Those are the words of President Joe Biden as he visited Buffalo, New York. He was there because of the mass shooting that happened at a grocery store on Saturday.
18-year-old Payton Gendron is accused of opening fire in a predominantly African-American neighborhood. He allegedly shot 13 people, killing 10.
“What happened here is simple and straightforward: Terrorism, terrorism, domestic terrorism,” President Biden said.
Reuters reports that President Biden said this after meeting with families of the victims as well as first responders: “White supremacy is a poison. It’s a poison – it really is – running through our body politic. We need to say as clearly and forcefully as we can that the ideology of white supremacy has no place in America. None.”
It’s easy to call it what it is. It’s much more difficult to do anything about it.
I’m of an age where I remember when the fight for civil rights was the lead story on the network newscast every night. Walter Cronkite on CBS.
I remember when my elementary school integrated. I was in sixth grade.
I also remember the day that African-American customers came into my dad’s drugstore in Paris, Texas. They sat at his soda fountain. The first time ever.
I was too young to remember much of it. My mom told me about it after I got older. She said he went over to them, shook their hands and said, “Welcome.”
For the time and place, that was a big deal. My dad lost business over it. For a time, anyway. They came back. Everyone loved my dad. A good man.
I remember that awful year of assassinations. 1968. Dr. Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy. As bad as things look today, 1968 was one of the worst years in our nation’s history. Racial discord. Protests against the war in Vietnam.
I just hope we are not headed back down that road. I wish we could learn from our past and work to make the world a better place for everyone. Apparently not.
President Biden was emotional in Buffalo. Powerful words. I’m going to trust in those words.
“Evil will not win. I promise you. Hate will not prevail and white supremacy will not have the last word.”