Biden: Mass shooting in Buffalo 'domestic terrorism'
US President Joe Biden decries the mass shooting carried out in Buffalo, New York, on May 15 by a white supremacist who was driven by nothing but racism and hatred.
US President Joe Biden called out on Tuesday what he identified as the "poison" of white supremacist ideology behind the deadly mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, and noted that racism is being stoked for political benefit.
After a white teen was accused of killing 10 African Americans in a neighborhood supermarket, Biden commented, "What happened here is simple and straightforward terrorism. Domestic terrorism."
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"White supremacy is a poison running through our body politic and it's been allowed to fester right in front of our eyes," Biden added, denouncing "those who spread the lie for power, for political gain and for profit."
Biden's scorching speech also called for restrictions on owning assault-style rifles, and his harshest comments were aimed at what he called the "perverse ideology" of white supremacists that police say roused the shooter.
The alleged mass killer referred in a manifesto to the so-called "replacement theory, which claims a leftist plot exists to overwhelm the white population with non-white immigrants.
Biden commented, "A hate that through the media and politics (and) 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.'"
"No more. I mean no more. We need to say as clearly and forcefully as we can that the ideology of white supremacy has no place in America," he added.
According to social media posts linked to the suspect, Payton Gendron, the 18-year-old who murdered 13 people at a New York grocery store planned the shooting for months and scouted out the store beforehand.
Payton Gendron, 18, went to Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo three times on March 8 and wrote afterward about his desire to murder, according to posts he is thought to have made on Discord and 4chan, both popular with radicals.
A groundbreaking fact about the shooting is that it was carried out by a neo-Nazi white supremacist, who had published a fascist manifesto using the "black sun" Nazi symbol. The insignia is used by the Ukrainian neo-Nazi Azov Battalion.
The White House has firmly refused to accept those who directly blame Carlson and several prominent Republicans for promoting the theory and bearing responsibility for violent white supremacist attacks.
However, the president's strong comments in Buffalo left some doubt that he was referring not only to the actual shooter but also to the loud voices spreading the ideology.
"Democracy is in a danger like it hasn't been in my lifetime," he said. "Hate and fear have been given too much oxygen by those who pretend to love America. They don't understand America."
"Now's the time for people of all races, of every background, to speak up as a majority of America and reject white supremacy," he added. "We can't allow them to destroy the soul of the nation."