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Statement from Bread for the City on Mass Shooting in Buffalo, New York

On Saturday, a gunman entered a Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, and killed ten people in a racist act of terrorism. Three additional people were injured. These people were active members of a vibrant community. They were mothers, fathers, and grandmothers – they included people who cared about their neighbors. A civil rights activist. A church volunteer. A caretaker. A food pantry director.

Black communities are at risk every day under the dominant and reinforced system of white supremacy that says that these people – these mothers, fathers, and sisters who were murdered on Saturday – are lesser than others. Neighborhood underinvestment, modern segregation through income inequality, and the lack of true public safety measures also play a role.

While a lone gunman in this case, the terrorist responsible for this atrocious hate crime is not an outlier but part of a larger, hateful movement that has gained followers and power in recent years. A movement that targets Black and immigrant neighborhoods, communities, and individuals. A movement that would inspire someone to drive over 200 miles after searching demographic data for a concentration of Black lives to destroy.

Bread for the City calls on all leaders at every level of government to not only condemn this act of violence, but to condemn white nationalism and the troubling and dangerously hateful rhetoric that fueled this terrorist and fuels many with public platforms even now. Along with these condemnations, we push, urgently, for not only the gun reforms that study after study have shown work to mitigate violent acts but also for long-overdue investments in Black and brown communities across America.

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