National Organizations Condemn Buffalo Murder Massacre Perpetrated By “Great Replacement” White Supremacist Killer

killing of 10 people in Buffalo, New York targeted by white supremacist murderer Peyton Gendron.
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Photos: Twitter\Screenshot\Erie County DA

Across the country, many continue to speak out against the killing of 10 people in Buffalo, New York targeted by white supremacist murderer Peyton Gendron. Organization as diverse as the Center For Policing Equity, the Center For Constitutional Rights, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and the American Psychological Association have all issued statements regarding the racially-motivated killings in Buffalo.

The Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:

We honor the lives and mourn the loss of the ten people murdered by an avowed white supremacist in a Buffalo supermarket on Saturday. We join Black communities – including our partners in Buffalo, Black Love Resists in the Rust – in their rage, grief, and righteous resistance to the intolerable persistence of anti-Black racism in this country.

This killing grows out of a 400-year history of racist brutality that traces back to slavery and includes lynchings, mass incarceration, the many murders of Black people by police, and the violence of deprivation and exploitation that captalism inflicts every day on Black communities.

Over the centuries, countless white people have used violence to try to maintain white supremacy, and there are people still waging this war. Cultivated online, increasingly global, and mainstreamed by politicians and media personalities, the latest incarnation of white nationalism has produced mass killings from El Paso to Charleston to Christchurch.

The Buffalo suspect embraced “replacement theory,” which a host of right-wing figures – including Tucker Carlson and New York Rep. Elise Stefanik – have espoused. The First Amendment protects freedom of speech; it does not cleanse hands of blood. There is no such thing as nonviolent racism.

Restricting speech or “misinformation,” however, will not deliver justice to Black people. Particularly in the era of surveillance capitalism, this will only serve to further marginalize and criminalize voices of dissent, especially Black radicals, who already face intense scrutiny from law enforcement. Nor should we hope for relief from the criminal justice system, which itself is rooted in white supremacy. Only the long struggle for Black liberation and the attendant dismantling of racist systems might protect Black people from violence, in whatever form. It is this necessity of a more just world that drives us — and to which, in our grief, we recommit.

The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity released this:

The Men of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. are outraged and condemn the acts of self-proclaimed white supremacist and alleged mass shooter, Payton Gendron, who targeted African Americans at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York over the weekend.

Today, we mourn those lives lost in this violent tragedy and offer our deepest condolences to the families of the 10 victims. Unarmed Black people continue to be murdered in peaceful spaces or while living their everyday lives without any justice or accountability.

This must stop.

According to police, had the shooter’s carnage not been stopped, he planned to “shoot more Black people.”

Therefore, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. urges law enforcement, particularly, the U.S. Attorney General and the Department of Justice, to classify this case as a federal hate crime. Crimes such as these should be fully prosecuted, whether on the state or federal level, and face the stiffest penalties.

We continue to stand with Alpha Brother and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, first responders, the Rho Lambda Chapter in Buffalo, and the community-at-large, as they work to heal their city. Since our founding, Alpha Phi Alpha has been at the forefront of civil rights and social justice issues, taking a stand against violence and white supremacy at every turn.

As a fraternity, we will do what we can to ensure that the Buffalo community receives the support it needs.

The American Psychological Association's president Frank C. Worrell issued the following:

“The American Psychological Association stands against racism and hate in all forms. This horrific hate crime struck people in a place that was intended to be a welcoming space, shattering families and the community’s sense of safety.

“Violence rooted in racism and hate has become much too common in our society. We must resist becoming numb to these acts of violence when what we need is a commitment to eliminate racism and discrimination, enact stronger gun laws and encourage more dialogue. Otherwise, we are condoning a culture that is not working to combat racial bias grounded in misinformation. Without collective action on these issues, we should not be surprised when the result is hate and violence. In a society that values all of its members, disagreements should result in dialogue, not acts of violence.

“In the past few decades, many prominent psychologists of color have studied the effects of racial trauma, and how it leads to higher rates of depression, anxiety and stress. It has also been linked to post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use disorders and other serious psychological conditions. Experiences of racism build on each other and, over time, chip away at the emotional, physical and spiritual resources of people of color and other targets of bias.

