Race Forward mourns with the families and community of the ten people who were killed this past Saturday at a TOPS grocery store in Buffalo, NY, by an 18-year-old white supremacist. The gunman has said his intention was “to kill as many black people as possible,” citing “replacement theory” as his motive while live-streaming the entire act. 

This carefully planned, premeditated attack was an act of racist and political violence, unmistakably rooted in white nationalist, authoritarian ideologies. At this moment, it is critical we honor the lives of those killed, the people of Buffalo, and marginalized communities across this country by strengthening our work to dismantle systemic racism in all places where it exists within our culture and institutions. We must not allow those in power to exploit this moment by bloating budgets for policing and militaristic counterterrorism units. This act must be seen for what it is, a rise in white nationalism’s radicalization to maintain the structures of power that promote inequity.

The toll of this growing white nationalism remains an urgent matter—one we cannot afford to ignore as it has led to an incalculable loss of Black lives. 

We honor and recognize the lives of those lost by lifting up their names:

  • Roberta A. Drury 
  • Margus D. Morrison 
  • Andre Mackneil 
  • Aaron Salter  
  • Geraldine Talley 
  • Celestine Chaney 
  • Heyward Patterson 
  • Katherine Massey 
  • Pearl Young
  • Ruth Whitfield 

It is in their memory and the memory of all the others who have lost their lives as a result of racist and politicized violence, Race Forward remains committed to working towards dismantling the systems and structures that incessantly enable white supremacy. We strongly advocate community-based solutions to build alternatives to all forms of militarization and criminalization that oppress and kill Black people.

Only then can we create a truly safe society in which all of us can thrive with dignity, power, and purpose.