The racist attack on Dollar General in Jacksonville, Florida that resulted in the death of three Blacks, re-emerges as a source of frustration and anguish for residents in Buffalo, New York. Their community was also changed by a gunman who opened fire in a Tops grocery store in May 2022.
T.K. Waters, Jacksonville’s sheriff, said that the shooter, a white man aged 21, “hated Black people”. He left behind an obscene white supremacist manifesto. Waters said. Waters said.
Cashell Durham was deeply affected by the news of the Jacksonville shooting. Cashell Durham’s brother, Aaron Salter was shot dead after he ran into the store to warn other customers about the approaching shooter.
Durham stated, “I haven’t been back to Tops since the incident and it is still open.” It’s only three or four blocks from my house. “I still haven’t managed to get there.”
She had never considered mass shootings before one of her family members was affected.
Durham explained that when racism is brought up, the impact can be quite different. When people say there is no racism, I think . There is racism and it still exists because of the actions being taken. .
Jamien Eutsey said that he was paranoid in the days following the shooting. “I kept my head swiveling, looking over my shoulders,” he remembered. “I shouldn’t have to.”
Eutsey described the death of Anolt Joe “A.J.” Laguerre Jr. as particularly disheartening. Laguerre was 19 years old and worked at Dollar General, where he died. “I had my birthday just three days ago. Just turned 24. Eutsey: “I’m at a complete loss of words.”
Fragrance Stanfield and her daughter survived the Tops shooting.
She claimed that her life had been turned upside down. She said, “We know we left that store while others didn’t.” “We have to live with it every day.”
Black people around the world are taught to cope with trauma, rather than heal from it. She added, “We have learned to push down the trauma and it compounded.” She offered the following advice to survivors of the Jacksonville shooting: “Find support from anyone who is willing and able to help you.”
Jacksonville and Buffalo shootings are not isolated incidents. Gun violence and hate crimes continue to cause havoc on the east coast.
Wayne Jones, whose mother was killed in the Buffalo attack said that he had experienced racism from childhood. He attributes the rise of hatred and violence to social media.
He said that “someone” was targeting white young men, telling them Blacks were taking over.
According to the 2022 Report of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), right-wing extremists were responsible for the majority of mass shootings in the last 12 years. The report flagged shootings motivated by white supremacy as “particularly concerning”. According to Center for Public Integrity (an investigative journalism group), Black people are the victims of 66% all racially-motivated hate crimes that have occurred since 1995.
Jacksonville commemorated on Sunday the 63rd Anniversary of Ax Handle Sat. It was a sobering reminder that an ax-wielding gang beat Black youths who were staging a peaceful lunch counter sit-in. The community is now facing another act of racial terror.
Dakarai singletary and other Buffalo residents believe that the Jacksonville shooting is a reflection of the systemic racism Black Americans have experienced in America.
Singletary stated that “no other group in America is subjected to this kind of open persecution as often.” “We only get prayers and thoughts.” “Every time.” It’s very frustrating.
He added, “We lost 10 community members before people saw our value.” “And this was only within the city.” “That hurts.”
Candles In The S.U.N. After the Tops shooting, Singletary provided healthy food for families who were affected by the temporary closure of the Store. Singletary said that he distributed over 1,600 backpacks for free to children from Buffalo and Syracuse in New York. He wants to take his team to Jacksonville to “help in any way we can”.
Earl Perrin Jr. is also one of the organizers for the Lt. Aaron Salter Memorial Scholarship and plans to reach out the affected people in the Jacksonville area.
He said, “We need to be proactive rather than reactive.” “I want to make this generation known as one who stood up and fought hate with love.”
The Buffalo community received a flood of support after the Tops shooting. This included donations and federal funds for mental health programs. Residents say there is more work to do. Malik Stubbs, a resident, said that structural inequity persists in the community, and that the lack of grocery shops is one reason so many Black customers went to Tops. He suggested that efforts should be focused on gun violence, and the presence of police in grocery stores and other retail outlets.
Stanfield also criticised some of the post-shooting initiatives of the city, which she felt focused on bouncing back rather than allowing survivors to heal. She expressed her hope that elected officials in Jacksonville will do the necessary work to help victims recover.
Stubbs empathizes because he co-facilitates Eutsey healing circles for men of colour in the Buffalo community. He knows “it’s going to take a long time” to heal.
Stubbs asked, “When will this violence ever stop?” Just as it does for Buffalo residents, it poses a question to Black people across the country: