This weekend, 10 people were murdered and three were injured in Buffalo New York. Because of the color of their skin, Aaron, Ruth, Pearly, Katherine, Deacon Heyward, Celestine, Roberta, Margus, Andre, and Geraldine were targeted and stolen from their loved ones and a community that cherished them. My heart is with their families and with my sisters at YWCA Western New York.
Generations of Black and Brown Americans have been forced to live with the deadly consequences of racial violence that leave behind lasting trauma and devastate individuals, families, and BIPOC communities.
The racist Great Replacement conspiracy theory, that America’s white population is being deliberately replaced by people of color, is what motivated the shooter and has been recklessly promoted on social media, repeated on mainstream news outlets, and pushed by elected officials. This toxic rhetoric has had a measurable impact in the real world. The tragic loss of life in Buffalo is part of a decades-long rising tide of white supremacist terrorism that law enforcement and the media have repeatedly failed to recognize.
I echo the call from YWCA USA for Congress to pass legislation that would make our communities safer from the threat of gun violence. We must fight for a world where we do not need to be able to recognize the sound of gunshots or become experts in combat first aid to feel safe in our churches, schools, and stores.
As YWCA Greater Cleveland’s interim CEO, I will continue our commitment to sharing antiracist education materials, advocating for the health and safety of women and girls of color, and working to dismantle systemic racism wherever it impacts our work. I hope that you will join YWCA in continuing to push our movement for racial and gender justice forward.
YWCA Greater Cleveland