US co-operators condemn white supremacy after the Buffalo shootings

National Co+op Grocers calls on other businesses 'to join us in standing against the continued spread of racially based oppression, intolerance and violent extremism'

National Co+op Grocers (NCG) says it is “heartbroken” by the mass shooting in Buffalo, NY, where a gunman killed 10 people and wounded three more.

The attack, on 14 May, took place in a supermarket in a predominantly Black neighbourhood on the city’s east side; 11 of the victims were Black. A white 18-year-old male has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder.

A statement from NCG said: “We grieve with the families of those whose lives were taken and with everyone who is suffering in the Black community. As one grocer to another, we extend solidarity and empathy to the staff and shoppers of Tops Market on Jefferson, where this brutal act took place.

“This was the latest in a series of mass shootings that have been fuelled by white supremacy, deliberately targeting people based on their race, religion or sexuality.”

Figures from the US Justice Department show that the number of hate crimes rose over 30% in 2020, the last date for which national data is available. Racially motivated hate crimes accounted for nearly 62% of these incidents, with the Black community being the most targeted group.

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NCG – a business services co-op representing 148 food co-ops operating over 200 stores in 38 states in the US – said it “advocates concern for community as one of our core co-op principles and advocates for racial equity.

“We condemn white supremacy and any ideology that suggests a race or group of people is genetically or culturally superior to another. We call on other companies to join us in standing against the continued spread of racially based oppression, intolerance and violent extremism.”

It added: “We applaud Tops Market for its efforts to support its shoppers and staff during this time, and although we are competitors in business, we stand together in community.”

NCG is also directing people looking to support victims and their families to a GoFundMe list of verified fundraisers.

Feed Buffalo and FeedMore WNY can help supply the community with food while their grocery store is temporarily closed, it added.

Its statement also contains a series of links to organisations and resources working against white supremacy, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

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