On Buffalo: Together in Love for Black People Everywhere; In Mourning, In Solidarity, and In Action

We are writing today to speak of our deep and abiding love for Black people, Black families, and Black communities everywhere. Last Saturday, May 14, 2022, ten beloved Black lives were taken from the community. Even as we grieve, we are strengthened by the power of Black, Indigenous, and communities of color. We know that our voices will not be silenced by violence, nor pushed back into the margins. Our ongoing movement for racial justice and equity in every part of our society is growing and gaining momentum, even as white supremacists lash out against our power. While we recognize and lift up our resilience in the face of a history of violence and aggression against our people, we work towards a day when we no longer have to be resilient and can live in safety and dignity, without fear of racism and hate.

When we call for “justice,” we draw on the wisdom of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who reminds us that justice is not in a single act or in response to a single moment of terrorism within our communities. We are guided by the words he shared in the eulogy he gave in the wake of the Birmingham church bombing in 1963:

“… we must be concerned not merely about who murdered them, but about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers. Their death says to us that we must work passionately and unrelentingly for the realization of the American dream.”

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Black life is precious, and Black community is special and beautiful. As a Black-led organization, we prioritize the safety, health, and abundant joy of Black, Indigenous, and communities of color. So when a white supremacist takes the lives of ten precious Black community members we are reminded that attacks like this don’t happen in a vacuum. There’s a direct line from 1822, when the first recorded burning of a Black church occurred in South Carolina, to this latest violent assault on a Black community.

We move in solidarity with the Black community in Buffalo, joining them in their grief and following their lead in our advocacy. In the face of continued racist violence, we call on policy makers to take actionable steps to combat racism, white supremacy, gun violence, and the increasing attacks against people with compounding marginalized identities including Black trans children and Black women. Our communities can’t wait any longer for tangible changes.

As we mourn, we also urgently call out for us to come together. We pull through by pulling together. And together, we demand leaders who will make this a place where liberty and justice apply to us all.

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“We Got Us” mural / Photo by Ryan Sin / Survival Media Agency