US President Joe Biden will denounce on Tuesday in Buffalo the racism that claimed the lives of ten African-Americans, during "a horrific and senseless mass killing" that aroused emotion in the country, and warn against an ideology which, according to him, taints "the soul of America".
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The trip to the city in far northern New York state was hastily arranged ahead of the president's scheduled departure on Thursday for a major diplomatic tour of South Korea and Japan. “He wants to share (the) mourning” of the families and “bring comfort”, said his spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre on Monday.
Accompanied by his wife Jill Biden, the 79-year-old Democrat will meet with survivors of Saturday's slaying and then deliver a speech naming the massacre "for what it is: terrorism driven by a hateful and evil ideology, an ideology that tears the soul of our country,” according to a White House official.
"He will call on Americans to leave no shelter for hatred and to reject the lies of racial animosity that radicalize, divide us and lead to the act of racist violence that we have seen," the official continued.
"We must work together to fight the hatred that remains a stain on America's soul," Biden said on Sunday.
The country of 330 million people is plagued by racial hatred and the daily scourge of gun violence. It also suffers from cultural divisions, which transform the slightest meeting of parents of students into a battlefield, and ideological, such as the question of abortion, which has just been reopened.
Many executive and legislative initiatives for years to legislate on weapons have failed, the NRA lobby remaining very influential in the United States.
The organization Gun Violence Archive has already counted more than 200 "mass shootings" this year, during which at least four people were injured or killed.
On Saturday, a white man with an assault rifle killed 10 African-American people in a Buffalo supermarket, "a racially motivated hate crime" according to authorities.
The alleged murderer, Payton Gendron, 18, carried a camera and broadcast his crime on Twitch even though the platform claimed to have deleted the content “two minutes” after it began to be broadcast.
Prior to the massacre, he published a 180-page racist 'manifesto', which media reports associate him with white supremacists and far-right conspiracy theorists, 'great replacement' theories.
"This individual came with the goal of killing as many black people as possible," said Buffalo's African-American mayor, Byron Brown.
Joe Biden had decided to start the race for the White House after seeing the ultra-right parading in August 2017 in Charlottesville (Virginia, south). A young woman was killed after a neo-Nazi sympathizer drove into a group of anti-racist protesters.
Since his election, he invokes the “soul” of an America which would be, in essence, united but lacks levers when it is necessary to take action.
On paper, his party controls Congress, at least until the November legislative elections, but the Democratic majority is too thin for major reforms.
Joe Biden is also struggling to defend, as he promised, the African-American community or other minorities, in a country which has experienced several racist killings: Buffalo, El Paso in 2019 (23 dead including a majority people of Hispanic origin), Charleston in 2015 (nine African Americans killed in a church), Pittsburgh (11 deaths in a synagogue in 2018), or Atlanta (eight people including six women of Asian origin in 2021).
The president appointed a government team representing all minorities and pushed to Supreme Court Ketanji Brown Jackson, the institution's first black woman.
At the end of March, he also signed a law making lynching a federal crime, adopted after more than a century of failed attempts.
But he failed to pass federal legislation protecting access to the ballot box for minorities, threatened in the southern states at the hands of the Republicans.
He recently hardened his rhetoric against Republicans won over to the ideas of ex-President Donald Trump.