President Joe Biden strongly denounced White supremacy during his speech in Buffalo, New York on May 17. “White supremacy is a poison, running through our body politic,” the 79-year-old politician said, which earned applause from the crowd. Biden was joined by his wife Jill Biden, 70, and delivered his remarks three days after ten people were killed in a racially-motivated shooting at local grocery store. The suspect, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, shot a total of thirteen people, eleven of whom were Black.
“White supremacy is a poison.”
US President Joe Biden is speaking in Buffalo following a mass shooting on Saturday, and says ‘we need to say as clearly as we can that the ideology of white supremacy has no place in America’.https://t.co/mZeFbm2fmP pic.twitter.com/94h3TdeXvc
— Sky News (@SkyNews) May 17, 2022
Biden continued in his speech, “And it’s [White supremacy] been allowed to grow and fester right before our eyes. No more, no more. We need to say as clearly and forcefully as we can that the ideology of White supremacy has no place in America. None.” Furthermore, Biden called on all Americans to “reject the lie” that White supremacy doesn’t exist. He added, “And I condemn those who spread the lie for power, political gain, and for profit. That’s what it is. We have now seen too many times the deadly and destructive violence this ideology and unleashes.”
The president also got choked up when he spoke about the ten victims, who ranged in age from 20 to 86 and mostly all lived in Buffalo. He specifically got emotional about Andre Mackniel, 53, who was buying his 3-year-old son a birthday cake when he was shot and killed. “His son’s celebrating a birthday, asking, ‘Where’s daddy?’ ” Biden said.
Before his speech, the president and the first lady stopped by the memorial site for the victims. They left a bouquet of flowers and bowed their heads during a moment of silence, according to CNN. Biden initially addressed the Buffalo shooting in a statement shared by the White House, referring to the tragedy as an “act of domestic terrorism.” “Hate must have no safe harbor,” he said. “We must do everything in our power to end hate-fueled domestic terrorism.”
Three out of the thirteen people shot at Tops Friendly Market are still alive. Two people remain hospitalized, while one wounded victim was discharged from a local hospital. Gendron was arraigned on a first-degree murder charge hours after the incident.