WASHINGTON - Rev. Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King, III, Arndrea Waters King, and Jonathan Greenblatt released the following statement today regarding the racist mass shooting in Jacksonville, Florida:
“While thousands of people from all walks of life -- Black, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, White, Latino, Sikh, Hindu, LGBTQ+, young and old -- marched today in our nation's capital for the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington, a white man in Jacksonville, Florida, motivated by a sheer desire to kill Black people, opened fire at a dollar store, killing three people, all Black. The assailant, who is now deceased, was seen earlier in the day at Edward Waters University, an historically Black college, where witnesses claim he was seen donning a ballistic vest and mask before going to the dollar store. According to authorities, the shooter left behind a racist manifesto expressing his hateful ideology and intention to target and kill Black people. Additionally, officials shared images of the weapons used in the attack, revealing that the gunman's rifle was adorned with bigoted rhetoric and hateful symbols, including swastikas.
This hate is abhorrent, detestable, beyond humanity, and must be condemned by all. We all need to come together in solidarity in standing up to the evils of white supremacy and intolerance of all forms. Such bigotry should have no place in our society. And it is a reminder that the hate-fueled violence that Dr. King called out sixty years ago and that we condemned today from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, aren’t antiquated concerns, but remain a clear and present danger that threatens us all.
As we continue to march for justice and equality, we also mourn the lives those lost today and send our hearts and prayers to the victims and their families.”