CALIFORNIA (KTXL) — Though the Buffalo mass shooting took place more than 2000 miles away, leaders and experts say it potentially impacts Black Americans across the country, including those here in Sacramento.
As someone who grew up in the Civil Rights era San Joaquin area NAACP President Bobby Bivens is surprised by how far the country has not come.
“…Literally, I grew up as a kid in the NAACP youth council and then as an adult. And so I never thought we’d see this,” Bivens said
Bivens, president of the San Joaquin area NAACP points out—you don’t have to look to Buffalo to find black people being murdered because of their race.
In March, Justin Peoples was shot and stabbed at a Tracy gas station. The district attorney says the people charged in connection with his death targeted him because he was Black.
“It’s not 3000 miles away. It’s right here in our own back yard, right here in our own community,” Bivens said.
Psychologist and creator of “Safe Black Space” Dr. Kristee Haggins said that regardless of physical distance hate crimes take a toll on a targeted community.
“While this is nothing ‘new’ in terms of the experience, but the blatantness of it is a lot to carry,” Dr. Hagins said.
She says the effects can manifest physically as well as mentally.
“It can be nightmares it can be lack of sleep it can be nausea it can be lack of appetite, it can be a sense of hypervigilance, fear, a sense of anxiety being in places you may be targeted,” Dr. Haggins said.
With decades of advocating for equality, justice, and safety for Black people, Bivens says the advocacy must continue. And for those who resist— a reality check.
“We are going be here so those deranged people that think they’re going to wipe us out they can take that notion out of their sick brain,” Bivens said.