YNPN Greater Bflo’s Statement
There have been a lot of statements, thoughts, and prayers shared about the act of domestic terrorism that targeted the Jefferson Avenue Tops and the Black East Side community. YNPN Greater Bflo is made up of young professionals that believe that the work they do makes a difference. And no amount of statements, thoughts, or prayers can make a difference when it comes to the suffering that was inflicted or the loss that has been experienced. While we may want to believe that hate has no home here, the reality is that in 2022 alone there have been 202 mass shootings in the United States that have claimed the lives of over 200 people and wounded nearly 800. In the four days since May 14th, six more mass shootings have occurred, including at least one directly linked to racism.
Buffalo has a long-standing relationship with racism, and the targeting of this particular Tops in this particular neighborhood is not a coincidence—the very infrastructure of this City created the perfect target for a terrorist seeking to target Black Americans.
Buffalo is now on a national stage, and while the City is coming together to support the families of the victims and the East Side neighborhood, the conversations and the anger that we feel cannot stop.
As Ruth Whitfield’s son Garnell Whitfield Jr. stated at a press conference honoring his mother and condemning the attack, “We’re not just hurting–we’re angry, we’re mad, this shouldn’t have happened. We do our best to be good citizens, to be good people. We believe in God. We trust him. We treat people with decency, we love even our enemies. And you expect us to keep doing this over and over again. Over and over again. Forgive and forget. While the people we elect and trust in offices around this country to their best not to protect us, not to consider us equal, not to love us back. What are we supposed to do with all of this anger, with all of this pain?”
Whether you choose to support local or choose to support national lobbying efforts focusing on gun control, domestic terrorism, or racism, our thoughts and prayers are that our white friends and neighbors take ownership of this tragedy and do better.
YNPN Greater Bflo continues to stand against racism and against the systemic inequalities that created this situation. The work many of our members do stands in direct opposition to the hateful rhetoric and violence that killed 10 Black men and women and left 3 more Buffalonians wounded, as well as the countless number of family members, friends, and neighbors that are devastated.
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