Statement - Buffalo NY Mass Shooting
National Black Caucus on the Mass Murders in Buffalo, NY, May 19, 2022
On Saturday, May 14, 2022, ten Black people were murdered in cold blood by a White child in Buffalo, NY as they were just going about their daily business in a local supermarket.
The victims were: Celestine Chaney, Roberta Drury, Andre Mackneil, Katherine Massey, Margus Morrison, Heyward Patterson, Aaron Salter, Geraldine Talley, Ruth Whitfield, and Pearl Young.
Their murderer published a manifesto in which he stated that “Why did you target those people? They are an obvious, visible, and large group of replacers. From a culture with higher fertility rates and strong, robust traditions that seek to occupy my peoples lands and ethnically replace my own people. It would have eased me if I knew all the blacks I would be killing were criminals or future criminals, but then I realized all black people are replacers just by existing in White countries.” He also stated that he carried out the attack “To incite violence, retaliation and further divide between the European people and the replacers currently occupying European soil.” Early in his manifesto, he explained that he formed most of his beliefs doing research on sites like 4 chan in the early days of the Covid Pandemic.
As we come upon the second anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, we see that within the past few months, Patrick Lyoya was murdered by being shot in the head by a white police officer, Daunte Wright’s police murderer was given two years in prison, and Derryl M. Jenkins received compensation after being brutally beaten by police officers in a Minnesota suburb 12 years ago.
We are in a moment where some of the worst atrocities of our nation's history against Black people have been called to the fore. The United Nations has issued “scathing reports”, and has taken some actions highlighted in the UN Decade for people of African descent. An InternationalTribunal found the US guilty of Genocide and Gross Human abuses against Black, Brown and Indigenous Peoples. More information has been dragged out of the shadows for us all to see and experience together (i.e. the Slocum, TX massacre, mass lynchings, and Black Wall Street). The pain and trauma is real; it’s unjust and it's searing. The tears and rage are understandable, and it is shameful to see American Society continue to shake their heads and blame it all on guns as opposed to addressing the underlying and deeply embedded societal issues that lead to these kinds of atrocities against Black people in America. Some continue to resist Reparations for those harmed by slavery, Jim Crow and discrimination. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that atrocities against black people in America are still ongoing and the sum total of harm caused to members of the Black Community cannot be measured. We have to start somewhere.
Violence against Black People in the US comes in many forms, up to and including the silencing of our voices in political affairs and on other platforms from which we can begin to enact the true structural social changes that are needed. We cannot allow white supremacy to re-interpret our history and paint the narrative of who we are as people. We also cannot allow for people to use atrocities like this to say “see? This is why you need us to speak for you” and give speeches on how hate must be eradicated from society while their prodigy is online having their minds being poisoned by those who cater to a sense of powerlessness and bloodlust in young minds.
The National Black Caucus of the Green Party of the United States calls for concrete systematic cultural education and changes to be made immediately. This begins with creating space for Black progressives to take office and for those taking office to educate, inform and inspire others responsibly, with dignity, and without having to navigate the traps of internalized racism laid out by those who say they are allied with our causes towards true equality among citizens in the US.
As our nation grieves the traumatic shock and loss of the innocent and beautiful souls in Buffalo, NY, we continue to take an assessment of the plight of Black People in America. This begins with an honest assessment of the ugly realities that lead to travesties such as this that is not only on paper, but in the hearts of all Americans.