Our Statement on the Buffalo Shooting
The senseless shooting in Buffalo was committed with the explicit intent of harming Black people, which it did. A White gunman killed ten people and injured three others, specifically because they were Black. The shooter targeted a predominantly Black community to carry out this violence. He did not mince words about his motivation and the intent was clear. He even cited the source material that radicalized him — a racist conspiracy theory that he was able to access easily through online message boards as a minor.
We can no longer minimize that the greatest domestic threat we are facing is radicalized White men. The perpetrator of this heinous crime was flagged in high school for being a threat to his community because of his extremist views, and yet nobody interceded on behalf of the 13 victims who were mortally harmed by him on Saturday. There was both warning and time, and yet very little was done to protect the Black community in Buffalo from a known domestic terrorist.
In the wake of this, one pervasive question must be asked: why is it easier in our country to access racist conspiracy theories than anti-racist teaching and training? Why is there less regulation on the content that radicalizes youth and inspires them to murder others than the education that would stop it? And above all else, why do we continue to ignore this clear and pervasive threat?
Right now, states across the country are making it harder for trained, qualified professionals to counter these incredibly dangerous racist and sexist narratives in schools — and yet, youth in our country can access a wide range of hate messages through a simple google search. Very little is being said or done on the policy level to mandate that, and instead, policymakers are focusing their efforts on banning books, blocking critical race theory, and making these crucial conversations impossible for educators. As an explicitly anti-racist organization that concentrates on training others to create a more empathetic and equitable society, we will not stand by silently as this occurs.
White men are killing people of color consistently and our leaders aren’t doing enough to stop it. If you are able, call on your policymakers and hold them to account. Ask them what is being done to address this in their offices. Make it clear that this is a domestic threat and the attack on anti-racist education is an attack on people of color that may cost them their lives. These thirteen people deserved better:
- Aaron Salter, 55
- Ruth Whitfield, 86
- Pearly Young, 77
- Katherine Massey, 72
- Deacon Heyward Patterson, 67
- Celestine Chaney, 65
- Roberta A. Drury, 32
- Margus D. Morrison, 52
- Andre Mackneil, 53
- Geraldine Talley, 62
- Zaire Goodman, 20
- Jennifer Warrington, 50
- Christopher Braden, 55
In response to this senseless crime, we want to continue offering the anti-racist toolkit for our community to use in your spaces of influence. We will fight to uplift the work we do as a direct resistance to events like this. We wish both peace and swift justice for the Buffalo Black community.