Biden says white supremacy is a ‘poison’ coursing through the U.S.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden visit the scene of a racist mass shooting at a Tops supermarket to pay respects and speak to families of the victims in Buffalo, N.Y., Tuesday, May 17, 2022. | Andrew Harnik / AP

BUFFALO, N.Y.—President Joe Biden appealed to the people of the U.S. to “take on the haters” and to trash entirely the white supremacist “Great Replacement Theory” that clearly motivated the young white man who gunned down Black people going about the business of Saturday shopping here in one of the worst massacres of people of color in recent history.

Biden did much more than just meet with and comfort the families of the victims. He called white supremacy a “poison coursing through America,” and he condemned political and media figures he said were openly promoting the Great Replacement Theory and influencing people who commit mass murders like the one in Buffalo last Saturday.

The Republican Party and media figures like Tucker Carlson were clearly the target of the president’s remarks. They have been promoting, for conservative political gain, the conspiracy theory that Jews, Democrats, and others are executing an organized plot to replace the white majority in the U.S. with immigrants and people of color.

In the primary elections, almost all the GOP candidates across the country have been promoting racism to propel themselves into public office. The implications for the 2022 elections are clear: Unless Republicans up and down the line are defeated, the country will be in some of the deepest trouble in its history.

“What happened here is simple and straightforward: Terrorism. Terrorism. Domestic Terrorism,” Biden said to the grieving crowd gathered in Buffalo. “Violence inflicted in the service of hate and the vicious thirst for power that defines one group of people being inherently inferior to any other group, a hate that through the media and politics, the internet, has radicalized angry, alienated, lost, and isolated individuals into falsely believing they will be replaced.”

While he did not call them out by name, he was clearly talking about Republican Party candidates and leaders across the country and Carlson, the notoriously racist Fox News host.

Last year on his show, Carlson said, “I know that the left and all the gatekeepers on Twitter become literally hysterical if you use the term ‘replacement,’ if you suggest the Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate, the voters now casting ballots, with new people, more obedient voters from the Third World…. But that’s what’s happening.”

The Republicans have used and stirred up racism to gain political power, and when they get that power, people of color are joined by the white working class as victims of the political and economic policies they impose.

House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik was criticized last year for an advertisement that claimed “radical Democrats” planned a “permanent election insurrection” by granting amnesty to undocumented immigrants who would create a permanent liberal majority in Washington.

Biden’s speech was a radical and welcome departure from speeches given by the former president, Republican Donald Trump, who said that among the neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville in 2017 there were “some very good people.”

Carlson on his show earlier this week rejected the criticism he’s received for pushing replacement theory and called it “a plot by the establishment to muzzle any criticism.” He directed his remarks at the Majority Leader of the Senate, Democrat Chuck Schumer, who called Carlson out by name after the president’s speech.

Biden spoke out a second time Tuesday and linked the mass killings to what he said was a fight to save democracy. “Look, the American experiment in democracy is in danger like it hasn’t been in my lifetime. It’s in danger this hour. Hate and fear are being given too much oxygen by those who pretend to love America, but who don’t understand America. In America, evil will not win,” he said. “I promise you. Hate will not prevail and white supremacy will not have the last word.”

Many African American residents of Buffalo want more than speeches, however, and are saying they want real protection and the economic and political action that can lift up their communities.

What is the right-wing’s racist “replacement” theory?

Read more here: ‘Great Replacement Theory’: The Buffalo shooter’s white supremacist ideology


John Wojcik
John Wojcik

John Wojcik is Editor-in-Chief of People's World. He joined the staff as Labor Editor in May 2007 after working as a union meat cutter in northern New Jersey. There, he served as a shop steward and a member of a UFCW contract negotiating committee. In the 1970s and '80s, he was a political action reporter for the Daily World, this newspaper's predecessor, and was active in electoral politics in Brooklyn, New York.