On May 14, 2022 as in many other locations around our country, a Buffalo, NY market was filled with shoppers buying food for their families. What made this afternoon different; however, was  several of the shoppers and workers in this market were murdered specifically because they were doing a mundane activity while Black in a predominantly Black neighborhood.

It seems hate crimes like this are in the news every day, which seems to make them easier to overlook. We at House of Ruth Maryland will not overlook it. We will not overlook the fact that Black bodies are not safe. We will not overlook that the store the shooter targeted  was one that the community waited years to get. This shooting forced its closure, returning this community of color to a  food desert. We will not ignore the trauma created by incidents such as these and systems in place that perpetuate it. We will not overlook how centuries of white supremacy can arm an 18-year-old with a set of beliefs that result in the murders of ten people. There is a disbelief and horror we experience when innocent people are murdered just for being who they are.

The prevalence of hate crimes in our society is more than a news story that occurred 300 miles away. It is yet another reminder that more must be done to support and protect Black bodies. It does not take much examination to recognize that a young man’s mind was poisoned, and people lost their lives because of it. No one wins.

Whether you are feeling unsafe, concerned for loved ones who could be the target of hate, or want to live in a world that is less violent toward all people, this affects us all.

So, what now? We grieve. We acknowledge the trauma response many of you may be experiencing. We continue to look for ways to support those who are targeted by hate. We interrogate and dismantle the systems that created this tragedy. House of Ruth Maryland will not look away from this event, but rather face it and name it as white supremacy and domestic terrorism, so that we can recognize and root out the seeds that allow white supremacy to flourish.

Everyone has the right to be safe in their own homes and their own communities.

We grieve, we stand with you, and we remain unwilling to compromise on justice.