It’s been just four days since the horrific murders in Buffalo. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the victims dealing directly with loss and grief. The headlines are already fading, yet their lives have been profoundly changed.
Once again, we are witness to cruel violence that is part of systemic racism. In Buffalo yesterday, President Biden noted, “White supremacy is a poison. It’s a poison – it really is – running through our body politic.” He was direct in naming white supremacy as being at the root of these premeditated killings.
It’s predictable that tragedies like Buffalo happen, and will continue to happen. The ingredients are there. Some leaders and pundits fuel division and hate. Many listen, taking in the messages as truth. Misinformation spreads easily on social platforms. And assault weapons are readily available. These all contribute, but we know the cause is deeper.
Below these layers is the core belief that some are more worthy than others; violence happens when some dominate from a core of hatred. Tragedy happens when the roots of hate are not challenged and when we lose sight of our shared humanity. It happens when we look away after such murders and move on, maybe “ok” with the status quo or at a loss on what to do.
People will go (should go, need to go) to grocery stores, and to movie theaters, and to houses of worship. They should be safe. They should be able to trust that when any one of us is harmed, the rest of us will walk with them in their pain, and will not look away.
There are no miracle “fixes” to patterns of systemic racism. With persistence, we can change the layers that fuel violence. Helping to dismantle systemic racism is lifelong work. It’s trial and error. It’s about a focus and commitment to change.
As we extend our love to all in Buffalo, may we recommit to changing the patterns of white supremacy. May we not look away and may we believe that meaningful change is possible if we work together.
In love and care,