Bend the Arc statement on white supremacist massacre of ten Black people in Buffalo, NY

Bend the Arc statement on white supremacist massacre of ten Black people in Buffalo, NY

May 16, 2022

Sunday, May 15
Contact: Cory Fischer
[email protected]

Bend the Arc statement on the white supremacist massacre of ten Black people in Buffalo, NY
White supremacy is the most dangerous threat to the dream of a democratic America where every single person can be safe and thrive

On Saturday, May 14, a white 18-year old allegedly drove several hours to a supermarket in Buffalo, NY to murder Black people, citing the racist and antisemitic “great replacement” conspiracy theory. In response, Jamie Beran, Interim CEO of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, released the following statement:

Our hearts are once again torn apart and we are filled with rage in the aftermath of the act of white supremacist terror in Buffalo, NY targeting Black Americans. Whether we are walking through the doors of our community’s supermarkets, shopping centers, synagogues, mosques, or churches, every single one of us deserves to be safe.

“We pray for the health of those injured and we mourn the victims: Celestine Chaney, Roberta Drury, Andre Mackniel, Katherine Massey, Margus D. Morrison, Heyward Patterson, Aaron W. Salter, Geraldine Talley, Ruth Whitfield, Pearly Young. May their memories be a blessing, and their legacy be our action.

“This horrific shooting is yet another reminder, another warning, another ringing alarm that white supremacy is the greatest threat to the dream of a democratic America where every single person can be safe and thrive. We must respond to this threat with the full moral courage and political strength this moment requires.

“The blood of those murdered in Buffalo is on the hands of every politician and pundit who spreads the dangerous lie of the “great replacement,” a racist and antisemitic conspiracy theory which claims Jewish people are behind efforts to replace white Americans, often through immigration or elections. We heard this same lie echo in gunshots aimed at Jewish people in Pittsburgh in 2018 and immigrants in El Paso in 2019. 

“In recent years this lie has gone from the fringes of the white nationalist movement to the mainstream of rightwing political rhetoric. In the past year, at least a dozen Republican members of Congress and Republican Senate candidates have used “replacement theory” in public comments or advertisements. Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson has spread this idea in more than 400 episodes. Now, a poll released last week shows that nearly half of Republicans agree to at least some extent with the idea of “replacement theory.”

“In the face of a growing movement for multiracial democracy, Black liberation and freedom for all, these politicians and pundits are cynically stoking white grievances to manufacture division and fear in order to grow their power, no matter who gets hurt. They aim to keep people of all races and classes from working across lines of difference to win the things we all need to thrive. Defeating this concerted threat to the safety of our communities and our country’s democracy must be the number one priority of our Jewish institutions. Those who apologize for or forge political alliances with politicians and pundits who spread fear and division are putting Jews and millions of other Americans in physical danger, and have no business claiming to speak for American Jews.

“Today, our multiracial Jewish community sits in grief, extending our love, solidarity, and support to the Black community in Buffalo and all who are in pain. Tomorrow, we rise in partnership to hold the politicians and corporations profiting from the spread of dangerous conspiracies accountable. Together, we will build a country where everyone is able to live with freedom, safety, and belonging — no matter our race, how we pray, or where we come from.”

Bend the Arc: Jewish Action is uniting a movement of tens of thousands of progressive Jews across the country who are fighting for justice and equality for all. We are the only national Jewish organization focused exclusively on social change in the United States.