Black residents inside a tight-knit Buffalo community want President Biden to call out hate as he visits and grieves today with victims and their family members, days after a mass shooting at Tops Friendly market rocked the nation.
The tragedy left ten dead and three wounded, LA Times reports.
Yesterday, Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) said that thoughts and prayers weren’t enough to address this tragedy. 61-year-old activist Marnetta Malcolm shares the same thoughts.
“I want him to speak on the truth,” said Marnetta Malcolm, a 61-year-old activist who grew up near the Tops Friendly Markets store where the massacre occurred. “This is not going to not happen again, right? So the truth of the matter is this is a country problem. This is an American problem with them hating us. ... Now you can’t shop at the grocery store while you’re Black. You probably can’t walk and travel while you’re Black. There’s a few things you can’t [do]. That’s the problem.”
A white 18-year-old male traveled 200 miles from Conklin, New York, to Buffalo, where he specifically wanted to target a Black neighborhood to terrorize. Hate crimes have risen against African Americans considerably since 2020. Derek Middlebrooks, 34, spoke to the hurt and anger many Black Americans are experiencing across the country around this incident.
“It makes me angry to the point where I want to put hands and feet on this kid and not stop until he’s not breathing, and it’s a shame to be thinking like that,” said Derek Middlebrooks, 34. “I don’t want to think like that, but I’m tired. I’m tired. I’m tired of people looking at us like we’re just nothing. That’s exactly what he did. He went and mowed them people down like they were nothing. To him, they weren’t.”
Biden issued a statement on Saturday empathizing with the families of victims, described the shootings as a “racially motivated hate crime,” and condemned domestic terrorism.
Jarrold Anderson, 33, an independent appraiser who shopped at Tops on Saturday before the massacre, said he hoped “the president, when he does come, that he has something strong in his message that will resonate with some of these people who might have these crazy ideologies and hopefully change their opinion.”