WASHINGTON – May 16, 2022 – Outraged and dismayed by the mass shooting at Tops Friendly Market grocery store in Buffalo, NY, the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) today joined other leading social justice organizations in calling on President Biden to convene a national summit on right-wing extremism.
A summit could channel the widespread anger unleashed by the slaying of 10 and the wounding of three others into a search for responses that would curtail the chances of further domestic terrorism.
“All of us deserve to feel safe, especially as we move about in our communities and interact with our neighbors in places we all congregate, such as a supermarket. We must come together as a nation and find ways to stamp out the hatred that led a gunman to target and terrorize a community–apparently because that’s where African Americans live,” said Nikitra Bailey, Senior Vice President of Public Policy. “This horrific act of violence reveals the lingering negative impact caused by residential segregation.”
“When the COVID pandemic broke, many people were targeted at their places of residence. In fact, 31% of all hate crimes occur at a person’s residence, which can invoke protections proffered by the Fair Housing Act,” Bailey said.
The community where the Tops Friendly Market is located, which census data shows has a population that is more than 97% Black, had struggled to obtain its grocery store so residents would have easy access to fresh foods. Black communities are far less likely than predominately White communities to have full-service grocery stores. Now, that store is likely to be closed during the crime-scene investigation. Ms. Bailey said emergency food centers should be set up by the state and federal agencies to assist residents with obtaining fresh groceries as the investigation proceeds.
In calling for a summit, NFHA is adding its voice to those of the National Urban League, the Anti-Defamation League, the League of United Latin American Citizens, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC, and the National Action Network, among others.
The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) is the country’s only national civil rights organization dedicated solely to eliminating all forms of housing and lending discrimination and ensuring equal opportunities for all people. As the trade association for over 170 fair housing and justice-centered organizations and individuals throughout the U.S. and its territories, NFHA works to dismantle longstanding barriers to equity and build diverse, inclusive, well-resourced communities.