This past Saturday, an 18-year-old white supremacist opened fire at a Buffalo supermarket, killing ten people and leaving three injured. I am not only devastated, but enraged to learn of this horrific tragedy. My heart goes out to the loved ones of those taken, and I stand with the entire Buffalo community as we demand justice.
This violence does not happen in isolation, but rather is part of a larger system of hate and violence that plagues our society. This attack was motivated by the far-right “great replacement” theory– a racist belief espoused by politicians and the media that falsely claims that white people are being “replaced” by immigrants and people of color. It is this flawed ideology that is signaled everyday by the Republican Party and Fox News correspondents which has resulted in the death of ten people in a predominantly Black neighborhood. Tackling this issue at its root begins with holding every politician, media pundit, right-wing personality, and individual who benefits from white supremacy accountable.
As elected officials, it is time to put action to our words. It is unconscionable for an 18-year old to walk into a grocery store yielding an AR-15 with racist intentions to harm and kill. We must take steps to tackle both white supremacy and our gun violence epidemic head-on. White supremacy has no home in New York, and we cannot stand idly by and allow it to further endanger our communities.
State Senator Alessandra Biaggi