US President Joe Biden will blast the “hateful and perverse ideology” that motivated the deadly racially motivated mass shooting at a supermarket in a predominantly black neighbourhood of Buffalo, New York.
Biden arrived in the city on Tuesday morning at the start of a hastily arranged visit to the community, and immediately stopped at the site of the weekend rampage that left 10 dead and three injured. Eleven of the victims were black and two were white.
Payton Gendron, an 18-year old who lived 200 miles away and had embraced white supremacist conspiracy theories, has been charged with the murders.
After meeting families of the victims at a community centre, Biden was due to give remarks at 1pm local time.
“The president will call this despicable act for what it is: terrorism motivated by a hateful and perverse ideology that tears at the soul of our nation,” a White House official said.
“He’ll call on all Americans to give hate no safe harbour, and to reject the lies of racial animus that radicalise, divide us, and led to the act of racist violence we saw on Saturday that took the lives of 10 of our countrymen,” the official added.
While Biden is expected to squarely blame racist hatred for fuelling the attack, White House officials signalled that he would stop short of shaming particular individuals, including Republican lawmakers, for fomenting violence against minorities.
“The people who spread this filth, they know who they are and they should be ashamed of themselves, but I’m not going to give them or the noxious ideas they are pushing the attention that they desperately want,” Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary said.
Biden will also renew his calls for tougher gun control legislation, though the chances of a compromise on Capitol Hill are low on even the most modest restrictions on access to weapons, given staunch opposition from Republicans.
“President Biden will call on Congress to take action to keep weapons of war off our streets, and keep guns out of the hands of criminals and people who have a serious mental illness that makes them a danger to themselves or others,” the White House official said.