The mass shooting on the East side of Buffalo has affected me in a way that I was unaware of until today. I am a Black, single mother of seven and grandmother of 15. While the events of this weekend have affected the Community at Large, it has affected the Black Community to a different degree. I was out running some errands today and I saw a White homeless gentleman standing at the 33 exit on Jefferson Ave.
Sitting at that light never seemed so long before, but all I know is that I began having a panic attack. The longer I had to sit there, the more I began to wonder if he was going to pull out a gun and start shooting; I was literally scared to death. Which is very odd for me, because I don’t usually react this way. I can usually breathe through anxiety and be okay within 20 seconds. But I couldn’t breathe through it this time.
Maybe it might have something to do with the fact that I watched the video of the shooting multiple times. I didn’t mean to, but I couldn’t stop myself. I think it was just disbelief! My mind was trying to make since of it all. It felt like a nightmare that I couldn’t wake up from.
My two youngest daughters are afraid to walk to the corner store, go to school and definitely NOT shopping! How can I make them feel at ease when I am so damaged by the events. It feels like a pandemic all over again…except this time ONLY Black people are being targeted!
The best takeaway that I have seen come out of this is Buffalo showing its true form of fashion for being known as the “City of Good Neighbors.” The Community has responded in a way that feels like they are genuinely concerned. In a town that has been known for its segregation/racism issues for many years, it appears that there are enough caring people to make a difference.
I am never surprised when Buffalonians support their own or even other diverse races, but the Black Community usually gets push back and blame for our own plights in the Community. I suppose that is only natural when there is so much segregation and very little understanding. It is my hope that this mass killing helps to bring about change amongst all of the races where we no longer see color; but instead feels huMANity!
Editor’s babble: It’s time we all use our voices to condemn despicable acts of violence against innocent people. Thank you, Desiree, for sharing your experience and helping us by contributing your wisdom to our blog.