Buffalo: A Brutal Killer… A Heartless White-Supremacist System

ten people murdered by fascist in Buffalo


At 2:30 pm on Saturday, May 14, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, armed to the teeth and encased in body armor, walked into the only supermarket in a mainly Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York. Gendron, a self-proclaimed fascist, neo-Nazi and white supremacist had planned for years and had driven 200 miles from a mainly white, rural New York county to carry out his attack. As reported, his express purpose was to kill as many Black people as he could, and to “inspire” other people like himself to carry out similar attacks.1

Soon the blood of over a dozen people, and the tears of thousands would pour out. Volleys of bullets from Gendron’s AR-15 Bushmaster slashed through the bodies of 13 people—11 Black, two white—who either worked in the store or were food shopping. Ten of them died. Gone now is Ruth Whitfield, the 86-year-old mother of a former Buffalo Fire Commissioner. Gone is Pearly Young, 77, who loved to sing and dance, and who for 25 years ran a Saturday food pantry in the neighborhood. Gone is Celestine Chaney, grandmother or great grandmother to seven children.

Chaney was a woman who survived cancer only to be struck down by the growing movement of murderous fascists that is metastasizing by the day. This movement has deep roots in the white supremacist foundations and “traditions” of this country. It is now being egged on by powerful voices, from Tucker Carlson to Laura Ingraham on Fox “News,” from Donald Trump to Steve Bannon to Matt Gaetz, who warn their followers that there is a plot by “elites” and/or “the Jews” to “replace” white Europeans with Black people and immigrants. (For a partial list of politicians and other prominent advocates for this white-supremacist so-called “replacement theory,” go here.)

After the Charleston, South Carolina church shooting (nine Black people dead); after the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting (11 Jewish people dead, also killed by a follower of “replacement theory”); after El Paso (22 Latinos dead)—after grief upon more grief, a young woman in Buffalo cried out for answers: “Why do they hate us?” And at the same time, anger mounted among Black people and others that this goes on, and on, and on.

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The System’s Lies and Coverup

Within an hour of the attack, the bullshit started to flow as spokespeople for the system tried to hide the real source of this violence in sanctimony, superstition and lies. “This was pure evil,” and carried out by someone not from Buffalo, said the Buffalo sheriff—as if cops and sheriffs in this country don’t murder hundreds of Black people every year as part of the routine operations of this system. “Hate and racism have no place in America” said the local head of the NAACP—as if the blood of innocent Black people has not nurtured the power and wealth of America from the very beginning.

Not to be outdone, Biden, presiding over this system, actually declared that “A racially motivated hate crime is abhorrent to the very fabric of this nation. Any act of domestic terrorism, including an act perpetrated in the name of a repugnant white nationalist ideology, is antithetical to everything we stand for in America.”

What the hell!?!? The “very fabric” of this nation was sewn together by the kidnapping of millions of Africans and their enslavement in America for generations, as well as the genocide of most of the Native peoples who originally lived here, and the equally genocidal persecution of those who somehow survived… all in the service of a rapacious capitalist-imperialist system. The “very fabric” today is one of mass incarceration and police murder of Black, Latino and Native peoples, of massive unemployment among masses of Black and other oppressed peoples, of relentless and exploitative discrimination in everything from housing to education to health care to employment, of endless insults to people’s humanity… with now a whole new wave of assaults going after voting rights and the teaching of Black history. The “very fabric” of this country is sewn together with “white nationalist ideology,” politics, and culture. This IS AmeriKKKa!

All of this and more—with the dehumanizing racism that went with it and “justified” it—is part and parcel of the soil in which the Payton Gendrons give birth to and grow their twisted schemes.

As much as this is an integral part of American history, what is going on now is in many ways even more sinister, far more dangerous. A powerful fascist section of the U.S. ruling class, and a significant section of the U.S. population, have come to the conclusion that ensuring the “greatness” of the American empire and “way of life” cannot coexist with even the modest concessions and hypocritical lip service to “equality” of different peoples and genders, won through mass struggles in the ’60s—and that in a country in which white people are on the way to becoming a minority, it is necessary to ditch all that in favor of open terroristic fascistic dictatorship, and perhaps outright genocide.

As Bob Avakian has said:

There is a direct line from the Confederacy to the fascists of today, and a direct connection between their white supremacy, their open disgust and hatred for LGBT people as well as women, their willful rejection of science and the scientific method, their raw “America First” jingoism and trumpeting of “the superiority of western civilization” and their bellicose wielding of military power, including their expressed willingness and blatant threats to use nuclear weapons, to destroy countries.

Gendron’s “manifesto,” as reported, is Nazi poison, but it is not just “hate,” or “evil”—it reads like a plan. Again, Gendron is a partisan of “replacement theory” discussed above and his sick and disgusting writings echo this and his awful, inhuman actions give expression to it. People need to wake up and act powerfully against both these fascists and the system as a whole. “Reassurances” that “this is not America,” “this is not who we are,” etc. should be seen as an effort to put people back to sleep until the fire becomes unstoppable. 

What is needed is something radically different.

Bob Avakian, in “SOMETHING TERRIBLE, OR SOMETHING TRULY EMANCIPATING: Profound Crisis, Deepening Divisions, The Looming Possibility Of Civil War—And The Revolution That Is Urgently Needed. A Necessary Foundation, A Basic Roadmap,” has analyzed WHY this fascist force has arisen with such venom and vehemence and now poses an extreme danger… he has shown how the Democrats are forced by their very nature and program to cover over the danger and seek compromise, but will fail miserably… and he has, most importantly, shown the way out at this moment—forging a roadmap to do away with this capitalist-imperialist system which gave birth to and keeps this horror going, through making revolution and establishing a radically different society and state power that would back people up in making changes in this—and every other sphere—of this sick and rotten society. 

As we mourn these new dead and curse this heartless killer—this is what is needed!





1. Assessments of Gendron’s ideology are drawn from the poisonous “manifesto” that he posted on Google Docs two days before the shooting, which is almost certainly authentic, including Gendron’s verified personal details as well as details of the planned attack. [back]

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