My heart is a battleground between sorrow and anger as I read more and more accounts of the mass shooting that took place at a grocery store in Buffalo, NY this weekend. A Black community was targeted and attacked at the hands of a self-proclaimed, 18-year-old White supremacist.
White-Supremacy culture relies firmly on anti-Blackness. Anti-Blackness results in violence against Black people. In a society rooted in anti-Blackness, white men historically and still today have been allowed to murder unarmed Black people, be arrested, and live to talk about it. The question arises, how can anti-Blackness be so blatantly displayed in the face of our country and little to no REAL action takes place?
In the wake of numerous incidents of unarmed Black people being killed by law enforcement, there is a sentiment expressed across the nation that police officers need more training in order to deescalate situations without Black people being killed. We all have noticed a pattern of law enforcement using excellent de-escalation techniques that do not result in lethal force when arresting white men.
If American society quietly accepts anti-Blackness, racial injustices, and all of the isms and schisms packed into white supremacy culture, we can never fully embrace the humanity of others.
Also, what does this racist act of violence teach us about what can happen when we aren’t intentional about unpacking and addressing the many aspects of the collective socialization of manhood? A Call to Men will not stand by silently. We will continue to create spaces to end violence against women and girls and those in the margins of the margins. We do this work through the promotion of healthy manhood which includes dismantling white supremacy culture in a society rooted in anti-Blackness.
My prayers are with each and every person who lost a loved one to this vicious act, as well as those who have been impacted since hearing the news. We will continue to fight, together. Let’s say their names.
- Aaron Salter
- Ruth Whitfield
- Pearl Young
- Katherine Massey
- Roberta Drury
- Heyward Patterson
- Celestine Chaney
- Margus Morrison
- Andre Mackneil
- Geraldine Talley