Spreading the Lie “for Power, Political Gain and for Profit”

I hope that if you haven’t already seen or heard it, you’ll watch President Biden’s significant speech to the Buffalo community mourning the deaths of ten of its members who were murdered at a grocery store by an 18-year-old white supremacist.

At times like these that are happening too often, the politicians who oppose Biden like to talk only about mental illness–even as they increasingly demonstrate their comfort with white supremacy.

In sharp, defining contrast, the President spoke about the “poison…running through our body politic.”

I’m including what struck me as the most important passages, which he preceded by the also important and comforting task of naming and briefly describing the ten people murdered and the three who were injured. The complete transcript can be found here.

What happened here is simple and straightforward: terrorism. Terrorism. Domestic terrorism. Violence inflicted in the service of hate and the vicious thirst for power that defines one group of people being inherently inferior to any other group. A hate that, through the media and politics, the internet, has radicalized angry, alienated and lost individuals into falsely believing that they will be replaced. That’s the word. Replaced by the other. By people who don’t look like them.

I and all of you reject the lie. I call on all Americans to reject the lie, and I condemn those who spread the lie for power, political gain and for profit.

The venom of the haters and their weapons of war, of violence in the words and deeds of the — that stalk our streets, our stores, our schools. This venom, this violence cannot be the story of our time. We cannot allow that to happen.

I’m not naïve. I know tragedy will come again. It cannot be forever overcome. It cannot be fully understood either. But there are certain things we can do. We can keep assault weapons off our streets. We’ve done it before. I did it when I passed the crime bill last time, and violence went down, shootings went down. We can’t prevent people from being radicalized to violence, but we can address the relentless exploitation of the internet to recruit and mobilize terrorism. We just need to have the courage to do that, to stand up.

Look, the American experiment in democracy is in a danger like it hasn’t been in my lifetime. It’s in danger this hour. Hate and fear are being given too much oxygen by those who pretend to love America, but who don’t understand America. To confront the ideology of hate requires caring about all people…

This is work that requires all of us. Presidents, politicians, commentators, citizens. None of us can stay on the sidelines. We have to resolve that here in Buffalo, that from the tragedy, this tragedy, will come hope and light and life. It has to.

And that on our watch, the sacred cause of America will never bow, never break, never bend. And the America we love, the one we love will endure. So to the families, from your pain, may we find purpose to live life worthy of the loved ones you lost.

This president has been vilified and written off for his alleged “failed presidency.” I continue to believe that his is the voice of compassion and conviction that we need in this deeply troubled and troubling time. I hope we’ll hear more about “those who spread the lie for power, political gain and for profit.”


36 thoughts on “Spreading the Lie “for Power, Political Gain and for Profit”

    1. Thank you for this valuable article, whungerford. Yes, those in the disloyal opposition want to elide vexing issues into one handy sound bite and evade their responsibilities. I haven’t even heard offerings of “thoughts and prayers” in connection with the Buffalo horror. It seems even hypocritical civility is no longer possible.


  1. i am not American. Where we live we know that it is the sheer volume of guns which is the problem. Unscrupulousness people are prepared to let people die rather than sacrifice money or power. The idea that mental health is the issue is just nonsense. I have lived in America and I loved it. I care very much about what happens to you all. It is horrifying to watch the carnage. Our leader had to stare down the gun lobby to ameliorate the situation here.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, and welcome! The majority of Americans, including gun owners, also know that guns are a huge part of the problem. Overcoming the hatred is very difficult, but diminishing the human toll is—as the President said—possible by banning assault weapons. Their only use is to kill as many people as possible in a very brief time.

      I greatly appreciate your concern. I work hard at believing we will get through these strange, unsettling times, which are not unknown to us historically—except for the attempted coup on Jan 6, 2021.


      1. It would perhapss take a movement, similar to the anti-Vietnam war movement to maybe initiate change.Almost every US leader has had their triumphs. For Reagan it was bringing down the Berlin Wall for Clinton for me, it was bringing peace to Northern Ireland. Even Bush played a role in fighting Aids in Africa. Obama it was healthcare.I realize Biden has the mammoth job of reuniting a traumatized country and yes in my view you were all abused. I watched it happen. America brought Germany back into the world after WW2 (and Japan come to that). America has the capacity to heal itself too. Do you know Germans were actually marched through former concentration camps. I am not saying that should be done today but cleverer people than I, know what needs to me done.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, they are, and as the survivors who can bear witness are dying, we must continue to keep these atrocities in our consciousness. I hadn’t heard about German citizens forced to visit the camps. Thank you for the link. We do need some dramatic ways to try to reach the haters and to keep the larger community alert to the dangers.

        I wrote about this topic. Perhaps you’d like to read the post.


        Liked by 1 person

      3. Quote DC from a commenter whose father appears to have been involved on that day April 16th, 1945,
        “Our dad was a Captain in the US 3rd Army, under Gen G Patton. He was a medic attached to the 18th Artillery Group. Since our dad was fluent in German, he was tasked with escorting the Mayor and the town officials through the camp. He even made them bury some of the dead. He asked them how could they allow this to be done to fellow human beings? Some of the answers were shocking and I will not go in to these details. I have never forgotten what our dad told us! They all insisted they did not know what was going on in the camp.”

