The National Consumer Law Center stands in solidarity with the Black community in Buffalo, New York, and condemns the deadly attack by a white supremacist on a Tops grocery store last week. We offer our sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of the 10 people killed and three others injured. We also acknowledge the collective trauma of individuals targeted by white supremacist violence in their places of worship and larger community in Pittsburgh, El Paso, Charleston, Atlanta, and other communities across our nation.
News reports reveal that the shooter specially targeted this Buffalo community after searching online for a zip code with the highest concentration of Black people. Decades-long segregation, economic disinvestment, and other systemically racist practices made this community an easily identifiable target for a shooter intent on harming Black individuals. This act of violence shines a light on the consequences of such economic disinvestment and deep segregation as residents of this impoverished community demanded and organized for years to get a local grocery store to bring fresh food into what was – and with the store’s closing is again – a food desert. This hateful attack leaves a deep emotional scar and has health and economic consequences for the wider community.
NCLC is steadfast in its commitment to advocating for policies that support and protect consumers who have been historically and economically marginalized. As part of our Racial Justice and Equal Economic Opportunity Project, and in all aspects of our advocacy, NCLC will strive to dismantle systems that perpetuate systemic racism in housing, credit, and access to economic opportunity. We encourage everyone in the consumer law community to work to eradicate systemic racism and hate to create a just and safe society for all people.