President Joe Biden traveled to Buffalo Tuesday to grieve with residents of the city, after 10 people were killed over the weekend in an anti-Black racist attack.
During a speech at Buffalo’s Delavan Grider Community Center, Biden recalled the names of the 10 victims and who they were to their community. Biden said evil came to Buffalo through a hateful individual, just as it has recently in cities such as Charleston, Pittsburgh and El Paso.
He added Americans cannot remain silent about the dangers of white supremacy and racism, and how people have been radicalized through politics and social media.
“White supremacy is a poison, running through our body politic,” Biden asserted. “And it’s been allowed to fester and grow right in front of our eyes. We need to say as clearly and forcefully as we can that the ideology of white supremacy has no place in America.”
The gunman, an 18-year-old white man, is believed to have been motivated by white-supremacist ideology. He’s alleged to have posted online about the “Great Replacement theory,” a conspiracy theory alleging nonwhite people are immigrating to the United States and other Western countries specifically to diminish the influence of white people.
Gov. Kathy Hochul, who is from Buffalo, said hearts are broken in the city after the loss and attack, but emphasized she hopes the tragedy can be a national call to action to eradicate white supremacy.
“He targeted this community, intentionally coming to this ZIP code because he could do maximum damage and death to people,” Hochul stated. “Not just any New Yorkers, but he was targeting and wanted to execute Black New Yorkers.”
The shooter was able to legally purchase a gun in Pennsylvania in December despite previously having undergone a mental-health evaluation. During his remarks, Biden acknowledged there is very little he can do when it comes to executive action on gun reform, and stressed it is up to him to convince Congress to pass legislation.
Photo Caption: “We have to refuse to live in a country where Black people going about weekly grocery shopping can be gunned down by weapons of war deployed in a racist cause,” President Joe Biden said during a speech in Buffalo on Tuesday May 17, 2022. Photo Credit: Maria Lysenko / Unsplash