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It’s important to point out that though some writers describing the replacement theory use the word “elites” as the group the white supremacists believe are “pulling the strings” to “end the white race,” the supremacists are clear that they mean Jews—“Jews will not replace us.”

        Thank you again for providing the historical reminder of where this hate has led. I’m grateful for your comments.


      5. I believe Biden has secured a place in history for his foreign policy by reinvigorating NATO and assisting Ukraine. What do you think?

        In terms of domestic policy, the extraordinary “Biden Boom” has been overshadowed by the complex issue of inflation, with so many factors, including corporate greed. I’ve written about how well the Biden administration has done economically. He’s accomplished a great deal so far. Although it seems difficult to imagine now because the opposition is so extreme, he certainly has the temperament to be a healer. I’m sure he’d like nothing more.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. That message is somehow from what I see, being quashed. From where I am sitting, it looks like Biden is going to have to do something quite quite outside the box to counter the way his message is being crushed. I for one am sick of it being implied that Biden is senile, Reagan made a joke about it when he had experienced similar issues during his presidency, “I am not going to exploit fotr political purposes ,my opponent’s youth and inexperience

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I agree; the message has been undermined and the man has been woefully maligned and under appreciated—including by a press that doesn’t do its homework and doesn’t act as though our democracy under attack needs more from them.

        I remember that Reagan remark. Mondale was a very good man but a poor candidate.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Gaslighters use “entraining” according to psychology professor Sam Vaknin, as “a way of co-ordinating brainwaves.” Apparently music stimulates “ancient areas of the brain.”


      9. Powerful! Speaks to me about dual problems of gang violence and police killings of unarmed Black people. But I worry also may feed into stereotypes employed by white supremacists.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Yes; it was a good strong speech that showed his passion, compassion, and fury. And this from the purportedly frail, demented man who had just stepped off the plane from Asia, where he is trying to keep the peace and shore up our regional allies who are concerned about China’s influence.


  2. Annie, thanks for your post. Biden is not perfect, but he gets a lot of flak from Republicans who are armed with a constant flow of disinformation and conspiracy parroting and the far left from Progressives who see him as not progressive enough. Biden has always been a moderate and won as such. His presidency is by no means failed, but there are things he could have done better. But, one thing he has done is return the presidency to more normalcy and has restored some relationships that have been in flux with the transactional and bullying nature of his predecessor. His speech was welcome to see and was a vastly different than the one his self-serving predecessor would have given. In addition to Biden’s speech, the words of Rep. Liz Cheney (a Republican) denigrating Republican leadership for its acquiescence to white supremacists. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I, for one, see him as someone who could be a transformational President if we could just give him larger majorities in the House and Senate. The ideas in the legislation brought moderates and progressives together and would have passed if Manchin and Sinema hadn’t failed their constituents and us all. It would have a huge impact in improving Americans’ lives. We already know that the EITC reduced child poverty substantially; it must be made permanent. Etc.

      As for comparing his speech with that of his predecessor, we already know what his predecessor said—and did—and does. He didn’t create the white supremacists, but he encouraged and enabled them to do his bidding and continues to spread his egomaniacal poison through them.

      Yes, Liz Cheney is a brave woman who is standing up for democracy. I just wish she could have supported voting rights, the linchpin of democracy.

      Thanks for your comment, Keith.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Major irony: The USA began when European settlers displaced native Americans—either by killing them or pushing them further and further west. That far too many Caucasians see themselves as the only “true” Americans—and people like Tucker Carlson, the previous president, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and other right-wing savants endorse this misconception—are major factors in the Buffalo murders and other tragedies.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. So many major ironies in this nation of immigrants. It is our history, wave after wave, sometimes with violence. Unfortunately, this time feels different. I know I don’t have to tell you, Gail, but we need a Democratic wave in the forthcoming elections to protect our embattled democracy and move it forward. We are the majority.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I very much agree, Annie! I saw the speech, and I thought it was a very good and powerful one. I also just read that the House passed a new bill to combat domestic terrorism, with little or no Republican votes. The Rs wouldn’t vote for anything that even hints at gun control. How many more people need to die, before more of the American public wakes up and rejects the Republicans and their refusal to act on the nation’s gun epidemic?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Wow I just heard Laurence O[Donnell launch a blistering attack on the real people behind this carnage, Sky News and it’s owner. About time they were called out, He called him the world’s most dangerous immigrant.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Late to this but am equally struck as are many of your commentators here that he’s doing the best he can with: the seriously misinformed who buy into crazy theories, the zealous purveyors of hate, a bunch of Republicans who pretend to be deaf, dumb, and blind, and the gun lobby people.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Denise. No time limit here; your comments are always welcome.

      Re: gun lobby people. I was infuriated to read Ashley Parker’s Washington Post piece on Biden, suggesting that he was somehow responsible for the failure to pass sensible gun legislation for a decade. Good grief! Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was murdered in Parkland and is an ardent gun control advocate, showed how outrageous this is, calling it an “intentional hit piece.”


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