National CAPACD Grieves Texas School Shooting & Recent Hate Violence
On the second anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, our communities reel again from the tragic school shooting yesterday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, which killed 19 children and two teachers, and wounded 17 others. The news of this massacre comes when we have not yet wiped the tears from the racist shooting that killed 10 Black people, many of them elders, on May 14th at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York. We have not yet recovered from the fears stoked by the hate-motivated shooting on May 15th at an Orange County, California church attended by the Taiwanese community.
National CAPACD’s work is driven by our vision of healthy, vibrant neighborhoods in which all community members can live and thrive. These last few weeks have reminded us, again and again, of the long road and immense work ahead toward this vision because our neighborhoods are not safe spaces for our communities. Every person must be able to move freely and without fear of racism and hate-based violence in our schools, in our places of worship, in our grocery stores, in our public transit systems. Racism and hate have permeated these institutions and left our neighborhoods bereft of public spaces in which we can be assured that our children and elders are safe.
The tragedies of these last few weeks begs the question – how many collective tears must we shed for lives lost before our leaders, responsible for our safety, enact change? President Biden announced today, on the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, an Executive Order which will reform federal policing and push state, local, and Tribal agencies to make the same necessary changes. It is a critical first step, but there is still much that needs to be done to promote public safety.
Yet we know there is tremendous power in our will for change, as well as our care for one another and our communities. We must demand gun control legislation, criminal justice reform, and meaningful public safety solutions that challenge race- and hate-based violence without criminalizing communities of color. We owe this to our youth and our elders.