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Commission Statement on the Racially Motivated Shooting at Tops on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo

A Message from the Commission to Dismantle Racism and Discrimination, Dioceses of Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania, written by Denise Clarke-Merriweather of St. Philip’s, Buffalo:

How does one whose skin color is used to demonize and disparage their humanity function in a society historically filled with bigoted thoughts and actions? The answer is cautiously, but with the conviction that inalienable rights must be applicable to us all, regardless of skin color.

The shooting on the beautifully warm and sunny Saturday of May 14, 2022 in Buffalo, New York is a reminder of the devastating reality of the stressful, racially motivated circumstances that black people encounter on a daily basis. Imagine the fortitude required to deal with blatant or subtle incidents of racial animus within every aspect of one’s life! Well, the shooting at a supermarket in a predominantly black neighborhood by a professed white supremacist of 18 years of age, is another reminder of the forces of evil that plague our country requiring the acknowledgement of ongoing traumatization due to racism and discrimination.

For the family members of the ten individuals who were killed and three others who were injured, the Commission to Dismantle Racism and Discrimination of the Dioceses of Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania recognizes the struggles in the days ahead and the overall impact on our Buffalo community. While we extend our deepest condolences, we know that a commitment to faith- based action is needed now, more than ever!

Please join us in the concerted effort to promote justice, peace, and love within every aspect of our lives in dedication to our deceased and injured neighbors, as well as all individuals who have been victimized as a result of racial discrimination.