Updated: May 31
This past weekend in Buffalo, New York, 10 lives were lost to yet another senseless shooting fueled by white supremacy.
My heart goes out to all the families who lost a loved one, the survivors, and the entire Buffalo community who must now navigate their healing together among a tirade of news media, elected officials, and public figures dismissing the severity of this racist attack and avoiding to call it what it really is: a domestic terrorist attack in the name of white supremacy.
The gunman did not act as an individual, but rather as an agent of the white nationalist “replacement theory.” This set of ideas has motivated other mass shootings in the past including the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre in 2018 and the attack on an El Paso Walmart a year later, as well as the riots in Charlottesville, VA in 2017.
This blatant racism is broadcast every night by Fox News, primarily on Tucker Carlson’s series Tucker Carlson Tonight. Carlson is able to spread his hateful, racist, white nationalist messages to millions of people each night. Fox and the television providers that allow these messages to spread need to be held accountable.
Twitch allowed a live stream of the shooting for two minutes before taking it down. This did not stop the video from being circulated elsewhere. Re-postings were available on Twitter and Facebook well after the incident. Social media companies need to establish better policies and procedures to ensure this kind of footage and hate-filled messaging has no chance on their platforms.
In the past few years we have experienced countless acts of violence at the hands of white supremacist violence, yet no real racial justice change has been enacted by Democratic political leadership. The Biden Administration, Congress, and corporate leaders need to step up and take action against the culture and institutions that allow anti-Black violence to survive and influence Americans.
I hope this tragedy can ignite change. The violence and hate that incited this incident continues to be spread on hugely influential platforms, contributing to profits for those at the top. Don’t stop putting pressure on politicians and corporate leaders who have the power to affect change on a national level.
There is no excuse for this kind of abhorrent messaging to be spread so easily to so many people. Those responsible need to be held accountable. This is not an individual issue, it is an institutional issue.
Together we stand!
Cathleen Trigg-Jones Founder/CEO, iWomanTV
Ways you can help the victims of the Buffalo shooting: GoFundMe: Buffalo Survivors Fund (organized by the National Compassion Fund)
You can also send donations through the National Compassion Fund website: https://nationalcompassion.org/fund/buffalo-survivors-fund/