Family Promise’s Racial Justice Council recently released the following statement, on behalf of the Family Promise network, addressing the mass shooting and hate crime in Buffalo, NY.
The horrific mass shooting in Buffalo, NY over the weekend was a hate crime on the Black community. The gunman made it known–through his words and actions–that he was targeting Black people. The race-based attack has left us devastated, irate, frustrated, and fearful.
Our sobering reality is that hate crimes against Black Americans are not uncommon in the United States. In fact, the FBI reported that hate crimes are at their highest rates in over 12 years with anti-Black hate crimes being the highest. Centuries of systemic oppression that started as overt hate during slavery and Jim Crow has evolved into subtle but equally insidious racism today, from microaggressions to murder.
Many of the victims were members of their community who worked to combat food insecurity and gun violence. Each victim mattered and we respectfully honor them:
Aaron Salter, 55
Ruth Whitfield, 86
Pearly Young, 77
Katherine “Kat” Massey, 72
Heyward Patterson, 67
Celestine Chaney, 65
Roberta Drury, 32
Margus D. Morrison, 52
Andre Mackneil, 53
Geraldine Talley, 62
Zaire Goodman, 20,
Jennifer Warrington, 50 Christopher Braden, 55
The Family Promise Racial Justice Council grieves for the victims, their families, their friends, the Buffalo community, and every person affected by this tragedy.
“I am doubling down my commitment to take action and work toward a just and racially equitable community. Together, we can and will create change in the darkness of this tragedy.” ~Vera Johnson, Family Promise Racial Justice Council member