US President Joe Biden said Monday it is time for all Americans to speak up because "diversity is being attacked" after a white man fatally shot three Black people over the weekend at a store in Florida.
“Now is the time for all Americans to speak up when history’s being erased, books are being banned. Did you ever think we’d have this conversation here, at this time?” Biden said at the White House while addressing a reception to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a civil rights organization founded in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy.
“Diversity’s being attacked," Biden continued, "As I said earlier, we're one of the most diverse countries in the history of the world. Diversity is a strength of our nation, a cornerstone of our democracy."
He called on people to "protect that essential truth.”
"Hate will not prevail in America," he said. “Hate never dies, it just hides. It hides under the rocks.”
“Silence is complicity. And we're not going to remain silent.”
Biden's remarks came after three Black people were shot dead Saturday at a Dollar General store on Kings Road in Jacksonville, Florida by a masked white man in a racially motivated attack, according to local officials.
The shooter used an AR-style rifle emblazoned with swastikas, a symbol of hate since World War Two which is associated with the Holocaust and crimes committed especially against Jewish people, officials said about the attack, which took place in a predominately African-American neighborhood.
The gunman, who later killed himself, left racist writings and "hated Black people," Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said at a news conference, calling the attack “racially motivated.”