President Joe Biden on Tuesday condemned the poison of white supremacy and said the nation must “reject the lie” of “replacement theory” espoused by the shooter who killed 10 Black people in Buffalo.
Speaking to victims’ families, local officials, and first responders, Biden said America’s diversity is its strength, and warned that the nation must not be be distorted by a “hateful minority.”
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It was the deadliest in a dizzying series of racist shootings in the last few days. In Dallas, Texas a Black man was charged with a suspected hate crime after he shot three women at a Korean-owned hair salon. His girlfriend told authorities he had been admitted to health facilities because he was having delusions about Asian Americans.
And in California, a man of Chinese descent shot and killed one church parishioner and wounded others before being subdued because he allegedly hated Taiwanese people, police said.
“The American experiment in democracy is in danger like it hasn’t been in my lifetime,” Biden said. “It’s in danger this hour. Hate and fear being given too much oxygen by those who pretend to love America but who don’t understand America.”
He declared: “In America, evil will not win, I promise you. Hate will not prevail, white supremacy will not have the last word.”
Biden’s emotional remarks came after he and first lady Jill Biden paid their respects at a makeshift memorial of blossoms, candles, and messages of condolence outside the Tops supermarket, where on Saturday a young man armed with an assault rifle targeted Black people in the deadliest racist attack in the U.S. since Biden took office.
The White House has not said if Biden plans similar trips to California or Texas.
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Biden’s condemnation of white supremacy is a message he has delivered several times since he became the first president to specifically address it in an inaugural speech, calling it “domestic terrorism that we must confront.” However, such beliefs remain an entrenched threat at a time when his administration has been focused on addressing the pandemic, inflation, and the war in Ukraine.
In his remarks Tuesday, Biden paid tribute to each of the 10 people who lost their lives, describing them as model citizens, beacons of their community, and deeply committed to family.
The Associated Press contributed to this article