Albany, NY – In response to yesterday’s massacre at the Jefferson Avenue Tops in Buffalo, Rosemary Rivera and Jessica Wisneski, Co-Executive Directors of Citizen Action of New York issued the following statement:
“Our hearts break for the people killed in yesterday’s massacre. Our hearts break for their families and everyone who loved them. Our hearts break for everyone injured in this tragedy–by bullets and by trauma. We hold the Black community in Buffalo in love.
“The murderer who terrorized this community is a white supremacist. He went to this store in this neighborhood specifically to slaughter Black people. This attack is part of a never-ending cycle of trauma visited on Black people across the country with harms both big and small. From questioning President Obama’s citizenship to the people sworn to protect George Floyd murdering him to a little white boy in Florida stalking his Black neighbor with a whip to teenagers chanting racist slurs at a high school basketball game. It is all white supremacy.
“White supremacy is not a mental illness. It is an intentional ideology that dehumanizes everyone who is not white. Of course, it doesn’t stop there. It also dehumanizes everyone who is not Christian, cis-gendered, heterosexual, or male. It is the cancer at the heart of injustice in this country.
“This is not a “red state” problem. Right here in New York, we have Republican members of Congress like Elise Stefanik perpetuating the same “replacement theory” that motivated the mass murderer in Buffalo. And you don’t have to drive more than ten minutes from anywhere in New York State to see a confederate flag flying. We cannot tolerate it any longer.
“New Yorkers who recognize that every person has inherent dignity must fight white supremacy at every turn. That means speaking out every time. It means holding accountable all those who encourage it, whether they are elected officials, cable “news” hosts, or members of our own families. And it means backing up our anti-racist rhetoric with public policy that dismantles systemic racism and brings economic, environmental, and social justice to Black people across New York.”