On Saturday, our nation marked the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington — a seminal moment in our history and in our work towards equal opportunity for all Americans. But this day of remembrance and commemoration ended with yet another American community wounded by an act of gun violence, reportedly fueled by hate-filled animus and carried out with two firearms.
Yesterday in Jacksonville, Florida a white gunman went on a shooting rampage at a store near a Historically Black University and killed three Black individuals. While we still need to learn more about the motivation for Saturday’s shooting, law enforcement has opened a federal civil rights investigation and is treating this incident as a possible hate crime and act of domestic violent extremism.
Even as we continue searching for answers, we must say clearly and forcefully that white supremacy has no place in America. We must refuse to live in a country where Black families going to the store or Black students going to school live in fear of being gunned down because of the color of their skin. Hate must have no safe harbor. Silence is complicity and we must not remain silent.
Jill and I are praying for the victims and their families, and we grieve with the people of Jacksonville.
# # #