The Communist Party USA condemns the racist shooting massacre in Buffalo, New York at the TOPS supermarket in a predominantly Black community and left ten people dead. We strongly denounce all racist lynchings whether committed by a white supremacists armed with an assault weapon or the police.
We join with other progressive and democratic forces in saying the names of the victims so they will not be forgotten, and send our deepest condolences to the families of Katherine Massey, Ruth Whitfield, Roberta Drury, Aaron Slater Jr., Celestine Chaney, Andre (Elliot) Mackneil, Pearly Young, Heyward Patterson, and Margus Morrison, whose lives were ended by Payton Gendry”s gunshots.
18-year-old Payton Gendry, a fascist and white supremacist, carried out the massacre. Gendry was seen wearing the patch of the Black Sun symbol in photos, which is a symbol of neo-Nazism frequently worn by the Azov Battalion in Ukraine. The Azov Battalion is a white supremacist and fascist paramilitary unit that holds leadership positions in the Ukrainian National Guard.
Gendry also left behind a manifesto praising the Christchurch shooter in New Zealand who, not suprisingly, also praised the neo-Nazi Azov unit in Ukraine. In the manifesto, Gendry advocated the white supremacist “great replacement” claim repeated in extreme-right media outlets like Fox News with host Tucker Carlson. This fascist theory promotes the idea that white Americans are being replaced through an orchestrated campaign by non-white people, in particular darker-skinned immigrants from Latin America, Africa and other Global South countries. This false claim has its roots in the post-Civil War period. White plantation owners and former enslavers fearing a loss of power used similar ideas to denounce “Black domination” and supported the rise of the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremist terrorist organizations. Their vile actions led to the forced passage of Jim Crow apartheid laws that remained in place until the 1960s. It was mimicked by the Nazis in the 1930s to justify their invasion of surrounding countries, and building a vast concentration camp system that claimed the lives of six million Jewish people and millions of other ethnic minorities, queer people, disabled people, and political opponents. Over 20 million Soviets were murdered by the Nazis defending their nation.
This recent massacre of Black people by a white supremacist is not an anomaly nor new phenomena in the United States, though the government continues to promote the false idea of supporting democracy abroad while lynchings continue at home. Gendry’s actions and beliefs are of a piece with the rise of Trumpian fascism, the resurgence of racist and conspiracist militias, and the turn of the Republican Party as a whole toward extreme-right racism and a fascist-like political party.
Organized white supremacist fascist violence is at the core of this recent massacre. On June 7, 1998, James Byrd Jr. was lynched by three white supremacists in Texas. Byrd was beaten then chained by his ankles to the back of a pickup truck and dragged three miles to his death. Another example is the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing which killed many Black federal workers. The forces involved with Charlottesville in 2017 and the January 6, 2021 insurrection to overthrow democracy are also connected with this violence. We also cannot forget the Charleston shooter Dylan Roof and the El Paso Texas shooter who were also inspired by fascist ideology and violence.
The list is extensive. We need to consider re-circulating a We Charge Genocide petition to the United Nations to call for a serious investigation into fascist, white supremacist violence in the United States. And we need to continue our efforts to organize a strong anti-fascist alliance to rid this country of fascist thinking. November’s election will be an important site of struggle in this effort.
But the authors of the Genocide petition warned against believing that racist violence was an individualist action. They saw it as a systemic crisis that had defined U.S. history and its political and economic system. “Its very familiarity disguises its horror,” they stated. Gendry’s radicalization isn’t an accident or a deviation. It is the natural result of a capitalist social system that cannot value people of color’s lives.
As the recent police murders of unarmed African Americans Sandra Bland, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Daunte Wright, Botham Jean, Terence Crutcher, Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Patrick Lyoya show, there is a racist double standard of how mass shooters are treated by the police. White supremacists, like Dylan Roof were peacefully arrested and taken to lunch at Burger King with a bullet proof vest. The media plays a serious role in this as well by perceiving Black youth as threats and not properly investigating white youth that purchase weapons. We need to challenge this racist dynamic.
Black people, with all people who stand against racism and for justice, are searching for answers.
As the extreme right attacks the teaching of racism and slavery in K-12 schools and banning of books by Black authors, fascist ideology seeps in. The concerted political campaign to denounce critical race theory as part of the Republican Party’s election strategy is a feature of this fascist ideology. It aims to control, through law and threats of imprisonment or being fired the ideas and voices of teachers, professors, journalists, or other public figures who offer clear-sighted analysis of racism, white supremacy, and capitalism. As the right-wing media continues to push these ideas on to the US public, we stand with the people’s and democratic movements that demand our institutions tell the truth about our history as painful for some as it may be. We stand with the people’s movements against white supremacy. We join the call for a serious, not just a performative, commitment to fighting systemic racism. This is an urgent crisis. It is an emergency that demands a serious response. Thoughts and prayers, flowers and commemoration of the loss of our elders are important. But we need a working-class leadership that will fight to protect Black lives, uplift our worth in a society divided by hate, and commit to a democratic future.
The Communist Party USA joins with others to demand the Buffalo shooter be immediately tried for a hate crime under the new federal lynching bill. Our duty as Communists is to help build an anti-racist pro working-class movement to force an end to the legal and extra legal lynching of Black people, and to end the capitalist system that systemically requires racism and an attack on the truth for its continuation.
Source: Communist Party U.S.A.