Saturday’s mass shooting inside a Buffalo, New York, grocery store has once again turned attention to America’s white supremacy movement.
All 10 people killed by the 18-year-old charged in the shooting were Black. The alleged shooter described many of his racist beliefs in a 180-page online manifesto.
Hate crimes have been on the rise in the U.S. Last fall, the FBI reported that hate crimes surged to their highest level in 12 years. The Anti-Defamation League says 2021 saw the highest number of antisemitic incidents ever recorded by the organization.
And an increasing number of people, nearly half of Republicans according to a December Associated Press/ NORC poll, agree with at least some of what’s being called “The Great Replacement Theory.”
That’s something that concerns interfaith activist Eboo Patel, founder of the Interfaith America, an organization dedicated to bringing together people of all faiths for common purpose.
“We have to tell the inspiring story of American pluralism, how people with diverse ideologies can work together,” Patel said. “One of the most inspiring examples of that is former President Obama.”
In his new book, “We Need to Build: Field Notes for Diverse Democracy,” Patel outlines three strategies to help America promote unity and eliminate white supremacy: Tell the story of diversity and pluralism; build institutions where people with diverse ideologies come together; and marginalize the country’s small extremist element.
Note: This article was updated on May 23 to correct the official name of Interfaith America.