Message regarding tragedy in Buffalo

Dear North Colonie Community:

This past weekend, Payton Gendron, a self-described  white supremacist from Conklinville in New York State’s Southern Tier, intentionally drove 200 miles to Tops Friendly Supermarket in Buffalo to shoot 13 innocent people, killing 10. Eleven of the victims were Black. Twelve of the victims were simply shopping for groceries. One was at work — a security guard who lost his life protecting others in the store. 

The event has been identified by law enforcement as a federal hate crime. Once again a stunned and saddened world is again left to confront hatred, violence, intolerance, and unbridled racism. 

Again, in this often repeated  moment, we must  address the hurt, pain, and fear felt in our Black community and confront racism and hatred. Caring and compassion are important, but actions inspired by love, compassion, and justice are what is necessary. We in North Colonie must relentlessly live our mission statement for our children and  commit to meeting the social, emotional, and academic needs of each and every child. After this act of horrific violence, It is important to provide students the opportunity to process the event honestly and openly as a hate crime and intentionally violent racist act against a Black community. While such conversations are difficult, failing to address student concerns may risk normalizing racism and violence.

To this end, we recommend the following resources from Facing History and Ourselves:

As a just  community, we must be deeply concerned about the impact of life events on all of us. When one of us is harmed, we all are harmed, and we must openly acknowledge that has been deliberately inflicted on a community because of race. More than ever, the words of author James Baldwin ring true and clear, Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”


D. Joseph Corr