The following is a statement from Earlham President Anne Houtman on the shooting tragedy in Buffalo, New York.
On Saturday afternoon, I had the great privilege of celebrating the accomplishments of Earlham’s multicultural students. Earlham is a place where students from many different racial and ethnic backgrounds and countries come together to live and learn in community. In doing so, Earlham and the world benefit.
On Saturday night, I was stunned to learn that a gunman opened fire on a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, in a racially motivated attack. Ten people died. The gunman drove more than 200 miles to target a predominantly Black neighborhood, and he live streamed the whole thing online. His social media accounts revealed a chilling white supremacist manifesto. There have been calls to investigate the incident as domestic terrorism.
Early in the day, I sat, reflecting on how lucky we are to live in such a wonderfully diverse and global community. Later, I grieved for the victims, their families and our country. I was reminded, yet again, that bias and hate continue to divide our nation and world.
This juxtaposition of celebration and grief also reminded me that places like Earlham — places that model and embrace diversity, community and respect for all persons — are an important part of addressing this divide. I ask that we use these values to guide us as we actively work to condemn hate and pursue justice and equity.
Holding you all in the light,