President Joe Biden joined a host of prominent Democrats and media talking heads in laying at least a portion of the blame for fueling the hatred behind last weekend’s mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, at the feet of anyone who amplified the “Great Replacement Theory.”
Biden took a few questions from reporters on Tuesday as he traveled to Buffalo to meet with members of the community still reeling from the shooting that left ten dead — and he addressed the suspect’s claims, published in a lengthy racism-fueled diatribe, that white Americans were being “replaced” by minorities.
Pres. Biden asked if Tucker Carlson 'deserves some blame' for Buffalo mass shooting: "I believe anybody who echoes replacement theory is to blame – not for this particular crime – but it's for no purpose, no purpose except profit and/or political benefit. And it's wrong." pic.twitter.com/2XoTD7e32v
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) May 17, 2022
“I believe anybody who echoes replacement theory is to blame — not for this particular crime — but it’s for no purpose, no purpose except profit and/or political benefit. And it’s wrong,” Biden said.
He made similar remarks to a crowd in Buffalo, calling the shooting “domestic terrorism” that was rooted in hate.
“A hate that through the media and politics, the internet has radicalized angry, alienated, lost and isolated individuals into falsely believing that they will be replaced,” Biden said, explaining the basic idea behind the Great Replacement theory. “That’s the word, replaced by the other. By people who don’t look like them. And who are therefore, in a perverse ideology that they possess and being fed, lesser beings.”
“I know all of you reject the lie, I call on all Americans to reject the lie. And I condemn all of those who spread the lie for power, political gain, and for profit,” he continued, tying the narrative to Charlottesville, Virginia, and noting that was what had made him decide to run for president.
“That’s what it is, we have now seen too many times the deadly and destructive violence this ideology has. We heard the chants, ‘You will not replace us,’ in Charlottesville, Virginia. … When I saw those people coming out of the woods in Virginia and Charlottesville carrying torches. Accompanied by white supremacists and carrying Nazi banners. I said, ‘no.’”
Biden’s comments came on the heels of Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s remarks on the Senate floor, during which he argued that Tucker Carlson and Fox News were responsible for spreading Replacement Theory to a wider audience and potentially to more people who would use it to justify acts of violence.
“It’s a message that has ALSO found a special home in several right-wing outlets, and on one cable news channel in particular: Fox News,” Schumer said. “In a craven quest for viewers and ratings, organizations like Fox News have spent years perfecting the craft of stoking cultural grievance and political resentment that eerily mirrors the messages found in replacement theory.”
“According to one measure by the New York Times, Fox’s top political pundit, — most widely watched — Tucker Carlson, has spewed rhetoric that echoes replacement theory at least 400 times on his show since 2016,” Schumer continued, arguing that a responsible network would not allow that to continue.
Schumer also sent a letter directly to Fox News on Tuesday, urging the network to “immediately cease the reckless amplification of the so-called ‘Great Replacement Theory'” in future broadcasts.
Schumer letter to the Murdochs and Fox execs: "I write to urge you to immediately cease the reckless amplification of the so-called 'Great Replacement theory' on your network's broadcasts" pic.twitter.com/ykeIa8Be3o
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 17, 2022