SRRT Statement on Buffalo

SRRT Statement on Buffalo

We share our BCALA colleagues' anger at the recent anti-Black hate crime that took place in Buffalo, New York. We grieve with the families of Aaron Salter, Ruth Whitfield, Pearly Young, Katherine Massey, Deacon Heyward Patterson, Celestine Chaney, Roberta A. Drury, Margus D. Morrison, Andre Mackneil, Geraldine Talley, and we take joy at the recovery of Zaire Goodman, Jennifer Warrington, and Christopher Braden.

We explicitly call out racism and white supremacism as the root causes of this disgusting act of terrorism. The motivations behind it, which are sadly fundamental to the history of this country, have been recently abetted, enabled, and promulgated by politicians and media organizations who seek power, profit, influence and dominance at the expense of innocent lives and of the truth.

As library workers, we take this opportunity to rededicate ourselves and our institutions to the causes of equality, justice, and truth. We, the members of the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT), believe that we must continue to advocate strongly and vocally, in the face of violence and fear, against the forces of racist extremism. We must continue to actively and purposively support knowledge instead of disinformation, progressivism instead of a nonexistent neutrality, and true history instead of loathsome, racist lies. The recent murders in Buffalo prove once again that hatred and lies, and the failure to combat them, have tragic, unimaginable costs. As a Round Table, as a collective of library workers, and as human beings, we are tired of paying these costs, and we pledge to work towards a world without them.

SRRT believes that Black Lives Matter. We emphatically denounce the white supremacist agenda and its cancerous outgrowths such as the "Great Replacement Theory" as malignant, untruthful, undemocratic, inhuman nonsense. We believe that those of us identifying as white, as Michele Norris notes, "who care about democracy, who believe in the principles of fairness and equality, who believe that "we" is a more powerful word than "them," need to step into this space armed with facts and righteous truths." The work of dismantling white supremacy is a burden we all must share.

SRRT pledges here, in the names of the victims of this horrendous shooting, to continue this work in both our professional and personal lives, and we call on all members of the American Library Association to join us.