The NAACP at its national convention in July will address the racially motivated shooting that left 10 black residents dead at a Tops Friendly grocery store in Buffalo, NY
Led by President and CEO Derrick Johnson, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization has released a searing list of policies and recommendations that challenge the US Department of Justice and Fox News, accusing the broadcaster conservative of “sowing bigotry and racism”. The NAACP is also calling for gun reform and attacking the NFL, corporate America and advertisers who support Fox News.
As the NAACP steps up its calls, a funeral has been held for the victims who were killed when 18-year-old Payton S. Gendron opened fire on a group of shoppers at Tops Friendly Market in a predominantly black neighborhood. He was arrested and charged with first degree murder. Most of the victims were over 50 years old.
The Buffalo Bills football team reportedly paid for the funeral costs of a victim whose loved ones could not afford to bury their loved one. Civil rights activist Al Sharpton spoke at one of the funerals.
Several GoFundMe campaigns have attracted many donations for the loved ones of the victims. The most successful which includes the Tops Friendly Corporation, has so far raised over $1.5 million as of May 24.
A few days after the shooting, the National Urban League released a statement on Twitter and another that included the names of the victims.
“They were more than victims of a racist massacre. They have names. They had full and active lives and were involved in their community and family. Their lives mattered and there is absolutely no reason why they were abducted while shopping at a grocery store,” the organization said.
The shooting reignited concerns about violence against black people by white supremacists.
After identifying a black neighborhood as a target, Gendron traveled 200 miles to Buffalo, NY to carry out his murderous plan. Wearing body armor and tactical gear, he used a Bushmaster XM-15 rifle to shoot shoppers inside and outside the store. Gendron used a mounted camera to livestream the attack on Twitch.
About 13 people were shot. All 10 murder victims were black, and officials believe Gendron accidentally injured two white people during the massacre.
Gendron turned himself in to authorities, who uncovered information showing he planned to kill more black people if he had not been caught.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden visited the site days after the shooting. They join law enforcement in calling the shooting a racially motivated hate crime. Gendron reportedly wrote a manifesto in which he described himself as a white supremacist and an ethno-nationalist motivated to commit political violence. Concerned that minority populations are outgrowing white residents, Gendron is a staunch follower of the far-right “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory about “white genocide.” The attack was described as an act of domestic terrorism. Governor Kathy Hochul has promised policy changes in the state. The FBI office is investigating the shooting as a hate crime and an act of racially motivated terrorism. The county district attorney has evidence that Gendron was motivated by racial animosity. Police say Gendron researched hate-motivated attacks and shootings before he went on a rampage.
The NAACP will hold its annual convention on July 14 in Atlantic City, NJ. The organization will present its set of policies and recommendations to federal officials and conservative media Fox News, which has often been accused of being a platform for white supremacists.
“Fox News represents the worst in American broadcasting. The outlet, through shows like Tucker Carlson Tonight, has used its “news” division to sow bigotry and racism, create divisiveness, spread misinformation and promote conspiracy theories that continually encourage violence. Advertisers and corporations must take a moral stance and stop funding and subsidizing Fox News, directly and indirectly.
The NAACP urged the NFL to “stop subsidizing Fox News. Last year, parent company Fox Corporation signed an 11-year, $2 billion deal to broadcast NFL games on its Fox Sports television network.
Last month, the company signed seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady to a record-breaking, 10-year, $375 million contract as a studio football analyst. Brady has been pictured with former President Donald Trump and the two have reportedly been friends over the years. In 2015, a camera caught a “Make America Great Again” item in Brady’s locker while serving as a quarterback for the New England Patriots.
The NAACP is also calling for a crackdown to curb social media behavior. The organization said, “The DOJ and FTC must aggressively engage social media platforms on misinformation issues that create spaces where hate communities target young people. Black and brown communities provide revenue to these platforms; platforms should be required to prove that they act responsibly.
The NAACP also asks
- Social media platforms to submit regular, third-party, independent, hate-based and misinformation-based identity audits with summary results posted on a publicly accessible website.
- Social media platforms to identify and remove public and private groups focused on white supremacy, militia, anti-Semitism, violent conspiracies, Holocaust denial, vaccine misinformation, and climate denial.
- Social media platforms should create an internal mechanism to automatically report hateful content with independent verification by a human yes, even when algorithms are used for the initial verification.
- Social media platforms to ensure the accuracy of political and electoral matters by removing voting-related misinformation and prohibiting calls for violence by politicians in any form.
To end gun violence, the NAACP calls for arms sales and transfers to be subject to universal background checks. The association also asks:
- Military-style semi-automatic assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines are prohibited. Adopt new criminal penalties for straw buyers and gun traffickers.
- Create a domestic terrorism watch list and prohibit suspects on foreign and domestic terrorism watch lists from purchasing firearms.
- Repeal the current ban on data collection and allow the Centers for Disease Control to research and report gun violence as a major public health issue.
- Encourage and assist states to improve their overall reporting to the National Instant Criminal Record Check (NICS) system.
- Although the federal ban on “in reserve” machine gun type conversion kits went into effect in March 2019, additional restrictions are needed on accessories and parts against sale or shipment to the United States.
- Require micro-stamping or ballistics of all new firearms sold in the United States
- Allow states and localities to maintain and enforce their respective “concealed carry” laws.
- Repeal “hold your ground” state laws, restoring the use of deadly force as a last resort in the United States
- Encourage local jurisdictions to use their “buying power” to induce firearm manufacturers to use “counter-marketing” strategies to ensure that their retailers use all available procedures to prevent the diversion of firearms. illegal firearms.
The NAACP is also targeting Trump, “and other extremist leaders, groups and accounts that fuel hate and violence must be permanently banned from all social media platforms.