter’s motives and shows the meticulous planning that led to the massacre. CNN independently obtained the document shortly after the mass shooting – before authorities released the suspect’s name – and law enforcement sources told CNN his description of the weapons matched the weapons. used by the suspect.

CNN’s Donald Judd, Arlette Saenz, Nikki Carvajal, Victor Blackwell, Amanda Watts, Eric Levenson and Travis Caldwell contributed to this report.


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