OPSEU/SEFPO’s condolences go out to the families of the victims of the latest deadly mass shooting in Buffalo, New York.
On Saturday, ten innocent Black lives were targeted in broad daylight inside a supermarket. Another three people were injured. This was a racially motivated act of terror and needs to be named for what it is: white supremacy.
The shooter reportedly spoke of the same racist, white supremacist agenda heard from those responsible for the fatal shootings in New Zealand and Quebec.
These acts of violence are not new or isolated. Black people in the United States, and across North America, continue to fight for their basic human rights. These acts of violent extremism are attempts to instill fear and break the spirit of the Black community. This was a deliberate act and it sought to harm and kill Black people in a community with a high percentage of Black members. This isn’t just gun violence; this is anti-Black racism.
These shootings are an urgent reminder that more must be done to address the continued rise of white supremacy. Hate crimes, acts of violence and hate speech continue to grow at a rapid speed across North America, including in Ontario.
There are daily encounters where Black families, Black children, Black women and men continue to be targeted for the colour of their skin. This is a vicious cycle of violence and hatred that continues to repeat itself. White supremacy has no place in our workplaces, unions, schools or communities. It’s not enough to denounce it, we must act to stop it in its tracks. OPSEU/SEFPO joins the Black community across this province and nation as allies in support of this necessary work.
OPSEU/SEFPO is committed to dismantling anti-Black racism and to do the work to become an anti-racist union. OPSEU/SEFPO offices have lowered their flags to half-mast as a sign of solidarity and respect to the victims and their families. Today and always, Black Lives Matter.
JP Hornick, OPSEU/SEFPO President
Laurie Nancekivell, OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer
Peter Thompson, OPSEU/SEFPO Coalition of Racialized Workers, Chair