America’s ongoing struggle with race added another, grisly episode this past weekend when 18-year-old Payton Gendron sprayed the parking lot and interior of a Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, N.Y. with an assault rifle. In short order, he killed 10 people and wounded three, ranging in age from 32 to 86 years old, before surrendering to police.
The bloodbath was quickly reported by media and news outlets throughout the globe, as the shooter’s background was scrutinized to ascertain the motivation for such a malicious attack.
President of the United States (POTUS) Joseph R. Biden was quickly apprised of the situation, and arrangements were made to fly into Buffalo to console the community. On the same day of the tragedy, the White House released a statement which touched upon some of the same issues that propelled his 2020 campaign into the Oval Office.
“White supremacy is a poison,” he declared.
“It’s a poison running through our body politic, and it’s been allowed to fester and grow right in front of our eyes,” Biden continued. “No more. I mean no more. We need to say as clearly and forcefully as we can that the ideology of White supremacy has no place in America.”
Disenfranchisement among White males during the late 20th-century seems to be the bedrock of this malady. The aftermath of the Vietnam War eroded the myth of American invincibility, coupled with social progress advancing the status of the previously marginalized segments of society fed into the subconscious belief that progress for some must come at the expense of others.
As the dust clears from this most recent tragedy, both sides of the political divide have mounted their own ideological spins on these proceedings.
The Rev. Al Sharpton suggested his own cathartic remedy: “We need to set a national strategy on how to deal with hate and how we hold those accountable [who] in any way advance what occurred in Buffalo,” he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“It (the Buffalo shootings) didn’t just drop out the sky. It happened because it was methodically organized.”
This article is a part of a series of articles for Our Weekly’s #StopTheHate campaign and is supported in whole or part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library. #NoPlaceForHateCA,