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Special Report: Tragedy in Buffalo

A decorative image with a black background, blue and green flowers on the left that says The Mission Within Special Report.

[Content Note: Today’s post contains mentions of racism and prejudice related to what happened last weekend, specifically the Buffalo NY shooting. If this is something you need to take into consideration, definitely give this post a miss, and go check out some of my other stuff instead. That said, if you decide to move forward w/ this post, and it brings up some understandably difficult feelings for you, I encourage you to reach out to the peeps at the Crisis Text Line.]

I held off on saying anything about this. I saw the news reports in passing, and avoided reading anything about it until now. It was information I needed to know. As you may have heard by now, a senseless, tragic act of violence happened last weekend at a grocery store in Buffalo, NY. The perpetrator was an 18-year-old active shooter who will remain nameless and genderless.

I won’t be sullying this blog w/ any mention of them, and they’re not worth the mention anyway.

The perpetrator came into a Tops grocery store, armed w/ a gun that had slurs about groups of shared identities scratched into it, and became an active shooter. The shooter had a hideous endgame, and if it weren’t for the quick thinking of store security guards, the shooter would’ve succeeded.

According to the news reports, the shooter had a history of engaging in deviant behavior that ended up going overlooked when they were still in high school. However, the shooter made the choice to travel 200 miles to that Tops grocery store, so imo, they knew exactly what they were doing. They had 200 miles worth of chances to make better choices and back out. Another news report mentions that they basically went on a steady diet of fucked-up worldview propaganda during the pandemic lockdowns.

Fucked-up propaganda diets or not, there’s no excuse for this. If this is the kind of crap their parents and/or guardians condoned, then they didn’t stand a chance in hell of turning out decent. They’re old enough to know right from wrong, and old enough to have at least started learning better values than the adults in their life obviously had.

Fuck this little billy bastard, along w/ the propaganda creators, and the horses every man jack of ’em rode in on. As far as I’m concerned, they can all slurp shyt and die in a ditch for all I care. They’re all nameless, and they’ll stay that way in my book.

As a result of their actions, directly and indirectly, there were 10 who died, and 3 who were injured. Every single one of the victims, both those who survived and those we lost, were all loved and honored members of their communities. This article describes how one of the victims, former Buffalo Fire Commissioner Ruth Whitfield, stopped by the store on her way home to visit her husband in a nearby nursing home. He’d been there for 8 years, and she was there every day for him. Aaron Salter, retired Buffalo Police officer, served as a security guard at Tops, and he lost his life saving others. Pearl Young gave back to her community w/ a little food pantry.

The world is a much sadder place w/o them, imo.

It’s my understanding that the Tops grocery store is the only one accessible for a lot of the residents of Buffalo, so it’s a food desert. This means that many of the residents who rely on that Tops location won’t have access to whatever foodstuffs they may need. This piece from Elle talks about the ways you can help the shooting victims, survivors, and the community who relies on that Tops store. In that piece, there’s a link to GoFundMe’s list of verified fundraisers. If you’re in a place where you’re able to donate, do so only to those on that GoFundMe list.

I hereby dedicate this post in loving memory of the 10 who died in this senseless tragedy. Let’s speak their names.

Aaron Salter, 55

Andre Mackneil, 53

Ruth Whitfield, 86

Pearl Young, 77

Roberta Drury, 32

Katherine Massey, 72

Heyward Patterson, 67

Celestine Chaney, 65

Margus Morgan, 52

Geraldine Talley, 62

Speak my name and I’ll live forever.

Let’s honor the memories of Ruth, Aaron, Roberta, Katherine, Heyward, Celestine, Geraldine, Margus, Pearl, and Andre. To do this, we can speak their names. We can support small businesses owned by those of shared identities. We can also push back against prejudice and racism, and stand up when we see it happen. More importantly, we can listen and honor other ppl’s lived experiences. I’m not in the business of questioning anyone’s lived experiences. I got bigger fish to fry than that, anyway.

On a more personal note, although my neighborhood isn’t exactly a food desert, it is very similar in other ways to this neighborhood. I’m scared that this will happen here in my neighborhood. Reason being is b/c it could’ve just as easily happened here instead of in Buffalo, NY. How many more dickbags like the shooter are running around out there? How many are in my own backyard?

And ppl have the audacity to wonder why I’d be happy if I never had to leave my house, haha. Anyways, over to you, readers. How’re you holding up? Do you live in Buffalo, or know someone who does? How are you gonna honor the 10 victims in this heinous act of terrorism? Either way, I’d love to hear your thoughts and takeaways, so drop it like it’s hot below, and let’s talk. I see you. I hear you. I give a damn.

Since this is a developing story, I will update this post as more information from reputable sources becomes available to us.

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