President Joe Biden is in Buffalo on Tuesday following the racist mass shooting that killed 10 people and wounded three. Biden and Dr. Jill Biden visited the memorial to the victims and will meet with families before he speaks at 1 PM ET.
“What we want to do is make sure that we send a very clear message that hate must have no safe harbor, and we must do everything in our power to end hate-fueled domestic terrorism,” new White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters. “And we must reject hatred and extreme ideologies that seek to divide America wherever we find it in society.” While Jean-Pierre said Biden would “call out” racism, she did not signal how forcefully he would address the white supremacist ideology of the alleged shooter and major figures like Tucker Carlson who have promoted the “great replacement” theory the shooter embraced.
RELATED STORY: Buffalo supermarket mass shooting was spurred by racist theory regularly aired on Fox News
Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, said that if Biden cannot deliver legislative victories on racial justices issues, “the president has other tools at his disposal. That is the bully pulpit and moral power of the presidency, and that’s what we’re encouraging Joe Biden to use.”
In the wake of the shooting, Fox News has largely ignored the shooter’s stated reason for the killing: the white supremacist “great replacement” theory, which holds that white people are being replaced by non-white immigrants to change the composition of the country.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson is currently one of the most visible promoters of the claim, with a specific version in which Democrats are bringing in immigrants to shift the electoral balance in the country. Carlson regularly offers up takes like, “In order to win and maintain power, Democrats plan to change the population of the country,” and, “As with illegal immigration, the long-term agenda of refugee resettlement is to bring in future Democratic voters.” But on Monday night, following the shooting, this was his take on the alleged shooter’s explicitly racist, “great replacement”-fueled manifesto: To Carlson, it was “not recognizably left wing or right-wing: it’s not really political at all.”
That’s a conspicuously weak attempt from Carlson. He did, of course, also attack “professional Democrats” who have “begun a campaign to blame those murders on their political opponents.” Because if the shooter didn’t express recognizably right-wing positions to justify his mass murder, then it’s really unfair to blame Carlson, isn’t it? Except, of course, the shooter directly echoed Carlson, among other “great replacement” proponents and white supremacists.
Carlson isn’t alone among Republicans promoting the very same ideas in the shooter’s (heavily plagiarized) manifesto. Rep. Elise Stefanik, the third-ranking House Republican, has echoed Carlson’s claims with Facebook ads warning of “Radical Democrats” with a “plan to grant amnesty to 11 MILLION illegal immigrants will overthrow our current electorate and create a permanent liberal majority in Washington.” She’s just one of the Republican lawmakers promoting a version of the great replacement theory in an effort to terrify white people into turning out and voting Republican.
President Biden could point to plenty of very specific ties between the ideas that motivated the Buffalo shooting and prominent Republicans. It’s time for him to go beyond calling out the general subject of racism and white supremacy and name names.
Buffalo shooter's manifesto highlights the tight linkage between racism and antisemitism
Buffalo shooting only the latest attack in the radical right’s insurgent war on American democracy
Rep. Elise Stefanik promoted 'great replacement' conspiracy cited by Buffalo terrorist