“In Buffalo, guns were used in support of an individual’s racist and antisemitic beliefs. The same weekend, guns were used in mass shootings in Texas, Wisconsin and California. And in 2022, there have already been at least 198 mass shootings. APA has long advocated for gun safety, including background checks of prospective gun buyers, safe gun storage, laws implementing extreme risk protection orders and more research into the psychological factors that lead to gun violence.

“In the wake of these violent acts, the American Psychological Association recommends that individuals experiencing persistent symptoms of distress seek help from a trained mental health professional. We also recommend that people limit their exposure and that of their children to media coverage of these shootings.”

The Center for Policing Equity also released a statement on the Buffalo shooting:

We received the news of Saturday’s mass murder with horror, sadness, and rage. Yet another act of grotesque anti-Black violence took place at the Tops Friendly Markets in Buffalo, NY where ten people were slaughtered, eight of them Black. Our deepest condolences go out to the loved ones of all those senselessly murdered by a White supremacist who traveled to Buffalo in order to target Black people. We send our wishes for a full recovery to those injured and hold in our thoughts the communities of Buffalo that must now live with the trauma of Saturday's terrorism.

Payton Gendron–an 18-year-old White man clad in military gear, carrying a weapon with an anti-Black racial slur scrawled on its barrel, and livestreaming the attack on Twitch–systematically targeted Black shoppers in the heart of a majority Black community. His intentions were clear and must be seen in the context of a long and unbroken history of anti-Black terrorism. Like this year's bomb threats against historically Black colleges and universities, 2019's rash of arsons of Black churches, or Dylan Roof's massacre of nine Black people at the Emanuel African Methodist Church in 2015, this most recent tragedy shocks, but does not surprise.

The racist, xenophobic views that Gendron expressed in an online manifesto must also be seen in the context of incendiary rhetoric that is all-too readily allowed to flourish both here and abroad. Gendron drew inspiration from past massacres, including the mosque attacks in New Zealand, a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, and the Tree of Life synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh.

Like the Tree of Life shooter before him, the Buffalo terrorist was heavily influenced by "The Great Replacement" theory, an unhinged conspiracy often regurgitated on neo-Nazi websites and broadcast routinely on Fox News by host Tucker Carlson. The delusional theory holds that White Americans are at risk of being deliberately "replaced" by Jews, immigrants, and people of color. A set piece of the early 20th century narrative that White people are under threat of replacement, there has been a horrifying resurgence of the conspiracy, with nearly half of all registered Republicans recently saying that they agree with parts of “The Great Replacement” theory. The result is a national climate entirely hostile to vulnerable Black communities and one in which most of our national leaders have failed utterly to form words—let alone policies—to address it effectively.

The kind of White supremacy that drove Gendron is centuries old, but in today's world, it is easy to find it expressed digitally and proliferating at an alarming rate thanks to loosening societal norms on hate speech online. Furthermore, fearmongering continues to be used by politicians to criminalize innocent people based on the color of their skin in an effort to enact dangerous anti-migrant policies. And yet, even as the national conversation around abortion rights and birth rates makes plain that there are many who openly believe the U.S. needs more White people and fewer Black and Brown folks, those charged with regulating our digital safety are promising to roll back the few protections recently put into place.

Given all the resources pouring into keeping the internet unregulated and all the resources that local, state, and federal authorities are ready to pour into punitive solutions that often resist targeting White supremacists, we must pose a simple question: What resources is the nation willing to commit to fixing the problem rather than making it worse? Can we even imagine a nation that devotes as much time and capital to remedying racist terrorism as it does to ensuring the right to further it?

We must look beyond today's language of consolation to see what those in power are actually doing. Offers of prayer made even while removing protections is a promise of faith without works. It is a spiritual death that leads directly to Black death.

It is common after tragic events like this to hear elected officials intone that "This is not who we are" or, "We are better than this." Today, we ask anyone making such claims to show us the evidence.

When in our nation’s history have we been better?

If those professing the nation's moral superiority cannot—as we at CPE cannot—provide compelling evidence that events like yesterday's massacre stand outside the nation's character, then let claims to our collective innocence lay silent. Such dishonesty has been our inheritance throughout this country's existence; to indulge in it now will only pave the way for the next bloody act of White supremacist violence.

Let the people of the nation at least be honest if our leaders cannot be courageous.

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