Biden to host ‘unity’ summit against hate-fueled violence

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President Joe Biden will host a White House summit next month to combat a wave of hate-fueled violence in the United States as he works to fulfill his campaign promise to “heal the soul of America.” the nation”. .”

The White House announced Friday that Biden will host the United We Stand summit on September 15, highlighting the “corrosive effects” of violence on public safety and democracy. Advocates pressed Biden to hold the event after 10 black people were killed in a Buffalo, New York, supermarket in May, also aiming to address a succession of hate-fueled violence in cities like El Paso, Texas, Pittsburgh, and Oak Creek, Wisconsin. .

“As President Biden said in Buffalo after the horrific mass shooting earlier this year, in the battle for the soul of our nation, we must all enlist in this great American cause,” said press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. it’s a statement. “The United We Stand Summit will present an important opportunity for Americans of all races, religions, regions, political affiliations and walks of life to take up that cause together.”

Biden will deliver a keynote address at the meeting, which the White House says will include civil rights groups, religious leaders, business executives, law enforcement, gun violence prevention advocates, former members of violent hate groups, victims of extremist violence and cultural figures. . The White House emphasized that it also intends to bring together Democrats and Republicans, as well as political leaders at the federal, state and local levels to unite against hate violence.

Biden, a Democrat, has frequently cited the 2017 white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, bringing him out of political retirement to challenge then-President Donald Trump in 2020. He promised during that campaign to work to bridge political and social divides and promote national unity, but fulfilling that cause remains a work in progress.

Sindy Benavides, executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, said the genesis of the summit came after the Buffalo massacre, as her organization along with the Anti-Defamation League, the National Action Network and other groups wanted to put pressure on the Biden administration to more directly address extremist threats.

“As civil rights organizations, social justice organizations, we fight against this every day, and we wanted to make sure that we recognized that the government must take a leadership role in addressing right-wing extremism,” he said.

The White House did not describe the lineup of speakers or participants, saying it would move closer to the event. It also would not preview any specific policy announcements by Biden. The officials noted that Biden last year signed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act and launched the nation’s first National Strategy to Counter Domestic Terrorism.

Benavides said Biden hosting the summit would help move the country to address threats of hate-inspired violence, but also said he hoped the summit would yield “long-term solutions.”

“What’s important to us is addressing mental health, gun control reform, addressing misinformation, misinformation and misinformation,” he said. “We want lawmakers to focus on common sense solutions so we don’t see this kind of violence in our communities. And we want to see the implementation of policies that reduce violence.”


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