Targeted Racial Violence in America…Can We Stop It From Happening?

Black American citizens casually shopping for groceries were ruthlessly gunned down by a white man who claimed racism as his sole motive. The 18-year-old killer left behind a 180-page manifesto outlining the need for racial purity. He wasn’t going to stop with this one store in Buffalo, NY. His plans were to kill every Black woman, man, and child he saw, which included paying a visit to another nearby store.

Let’s visit Malcolm Graham in South Carolina whose sister Cynthia Graham-Hurd had her blood splattered around the inside of a Baptist church along with eight other congregants by 18-year-old white supremacist Dylan Roof. 

Graham understands what the family members of the victims in Buffalo are experiencing. “America’s Achilles’ heel continues to be … racism,” he said.

“As a country, we need to acknowledge that it exists,” Graham continued. “There’s a lack of acknowledgment that these problems are persistent, are embedded into systems, and cost lives.” 

The mass shooting in Buffalo has reminded many Black Americans of the vulnerability they felt following the church shooting in Charleston. It also raises the disturbing question of what actions are being taken politically to curb racially targeted racial violence. The general consensus says the answer is nothing.

Deacon Heyward Patterson from the State Tabernacle Church of God in Christ in Buffalo was a victim of Saturday’s grocery store shooting. 

“I don’t understand what that is, to hate people just because of their color, to hate people because we’re different. God made us all different. That’s what makes the world go-’round,” said Patterson’s grieving pastor, Russell Bell. 

Though the racism of today pales in comparison with America’s racist past, minority groups continue to feel the pain and the incidents of violence are not isolated. In 2019, 22 Latinos were killed in an attack at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas where members of their race were specifically sought out.

It’s one thing to not approve of gay sexual activity, but it’s quite another for a gunman to blast his way into a nightclub in Orlando killing everyone in sight, as was what happened in 2019. Or to hate Jews enough to shoot up a synagogue in San Diego in 2016. Or, or, or…

Advocating for civil rights, spokesperson Michael Edison Hayden with the Southern Poverty Law Center said that targeted racial violence runs much deeper than the surface. “To be targeted for these things that you cannot control, it’s not only extremely painful emotionally, but it also impacts the way you perceive the world going forward after that,” he said. 

Professor Jeannin Bell from Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law said that with violent racial events, “You’ve increased the vulnerability of everyone who looks like the target. This is a different type of crime because it impacts not just the victims, but also the community.”

We’re constantly reminded of America’s past by people who refuse to leave it there. It isn’t a right/left thing by any means. There’s not one thing political about any of the targeted violence. It’s hatred. Plain and not so simple.

Liberals claim to be all about racial equality, but the way they go about trying to achieve their goal was witnessed not long ago when their own violent rampage tore up the streets of America. They were promoting the same thing they were protesting against.

Conservative patriots know better and it’s up to each and everyone to continue setting the example we all should live by. We may not stamp out racism in its entirety, but so far, we’ve done a damn good job at lessening its impact on everyday society. Nobody can stop the deranged few.