Stronger than Hate: Our Response to the Buffalo Mass Shooting

Mon, 05/16/2022 - 1:38pm
Buffalo, NY, skyline. Photo: courtesy Dekema, Wikimedia Commons.
Buffalo, NY, skyline. Photo: courtesy Dekema, Wikimedia Commons.

We mourn the loss of ten innocent lives in yet another mass shooting fueled by hate, this time at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.

According to authorities, the 18-year-old alleged shooter drove 200 miles to the supermarket in the predominantly African American neighborhood and livestreamed the attack.

The horrific events in Buffalo join a litany of similar mass shootings (Pittsburgh, Christchurch, Charleston, S.C, El Paso) driven by racist and antisemitic conspiracies such as the “great replacement theory.” Once limited to extreme far-right, many of these have now slowly bridged into the mainstream.

In 2017, after the events in Charlottesville, including the white supremacist chant, 'Jews will not replace us,' USC Shoah Foundation launched the Stronger than Hate initiative, a project dedicated to rooting out and resisting hate in its many forms: antisemitism, anti-Black and anti-Asian racism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, homophobia, and the many ways of othering.  

Expanding to a campus-wide program in 2020, today the USC Stronger than Hate initiative brings together staff and faculty, schools and centers, and, of course, our students to provide practical educational tools and resources, a new way to map and illustrate divisive issues, and many resources for connection, outreach and support.   

As we stand with the families of the Buffalo victims and honor the memory of loved ones lost, we will also continue to share materials and testimonies that can help educate and counter hatred.