The Interfaith Peace Project continues its ongoing observance of the International Day of Peace, September 21, by sending out a reflection on the twenty-first of every month. We invite you share in this effort by sending any articles or information that you would like to share to:
Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P
May 21, 2022
WE MUST NOT FORGET
Continuing to Observe
The International Day of Peace
The May 10, 2022 massacre in Buffalo, NY, is a tragedy breaking the hearts of people around the World. The eighteen-year-old shooter was said to be acting alone as he carried out his rampage in a grocery store in a predominately Black community. In fact, he acted out of a hatred enabled by irresponsible political rhetoric and the tolerance of violent extremism.
The Interfaith Peace Project joins with heartbroken people across the World in expressing our sorrow and love to the families, friends, and community of those senselessly murdered.
The young shooter has a history of engaging in the rhetoric of hate, White Supremacist ideology, and planned violence. He left behind a manifesto based on the racist idea that Blacks, Jews, and immigrants are “replacing” true Americans. We must remember this horrific event and examine the causes motivating such a surge in violence. This violence must end, and it will only end if we confront the truth of ourselves as a Nation and a people. Several elements come to mind:
1. This young man was radicalized by an online community motivated by violence and hate of Black people. As people committed to interfaith peace and understanding, we must come to the aid and support of younger people helping them cope with online terroristic and extremist influences.
2. Guns, and the proliferation of firearms in the United States, makes hate even more lethal. We must support legislative initiatives so we might be able to shop, worship, and play without the threat of violence and death.
3. Hate groups are targeting white teenagers. The violence in Buffalo is not an isolated event. Young white teenagers are the target of hate groups who hope their terroristic ways will persist in future generations they seek to corrupt with their racism and contempt for others.
4. We are encouraged and inspired by the loving response of the Interfaith Communities and Organizations to the Buffalo tragedy. We stand in solidarity with one another. The violence does not bring us together. On the contrary, our love and respect for one another unite us in the common cause of striving for the full human rights of all people.
Again, our sympathy to the people of Buffalo must express itself in our willingness to be people of justice. We will pray for the afflicted, the wounded, and the dead. We will support all those who assist the families so injured. We pledge to work in our communities to stop the scourge of racism, nationalism, and supremacy. We take the words of President Biden to heart.
“What happened here is simple and straightforward:terrorism. Terrorism. Domestic terrorism. Violence inflicted in the service of hate and the vicious thirst for power that defines one group of people being inherently inferior to any other group. A hate that, through the media and politics, the internet, has radicalized angry, alienated and lost individuals into falsely believing that they will be replaced. That’s the word. Replaced by the other. By people who don’t look like them. I and all of you reject the lie. I call on all Americans to reject the lie, and I condemn those who spread the lie for power, political gain and for profit.”
We express our love and concern for the Buffalo community as we hope this situation will never be repeated. We express our gratitude to you, dear Friends, for your care and support. Let us continue to reach out to one another as we seek to foster a World where all people can live in peace, free from the fear of violence and hate.