Press Statements, Uncategorized
May 7, 2022
VOCAL-NY Leaders in Buffalo Will Join Allies at a Vigil on Sunday Morning
BUFFALO, N.Y. — In response to the racially motivated shooting at a Tops supermarket in a predominantly Black community on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo, VOCAL-NY has released the following statements from our Buffalo community leaders:
“I’m a Black man who lives in Buffalo. I’m already afraid of the cops, and now I’m afraid to go to the grocery store. This is my neighborhood. Now what?” said James Hill, VOCAL-NY Buffalo Leader.
“He came into our community to kill us. He came in with his guns, hatred, and racism; and almost succeeded,” said Ivette Gonzalez, a VOCAL-NY Buffalo Leader. “BPD gave the shooter more respect than they give most of us walking down the street.”
We are NOT okay. Yesterday, an American-bred, 18 year-old white supremacist opened fire at a grocery store killing 10 members of the community. This intentional and brazen attack on Black and Brown residents of Buffalo is yet another entry to America’s growing list of mass shootings and further proof of the constant trauma of white supremacist terrorism and racism that our communities have experienced for centuries.
As a Black founded and led statewide organization, with a membership that spans from Brooklyn to Buffalo, we stand in solidarity with the community of Buffalo. We will continue to call out the ills of white supremacy, structural racism and state sanctioned violence that has left our communities susceptible to the grotesque underbelly of disinvestment, that causes us to be over policed and yet, under protected by gun violence. Unfortunately, no amount of police presence protected or prevented this act of racism. Yesterday’s event is a fatal reminder of how gun violence is and has always been explicitly linked to the structural violence in this nation. A reminder of the restraints placed on the existence of Black, Brown and poor lives, while little restraint has been placed on the system of structural racism that enables this type White-supremacist violence. A system that has been allowed to go unscathed as so many of us lay, fatally wounded.
On Sunday morning at 9:30AM, our membership will be present with the community at 1304 Jefferson Avenue, to grieve, honor the lives lost and demand real measures of safety outside of a police budget, whose very origins are rooted in white supremacy. We deserve safety, equity and the right to live.