Civil rights

Civil rights leaders meet with Justice Department over Buffalo massacres

By Deborah Bailey,
AFRO DC Editor

Last Friday, Attorney General Merrick Garland met with representatives of leaders from nine major civil rights organizations to address urgent concerns about the May 14 racially motivated mass shooting in Buffalo New York that killed ten black people in shopping at a local store and injured three additional victims.

Civil rights leaders want the Biden administration to use more force against hate groups and take a tough law enforcement stance to crack down on individual and group activity that has found refuge in social media sites where the “replacement theory” and other racist ideologies breed recruits. They want to see accountability extended to those in the media and corporations who financially benefit from the spread of national, race-based terrorism.

“How many more events like the Buffalo Massacre do we need to see before we act to finally fight white supremacy and domestic terrorism in this country?” asked NAACP President Derrick Johnson.

Black-led organizations have joined traditional civil rights organizations in linking the rise of domestic terrorism to the structural spread of racist rhetoric. They also call for corporate and political support that fuel the advance and acceptability of increasing levels of extremist rhetoric and activity.

People gather outside the scene of a supermarket shooting, in Buffalo, NY, May 15, 2022. The NAACP, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, said it would come up with a broad plan to to protect black Americans from white supremacist violence, in response to a hate-fueled massacre that killed 10 black people in Buffalo, New York last weekend. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

“White supremacy has a consistent ideology and deliberate tactics. Unless politicians take immediate action to end white supremacy, more lives will be stolen,” Black Lives Matter said in a tweet immediately following the May 14 Buffalo killings.

“Our anger goes to the social media companies and gun dealers who aided and abetted extremists for profit, and the politicians who recklessly encouraged them to vote,” the National Urban League president said. , Marc Morial, in response to Mary 20’s encounter with Merrick. Garland.

In a phone call with Biden on May 15, a day after the shooting, members of the Justice Department spoke with civil rights leaders who urged the administration to take a strong stand against the mass shooter in Buffalo. President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden visited Buffalo on Tuesday, May 16 to comfort families and expose domestic terrorism.

Melanie Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation/Black Women’s Roundtable who was on the call last Sunday, encouraged Biden to go to Buffalo, but urged the administration to Do more.

“The rise of hate crimes and white nationalism threatens the very heart of our multiracial, multiethnic democracy,” Campbell told Justice Department officials.

NAACP, Anti-Defamation League (ADL), National Action Network (NAN), National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), National Urban League (NUL), Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Asian American Advancing Justice and Muslim Advocates attended the May 20 meeting with Garland.

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