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'We Need to Unite': President Biden Visits Site of Buffalo Mass Shooting

A person pauses outside the scene of a shooting at a supermarket, in Buffalo, N.Y., Sunday, May 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
A person pauses outside the scene of a shooting at a supermarket, in Buffalo, N.Y., Sunday, May 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

President Biden and the First Lady denounced white supremacy on the national stage after visiting Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, where 10 black Americans were targeted, shot, and killed over the weekend.

"We are the most multi-racial, dynamic nation in the world," said President Biden. "Now is the time for people of all races and every background to speak up as a majority in America and reject White Supremacy." 

Biden is calling Saturday's mass shooting an act of domestic terrorism motivated by racism. 

The Biden's laid flowers at a nearby memorial mourned with the victims' families and renewed his support to get assault rifles off the streets. 

An emotional speech that followed his trip to New York was a rally cry for Americans to stop hate in its tracks.

"Life and liberty are universal gifts from God, you don't get those from the government – they're gifts," said the president.

The FBI is investigating Saturday's attack as a hate crime. 

New information says the alleged gunman, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, spent months planning the attack. A nearly 600-page document indicates that Gendron did reconnaissance on the market, drawing detailed sketches of the inside with plans to attack multiple other targets. 

Dr. Donell Harvin, former chief of Homeland Security and Intelligence for Washington D.C., believes the suspect was radicalized in a very short time by racist ideologies on the internet. 

"Social media is the problem, and we need to have a serious conversation about its content," said Dr. Donell. "Over the course of two years, Gendron was radicalized and able to get all this content as a minor online. It's not like he's a 30 to 40-year-old with a life-long history of hard times and bad encounters. And if this can happen to a 16-year-old over the course of two years, that does not bode well for our country." 

Investigators say Gendron posted a racist manifesto online prior to the shooting, repeatedly citing the "Great Replacement," also known as the replacement theory.

Dr. Harvin says the theory is racially motivated and refers to using violence against people of color. It claims that white people are being replaced by minority populations through immigration, interracial marriage, and violence.

"There are individuals who are not only profiting but deliberately trying to divide America," explained Harvin. "There are hate groups called 'accelerationists,' all they want to do is cause a civil war. This feeds into the narrative that we've seen, where black nationalist groups on the left and hate groups on the left have armed themselves for what they see as an impending civil war." 

Former Dallas Police Sergeant Tre Pennie says if unchecked, there will be more targeted shootings in the future. 

"As we have seen with the liberal and progressive side, all the 'Black Lives Matter,' black nationalist ideology – that does not belong in the public space and does not represent the political interest of this country. We need to be in front of America and explain how we need to unite because we are the United States of America."

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