SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — People throughout the country are feeling the impact of the mass shooting in Buffalo, and that includes here in the Bay Area.
KRON4 spoke with community leaders about what we do next to prevent these incidents from happening in the future.
Those leaders say this incident, and every incident like it, is horrific. They add that they need to recognize and stop the extremist behavior before it threatens every community.
“In this nation, there’s this virus of race and hatred perpetrated against Black people,” President of the San Francisco branch of the NAACP Amos Brown said.
That was Brown’s reaction when he first heard about the shooting in buffalo that happened on Saturday.
Police say they have a 180-page document that they believe was written by the shooter. It says his goal was to kill as many black people as possible.
“There’s no question it’s racially motivated. This young man is very much conscious of what he was doing,” Brown said.
Brown says Black people are experiencing racial hate like this right here in the Bay Area.
“It has happened before, but not all violence is physical violence,” Brown said. “There’s been a lot of psychological, social, and political violence that has been inflicted upon the black community.”
Seth Brysk, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, says these types of hate crimes threatens all of us.
“We’ve seen at our center on extremism at the ADL that has documented over the last decade that 75 percent of the murders that have been taking place in the name of ideology are on the part of right wind extremist,” Brysk said.
Brysk says there needs to be more preventative measures to stop these types of crimes — things like educational resources, law enforcement stepping in sooner when there are signs, and social media companies doing a better job at removing things that promote extremists behavior and conspiracy theories.
“We need to make sure that social media companies are not allowing themselves to be a platform for reaching, recruiting and radicalizing different people,” Brysk said.
Professor of public policy at UC Berkeley Jack Glaser also thinks the access to guns is increasing the likelihood that a violent crime, like this one, will occur.
“I think it’s clear that there are too many guns,” Glaser said. “There are 300 million guns in America and something like half of every household has a gun.”
Brown says he plans to meet with other community leaders in the Bay Area to discuss what happened in Buffalo and take action to prevent it from happening again.