May 17, 2022—On Saturday, 10 people were fatally shot and another three were injured by an 18-year-old white supremacist who livestreamed the massacre on Twitch. After Saturday’s shooting, which was the deadliest mass shooting of the more than 200 that have already taken place in 2022, another four people died and 36 were injured in five other shootings that took place in Orange County, California; Houston; Chicago; Milwaukee; and Winston-Salem, N.C. over the course of the weekend. The shooting in California took place at the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods and investigators say that the alleged shooter was motivated by hatred of Taiwanese people. Fenway Health CEO Ellen LaPointe offered the following statement in response to these events:
“This weekend reminded us again – in devastating fashion – that racism and gun violence remain urgent public health crises in our country. The victims of this weekend’s hate-motivated gun violence join a long and ever-growing list of those who have lost their lives in this way during the last decade alone, a partial list of which includes Black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015; Muslim residents of an apartment complex in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in 2015; LGBTQIA+ nightclub goers in Orlando, Florida in 2016; Jewish congregants in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2018; Hispanic/Latinx people in El Paso, Texas in 2019; and Asian spa employees in Atlanta, Georgia in 2021. These acts of violence expose the brutal persistence of racial hatred in our country, and the ever-present, increasingly normalized threat of gun violence in our culture as a means to express that hatred.
“As an organization that was conceived and built to serve oppressed communities and to support and advance the health and well-being of the people who count on us, Fenway Health condemns these acts in the strongest terms. We affirm our commitment to antiracism as an organization, and we stand in support of public policy and public health efforts to address racism and gun violence in our country.”