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Buffalo shooting causes pain, anger among KCMO minority communities

local reax buffalo shooting
Posted at 7:11 PM, May 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-16 20:16:53-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — The shooting at a Buffalo grocery store on Saturday is causing pain among the Black community in the Kansas City area.

Police said a white, 18-year-old man wearing body armor, opened fire outside Tops Friendly Market, which is located in a predominately Black neighborhood of Buffalo.

According to police, the gunman began shooting outside in the parking lot and then moved inside. 10 people were killed and three others were injured. 11 of the victims were Black.

Pastor Darron Edwards, with United Believers Community Church in Kansas City, Missouri, spoke about the shooting during his Sunday service, preaching that it is okay to lament.

"You could hear cries of emotion, which makes me know that this pain runs deep," Edwards said.

He said the Black community still has not received a response from members of the white clergy.

"We know that it's going to take allies for public action and direct action to change in this country," Edwards said.

Edwards said he is disappointed he has not received messages of support and calls to action from white clergy members.

"It's very painful to know that that type of activity can happen, and there's not one text message, not one phone call, not one email to say 'I'm praying with and for you and your people,'" Edwards said.

Those messages of support are important and powerful, according to Gavriela Geller, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Bureau American Jewish Committee.

While Geller acknowledges those in the Black community are the ones who need the support right now, as a member of the Jewish community, she empathizes with their pain.

"You notice those who reach out and you notice those who don't reach out," Geller said.

Geller said it's crucial to name this instance exactly as it is.

"This wasn't just a hate crime, but it was an act of white supremacist extremist violence," Geller said.

Geller is calling on elected officials and the white community to name and condemn the act of hate and to realize the shooter's inspiration for the crime is also responsible for other acts of hate in the jewish, muslim and hispanic communities.

"This white supremacist great replacement theory is a threat to all communities, and we need to be able to come together with the white community as well, being leaders in this saying where is this coming from, how do we fight this together," Geller said.

Both leaders are encouraging community members to reach out to their friends, family or co-workers in the Black community, even if it's a simple text to show support.