Buffalo shooting: Biden rebukes 'poison' of white supremacy

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Buffalo shooting: Biden rebukes 'poison' of white supremacy
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden visit a memorial to the victims of Saturday's mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New YorkImage source,
Image caption,
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden visit a memorial to the victims of Saturday's mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York

US President Joe Biden has condemned white supremacy as "a poison running through our body politic" during a visit to Buffalo, New York.

Ten black people were killed at a supermarket in the city on Saturday in what is believed to be a racially motivated hate crime.

The suspect, 18, identified himself as a fascist and white nationalist in a document posted online.

Mr Biden on Tuesday said the young man belonged to "a hateful minority".

After meeting with families impacted by the shooting, he eulogised the victims for their "individual lives of love, service and community that speak to the bigger story of who we are as Americans".

"White supremacy will not have the last word," he said.

Local officials say the alleged attacker drove more than 320 km (200 miles) to deliberately seek out an area with a high black population. He would have continued to target other such areas if he had not been stopped, according to investigators.

In his so-called manifesto, he referenced "white genocide" and "white replacement" conspiracy theories to explain his resentment towards minority groups.

The president accused the shooter of giving into "a hateful, perverse ideology rooted in fear and racism".

"Hate and fear have been given too much oxygen by those who pretend to love America but don't understand America," Mr Biden said.

"I call on all Americans to reject the lie and I condemn those who spread the lie for power, political gain and profit. We cannot remain silent."

He also urged Congress to take more action on gun control.

Mr Biden was joined on Tuesday's trip by First Lady Jill Biden, New York's Democratic senators and other top officials.

Making mention of the deadly 2017 riot in Charlottesville, Virginia - the incident he claims persuaded him to run for president again - he warned that America's democracy was "in danger like it hasn't been in my lifetime".

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