LANSING, Mich. (May 16, 2022) — Today, Sen. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) and Rep. Samantha Steckloff (D-Farmington Hills), co-chairs of The Black and Jewish Unity Caucus, along with Sens. Marshall Bullock (D-Detroit) and Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield), caucus founders, issued the following statement in response to a racially motivated, horrific mass shooting by a white, 18-year-old gunman at a grocery store in Buffalo, N.Y. on Saturday:

“The members of our Black and Jewish Unity Caucus grieve with the Buffalo community, in which dangerous conspiracy theories rooted in white nationalism and anti-Semitism led to racist violence against Black Americans. Our bonds as oppressed groups grow tighter as we condemn hatred in all its ugly forms. Our hearts, prayers, and love go out to our brothers and sisters in the Buffalo community, the families of those we lost, and to the noble security guard who lost his life standing up to the gunman.

“Make no mistake: hate is prevalent across this country and hate crimes will continue to happen, but we are not able to merely be angry. As legislators, we have an inherent responsibility to solve the gun violence epidemic while also finding a way to build trust, tolerance, and respect for each other. Every tragedy, whether racially or religiously motivated, serves as another reminder that these ills are ours to solve as a society and that we still have a long way to go. Now is an urgent time for decent Americans to speak out, stand up, and join our mission to root out hatred.

“The senseless act of violence that occurred in Buffalo on Saturday strengthens our shared commitment to end domestic terrorism in all its forms. We will continue to stand up for democracy in these United States of America and remind everyone that hate has no home here.”

Announced on July 28, 2020, The Black and Jewish Unity Caucus was created by Sens. Marshall Bullock and Jeremy Moss, and Reps. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit) and now former Rep. Robert Wittenberg (D-Huntington Woods), to take legislative action to combat racism and anti-Semitism. As a caucus of legislators, the group speaks out against racism, anti-Semitism, and other ethnic-based hatred by proposing and advocating for legislation that targets hate crimes and hateful conduct. Sen. Erika Geiss and Rep. Samanatha Steckloff are serving as caucus co-chairs for this term.