The Sam Cary Bar Association Statement Regarding the Mass Shooting in Buffalo, New York:
“Our hearts are tragically broken after receiving the news of the latest act of white supremacist violence in Buffalo, New York this past weekend. We mourn the victims: Celestine Chaney, Roberta Drury, Andre Mackniel, Katherine Massey, Margus D. Morrison, Heyward Patterson, Aaron W. Salter, Geraldine Talley, Ruth Whitfield, and Pearly Young. Today our community sits in grief and extends our love and solidarity to the families and people who will now only have memories of their loved ones. We extend our support to the Black community in Buffalo and we unequivocally state our commitment to action on the legacy of the lives lost.
It is not enough to simply condemn the white nationalist extremism of an 18-year-old white male who drove hours outside of his own community to a grocery store in Buffalo, New York and cowardly murdered those 10 people while injuring another 3. The killer purposely and strategically chose a community that had predominantly Black residents to carry out his intentions and strike terror in the hearts of each person in that Black working-class neighborhood, as well as in the hearts and minds of Black people nationwide. This never-ending cycle of trauma imposed on Black people in Buffalo and across the country is yet another reminder of America’s history of violence against Black Americans that has gone unchecked for too long. We cannot continue to watch the deaths of Black people be trivialized and negatively politicized to such an extent that the real and extreme threat we face grows bigger and bigger after each horrific shooting.
SCBA recognizes that now is not the time to be silent and complacent. We can no longer afford to straddle the fence and mince words about what is occurring. We must name these kinds of actions for what they are--radical terroristic acts of white supremacist violence. We must demand that non-Black allies commit to disavowing white supremacy and put some real concrete action behind the phrase “Black Lives Matter.” The time for performative solidarity passed long ago and we must speak out and begin to hold accountable all those who encourage white supremacist ideology, narrative, laws, and policies that drive acts of anti-Black racism. As a community of Black lawyers, judges, and other legal professionals, we will continue to do our part to dismantle systemic racism in our firms, the courthouse, the jails, the polls, chambers, boardrooms, community organizations, and wherever our work of action may be carried out. We encourage everyone to take the space they need to process the range of feelings that this tragedy has spurred. It is okay to proclaim that you are not okay, especially in the face of continuing attacks on our very humanity.
We cannot have a future free of hatred, bigotry, and white supremacy absent a collective effort to reconcile our country’s troubled past. The time to accept that truth and act upon it is now.