Re-post from Linkedin
The mass shooting that left 10 people dead Saturday at a Tops Market in Buffalo, N.Y. “is an absolute racist hate crime,” the city’s police commissioner says. An 18-year-old suspect has been charged with first-degree murder and pleaded not guilty. He is accused of carrying an assault weapon to the supermarket, located in the heart of the city’s Black community, and opening fire in the parking lot and inside the store. Authorities tell CNN the suspect traveled for hours, targeted a specific zip code and scouted the supermarket before the shooting.
- President Biden says he is “trying to work out the schedule,” but he couldn’t confirm he would travel to Buffalo ahead of his upcoming trip to Asia.
- “We are shocked and deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” a Tops Friendly Markets spokesperson said in a statement.
- So far in 2022, there have been 198 mass shooting incidents in the U.S., according to the Gun Violence Archive.
Ekaete Bailey• 3rd+Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion | Bridge Builder | Comfort-Shifter | Podcast Host | Finding the poetic in the ordinary7h • 7 hours agoBuffalove
I live on the east side of Buffalo, a three minute drive from the now infamous Tops grocery store on Jefferson Avenue. My husband works one block away from the store and he was at work on Saturday, May 14.
It was a beautiful, sunny 80° day. He was about to walk over to Tops, right around the time an 18-year-old was driving on the New York State Thruway headed towards Buffalo with a mission to kill.
My husband had a feeling that he should not go. So he didn’t.
But what about the 10 people who were shot and killed simply because their skin is an intentional shade of brown? What about the wounded? What about the witnesses?
Tops is a grocery store in the middle of a food desert. If it was not for that store, people would have only corner stores and gas stations for quick groceries. Do you know it’s a privilege to choose where you shop? Not everyone has the privilege of choice without significant hardship. Let that sink in.
I think about the people, and the families who shop at Tops. For some, it it the closest store to them or they want to support their community or they feel most comfortable shopping in and around people who look like them, understand them.
People like my next-door neighbor who thankfully was not at the store that afternoon. A man who does more than I can write here – to protect our neighborhood, to beautify it, to keep it safe, to look out for seniors – this is the type of people that we have living in our community.
I remember the kind security guard who would smile and lift up a hand and say hello. I honor him. I remember the laughter and the jokes. The buzz.
I cannot help but think about the grandmother who just needed to pick up a few groceries, (the mother-in-law of a long time fellow church member) killed by an 18-year-old.
And there are more people. I don’t yet have all the names but I know that I will be connected to each one of these people and that is a burden that no one should have to carry.
There will be conspiracy theories for sure. “This must’ve been a set up. He must be backed by someone else.” All valid questions. But please, unless this is happened in your community to people that you live nearby, please keep your conspiracy theories to yourself.
There are so many issues. Guns, social media, fear, hatred. So many layered issues. Not all mass shootings are racially motivated, but this one was, and if we as a society continue to be divided, if we continue to blame each other and say one is the victim and one doesn’t care – then how will this ever change?
Some folks want to say that it is the focus on racism that causes it. I believe it is fear that causes it and it is fear that ignores it.
Fear is a powerful force…
But love blows fear out of the water.
Yes, I am angry. But anger will fuel my passion to love more.
This is MY community. One that I did not grow up in, but it is mine now. And these beautiful people, are MY people.
We will do more than overcome.
We will soar.