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Biden calls white supremacy 'a poison' and slams those who 'profit' off the racist great replacement theory during remarks in Buffalo

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President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden lay a wreath at the Tops grocery store in Buffalo, New York on May 17, 2022.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden lay a wreath at the Tops grocery store in Buffalo, New York on May 17, 2022.Nicholas Kamm / AFP via Getty Images
  • Biden called white supremacy a "poison" during remarks in Buffalo after a deadly weekend shooting.

  • The president also condemned those who "profit" from spreading great replacement theory.

  • Congressional Democrats have blamed Fox News and Republicans for the shooting. But Biden stopped short.

Speaking at an event in Buffalo following the fatal shooting of 10 people at a supermarket, President Joe Biden labeled white supremacy a "poison" and condemned those who spread the racist "great replacement theory."

Biden drew a link on Tuesday between other recent mass shootings, as well as the 2017 "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the shooting in Buffalo as being part of the same broad current within American politics.

"White supremacy is a poison. It's a poison," Biden declared, "running through our body politic, that's been allowed to fester and grow right in front of our eyes. No more.

The suspected shooter, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, was an avowed white nationalist who subscribed to a form of what's known as "great replacement theory," according to a compilation of messages written by someone who identified as Gendron. The great replacement theory posits that non-white immigrants are diluting the racial purity and cohesion of the country,

"I condemn those who spread the lie for power, political game and for profit," said Biden, without naming anyone person or entity in particular.

Versions of the theory have been promoted by Fox News' Tucker Carlson and Republican members of Congress, most notably House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York. Most frequently, arguments about replacement theory are framed in terms of voter power, with Republicans arguing that Democrats want to use immigration to dilute Republican votes.

"Radical Democrats are planning their most aggressive move yet: a PERMANENT ELECTION INSURRECTION," a September ad from Stefanik read. "Their plan to grant amnesty to 11 MILLION illegal immigrants will overthrow our current electorate and create a permanent liberal majority in Washington."

On Tuesday, House Democratic leaders condemned Stefanik by name at their weekly press conference, with House Democratic Caucus Chair Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York calling her an "unserious person" while arguing that "history is going to condemn her behavior."

And Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York slammed Fox News and Tucker Carlson for promoting the theory on Monday.

"The message is not always explicit, but we've all seen the pattern," Schumer said in a floor speech. "Every time MAGA Republicans or pundits vilify wrongly immigrants and call them 'invaders,' every time they falsely claim that millions of undocumented people cast ballots in our elections, every time loud, bigoted voices bemoan the disintegration of a 'classic America' the subtext is clear."

But Biden kept his remarks general.

"Hate and fear are being given too much oxygen by those who pretend to love America," said Biden. "Or don't understand America."

Read the original article on Business Insider