In the wake of the murders in Buffalo, NY last week, the cost of unchecked white supremacist activity could not be more obvious. Here in Buffalo, we continue to grieve the loss of life and immense impact felt by Black people and people of color in our community.
I am clearer than ever that to fight back against this kind of racist violence, we must be organizing white people away from white nationalism and into multiracial movements for justice. Yesterday, myself, other SURJ National Staff members, and leaders in our Buffalo chapter spoke with NPR to talk about our work of organizing against white supremacist activity in the area. Listen to the 7 minute clip on NPR’s All Things Considered where we share about white people’s role in fighting white nationalism.
“We’re in a battle, SURJ National Director Erin Heaney says, for white people because the Far Right has been pouring vast sums into winning them over to the belief that Black and Brown people are to blame for their problems.”
And it is exactly these moments where SURJ intervenes– to find white people looking for meaning for their suffering and to organize them to fight back against the wealthy elite, and not their neighbors of color.
From acute white supremacist violence to the erosion of voting rights, the stakes of letting the Right build unchecked power in white communities are incredibly high. And yet, we know from our work in places like Buffalo that our organizing can and does move people to join the work of justice.