Buffalo Shooting Underscores The Human Cost Of Hatred – Westside Story Newspaper – Online 

 May 13, 2022

Fatal mass shooting inside a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, on May 14 has shaken the confidence of national political leaders by echoing a tragic and nationwide refrain – another mass shooting that appears to be motivated by race and hatred.

Payton Gendron, 18, traveled 200 miles from his home in Conklin, New York, to Buffalo, where he tied up with body armor, entered the Tops Friendly Market and shot 13 people in the store. He broadcast the attack online before police subdued him. Eleven people shot were black, while two were white – 10 of the victims died.

Federal authorities found a 180-page racist document written by Gendron, which said the attack was intended to terrorize all non-white and non-Christian people to persuade them to leave the United States.

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or Analysis of the Washington Post from more than 600 messages revealed that Gendron had been planning to target the Tops grocery store since February because its customer base is mostly black.

“The American experiment in democracy is in danger as it has never been in my life,” President Joe Biden said in a speech in Buffalo on May 17. “This hour is in danger. Hate and fear are being given too much oxygen by those who claim to love America but do not understand America.”

Biden went on to say: “In America, evil will not win, I promise. Hatred will not prevail. “White supremacy will not have the last word.”

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Part of the crowd that gathered May 17 at the Delavan Grider Community Center in Buffalo to mourn New York Governor Kathy Hochul and President Joe Biden for shooting at a grocery store in that city. (Mike Groll / Kathy Hochul’s Office)

Law enforcement officials said New York State police troops were called to Gendron High School last June for a report that the 17-year-old at the time had made threatening statements.

From President Biden to New York Governor Kathy Hochul, political officials have said many words after the shootings that have sparked fear and unrest across the country, while law enforcement is seeking answers.

On the Sunday morning after the incident, Hochul spoke at True Bethel Baptist Church in Buffalo, where he said: “Our hearts are broken and I will say one thing: Lord, forgive the anger in my heart now.

“Forgive me, God. “I know he’s not there, God,” said Hochul. “I grew up with love, respect and care. “Well, to hear these stories and the pain there is in a community I love so much – I’m angry.”

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The governor went on to quote Psalm 34: “‘The Lord is near to those who are brokenhearted, and delivereth the brokenhearted.’ Well, God, I know you’re here because we’re so heartbroken and we’re heartbroken right now. But this is temporary, because with your love, Lord, we will rise and our broken souls will rise again. ”

Governor Hochul also took practical steps. On May 20, she released two executive orders.

First Executive Order is designed to combat the rise of domestic terrorism and violent extremism often inspired by social media platforms and internet forums. The Executive Order calls on the National Security and Emergency Services Division to establish a new unit, dedicated solely to the prevention of internal terrorism, within the Office of the Counter-Terrorism Division.

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The second calls on the New York State Police to set up a dedicated unit within the New York State Intelligence Center (NYSIC) to track violent domestic extremism through social media. Second Executive Order will require the State Police to file an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) under the New York State Red Flag Act whenever they have reasonable reason to believe that an individual is a threat to themselves or others.

In addition, Hochul is proposing legislation to close the “Other Weapons” loopholes by revising and expanding the definition of a firearm to remove dangerous weapons from the road.

As she offered political remedies, spiritual leaders also prayed for an end to the violence.

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Bishop Vashti McKenzie, interim president and secretary general of the National Council of Churches, said in a statement: “Our communities have not recovered from the onslaught of violence from past White supremacist attacks and now the scabies have been snapped to bleed again.”

McKenzie stayed with President Obama and other bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church after young white supremacist Dylann Roof entered Mother Emanuel AME in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015 and opened fire, killing nine people during a mid-week Bible study. .

“This racial violence must be stopped,” McKenzie said. “We all need to step up our efforts to end racism. This will not happen just by making ceremonial or performance gestures that do not reach the root causes of the problems. We need to do the deepest work. This is especially true for Christians. “

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Rev. Eric Manning, pastor of Mother Emanuel AME, said in a statement that he and members of his congregation could feel empathy for the suffering from the May 14 shooting in Buffalo.

“We can relate to your hurt, pain, and anger,” Pastor Manning said. “Mother Emanuel’s crew was in the same place almost seven years ago.”

A memorial to the victims of another massive grocery attack in Boulder, Colorado in March 2021. (gotojbb / Flickr)
A memorial to the victims of another massive grocery attack in Boulder, Colorado in March 2021. (gotojbb / Flickr)

On May 17, New York City Mayor Eric Adams joined faith leaders who came to a vigil in Harlem for the 10 victims of racially motivated mass shootings.

During the vigil at Bethel Gospel Assembly Church, Adams placed one of 10 pink roses on a table. But he also referred to a shot closer to home – race and resentment are not the only reasons why people of color are killed.

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“You’re no less a demon,” Adams told the attacker who killed an 11-year-old girl in the Bronx. Adams had just visited her parents and he drew parallels between the Buffalo shooting and the gun violence in New York City.

Many communities across the country are keeping vigil for racial healing after the Buffalo shooting. In Rockville, Maryland, people from Jews, Asians, Hispanics, and other groups targeted by white supremacists would gather for a vigil at Rockville Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

“As a family of faith, we pray for healing for all who are affected,” Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America said in a statement on May 19th. “But no matter how much our prayers go up and our hearts go out to those who have been devastated by this terrible event, we can not stop there.

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“We denounce this foolish and premeditated act of hatred and violence. We call on all people of good will to use their voices and platforms to denounce hatred and racism in all its forms. “Let us use this evil intent as a catalyst to push us into action and show that love is stronger than hatred.”

Senior contributor Hamil Harris is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, and has been a lecturer at Morgan State University. Harris is a minister in the Glenarden Church of Christ and a police chaplain. He was a longtime reporter for The Washington Post.

Produced in collaboration with Detached religion.

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