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On May 14, 2022, 10 people were hunted, gunned down and killed while shopping in a supermarket on a Saturday afternoon. They were targeted because they were black.
Katherine Massey, 72, was an advocate for civil rights and education.
Aaron Salter, 55, retired Buffalo police officer who was working as a security guard at the store during the attack.
Ruth Whitfield, 86, stopped by the grocery store after visiting her husband in a nursing home. She was a mother of four.
Pearl Young, 77, ran a food pantry in Buffalo's Central Park neighborhood for 25 years.
Geraldine Chapman Tally, 62, was a mother of two and went to pick up groceries that day.
Roberta Drury, 32, was in town visiting family and went to the supermarket to get groceries for dinner.
Andre Mackniel, 53, was in town visiting relatives and had gone to the store to pick up a surprise birthday cake for his grandson.
Deacon Heyward Patterson, 67, was killed while loading an elderly woman's groceries into his car.
Celestine Chaney, 65, was visiting her sister when the two went to the grocery store to get strawberries for shortcake.
Margus D. Morrison, 52, stopped to pick up groceries and was a father of three.
Payton Gendron. That is his name. That is the name of the man who decided not on a whim but with a strategic plan that he wanted to terminate the existence of black people because he believed that they threatened his place in this society. Think about that. This animal premeditated on killing innocent and beautiful black lives because he embodied the ideology of white nationalism and great replacement theory. This was not a result of mental illness. This was methodical and purposeful. He nurtured these dangerous feelings until his hate led him to act. How did he do this? He watched unchallenged and unreprimanded conservative media hosts spew rhetoric for ratings on national television. He frequented social media platforms, gaming services, and the dark web to find and build a community of like-minded racists.
You can look at this tragedy and see so many of the problems and the issues that are not properly regulated in this country: racism, white privilege, gun control, social media, the media, politicians, and political parties. And sadly, this is not an isolated event; and tragically there will be another unless we as a country actively identify, call out, and work to rectify what is starting to define our country. America is becoming synonymous with mass murders and hate.
I am not sad. I am not heartbroken. I am angry and I am scared. Are you? Are you outraged enough to act on that sadness?
And they wonder why we march and change and beg and plead to remind people that we matter. Because the Payton’s of the world want to emphasize that we do not. This is a fear not solely experienced by blacks but all marginalized communities in this country whose very being petrifies white nationalists. But let me be clear, you are placed in this category if you support any medium that perpetuates this rhetoric. That means you are doing it by your political affiliation, how you vote, what you watch, and who you publicly support. This makes you part of the problem.
And if you are sitting there questioning whether you fit in one of these categories or you think I am exaggerating or being dramatic, let me leave you with this, from one of the victims of this last mass shooting…Kat Massey, who eerily wrote a letter in May 2021, urging the federal government to address gun violence only to suffer her fate to it.