Our hearts are broken over the unspeakable racist attack that took ten lives in the Buffalo, NY community after a gunman opened fire at Tops Friendly Market on May 14. We stand in solidarity with those in Buffalo and across the U.S. who are mourning this hate crime, as well as those communities of Black, Asian, indigenous, and people of color who fear for their safety due to this kind of terrorism.
“A well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion” is the defining characteristic of an individual legally deemed a refugee. RefugePoint helps refugees who have fled violence in their home countries to relocate to places where they can rebuild their lives in safety. Each year, we support thousands of refugees to resettle to the U.S. and other countries with the expectation that they will no longer face the threat of violence.
New York has thriving refugee populations that contribute to their communities, including refugees from the African continent, which make up the vast majority of those we support. We condemn in the strongest terms all terrorism, including terrorism that makes those we have served feel unsafe and threatened.
The killer was motivated by racist beliefs, including replacement theory, that jeopardize U.S. immigration and refugee policies. Such beliefs and the actions that stem from them threaten the sanctity of the work RefugePoint undertakes.
As we mourn the loss of Roberta A. Drury, Margus D. Morrison, Andre Mackneil, Aaron Salter, Geraldine Talley, Celestine Chaney, Heyward Patterson, Katherine Massey, Pearl Young, and Ruth Whitfield, we must continue to challenge anti-Blackness, white supremacy, racism, anti-immigrant sentiments, and bigotry of all kinds.