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Buffalo Shooting: Biden, First Lady, meets with families of victims of supermarket shootings

BUFFALO — President Joe Biden on Tuesday condemned the poison of white supremacy, saying the nation must reject “the lie” of the racist “surrogate theory” espoused by the gunman who murdered 10 black Americans in Buffalo.

Speaking to victims’ families, local officials and first responders, Biden said America’s diversity is its strength and the nation must not be distorted by a “hateful minority.”

“Evil won’t win in America, I promise you,” Biden said. “Hate will not prevail, white supremacy will not have the last word.”

Biden was speaking after he and First Lady Jill Biden paid their respects Tuesday at a makeshift memorial made of flowers, candles and expressions of condolences outside Tops supermarket where on Saturday a young man armed with an assault rifle was killed in the deadliest racist Attack on Blacks has been aimed at the US since Biden took office.

In Buffalo, the President once again faced the forces of hate that he frequently says called him back to the White House.

Buffalo shooting victims include regular shoppers and retired police officers who saved lives during the attack

“Jill and I have come to stand by you and to the families, we have come to grieve with you,” Biden said. He added, “Now is the time for people of all races, from all backgrounds, to speak up as a majority and as Americans and to reject white supremacy.”

Replacement theory can be described as a racist ideology that has moved into the mainstream from white nationalist circles, positing that white people and their influence are being intentionally “replaced” by people of color.

Biden’s condemnation of white supremacy is a message he has conveyed several times since he became the first president to specifically address white supremacy in an inaugural address, calling it “domestic terrorism that we must confront.” But such beliefs remain an entrenched threat at a time when his government has focused on fighting the pandemic, inflation and war in Ukraine.

The White House said the President and First Lady would “mourn with the community that lost ten lives in a senseless and horrific mass shooting.” Three other people were injured. Almost all of the victims were black, including all of the dead.

Retired cop who confronted shooter in Buffalo shooting hailed as hero: ‘He went down fighting’

On Monday, Biden paid 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 the shooter, only to be killed himself.

Upon arrival in Buffalo, the President and the two Senators from New York were greeted by Governor Kathy Hochul, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, and local police and fire officials.

The shooter’s hateful writings were reminiscent of those of the white supremacists marching with torches in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, a scene Biden said inspired his decision to run against President Donald Trump in 2020 and propelled him to to join what he calls the “struggle for the soul of America.”

“It’s important to him to come out and offer his condolences to the families and community,” said NAACP President Derrick Johnson. “But we’re more concerned with preventing that from happening in the future.”

It’s unclear how Biden will attempt that. Proposals for new gun restrictions were routinely blocked by Republicans, and racist rhetoric circulating on the fringes of national politics grew louder.

Payton Gendron, 18, was arrested at the supermarket and charged with murder. He has pleaded not guilty.

Before the shooting, Gendron is said to have posted a screed online that was brimming with racism and anti-Semitism. The document’s author described himself as a supporter of Dylann Roof, who killed nine black parishioners at a church in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015, and Brenton Tarrant, who targeted mosques in New Zealand in 2019.

Investigators are investigating Gendron’s connection to the so-called “Great Replacement” theory, which baselessly claims that whites are being deliberately overrun by other races through immigration or higher birth rates.

What is the white replacement theory? Faith fuels racist attacks

The claims are often intertwined with anti-Semitism, with Jews being identified as the culprit. During the 2017 Unite the Right march in Charlottesville, white supremacists chanted “Jews will not replace us.”

“Many of these dark voices still exist today,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Monday. “And the President, as then, is determined … to make sure we stand up to these forces of hate, evil and violence.”

In the years since Charlottesville, replacement theory has moved from the edge of the internet to mainstream right-wing politics. According to a December poll by The Associated Press and the NORC Center, a third of US adults believe there is “a group of people in this country who are trying to replace Native Americans with immigrants who are consistent with their political views “. for public affairs research.

Tucker Carlson, the prominent Fox News anchor, accuses the Democrats of orchestrating mass migration to consolidate their power.

“The land is being stolen from American citizens,” he said on Aug. 23, 2021. He repeated the same theme a month later, saying that “this policy is called the great replacement, the replacement of old Americans with more obedient people from distant countries.” .”

Carlson’s show routinely gets the highest ratings on cable news, and he responded to Monday night’s excitement by accusing the Liberals of silencing their opponents.

“So because a mentally ill teenager has murdered strangers, you can’t express your political beliefs out loud,” he said.

His comment reflects how this conspiratorial view of immigration has spread throughout the Republican Party ahead of this year’s midterm elections that will determine control of Congress.

Facebook ads released last year by Rep. Elise Stefanik, RN.Y.’s campaign committee, said Democrats want a “PERMANENT ELECTION riot” by granting amnesty to illegal immigrants. The plan would “overthrow our current electorate and establish a lasting liberal majority in Washington.”

Alex DeGrasse, a senior adviser to Stefanik’s campaign, said Monday she “never took a racist position or made a racist statement.” He criticized “nauseating and false reporting” about their ads.

Stefanik is the third-ranking leader of the Republican faction in the House of Representatives, replacing Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., who angered the party with her denunciations of Trump after the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

Cheney said in a tweet Monday that the leadership of the caucus “enabled white nationalism, white supremacy and anti-Semitism. History has taught us that what begins with words ends far worse.”

Replacement theory rhetoric has also spread through the Republican primary campaigns.

Though Biden hasn’t spoken directly about the replacement theory, his warnings about racism remain a staple of his public speaking engagements.

Three days before the Buffalo shooting, Biden said at a Democratic fundraiser in Chicago, “I truly believe we’re still fighting for the soul of America.”

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Associated Press writer Karen Matthews in New York contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

https://abc13.com/buffalo-shooting-payton-gendron-president-biden-tops-supermarket/11860453/ Buffalo Shooting: Biden, First Lady, meets with families of victims of supermarket shootings

Dais Johnston

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