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‘This is Not a Convo For Twitter, But It’s a Conversation We All Need to be Having’: Chance the Rapper and Viola Davis React to Buffalo ‘Race Massacre’

Residents of Buffalo, New York, and around the world are shocked and stunned after reports about a racially motivated shooting at a New York supermarket. According to the Buffalo News, Payton Gendron opened fire at a local Tops grocery store on Saturday, May 14 in a predominantly Black neighborhood. At least 10 people are deceased and three injured, including a retired Buffalo police officer, who fired multiple shots at the accused.

The 18-year-old allegedly drove three hours from another county to commit the heinous act FBI agent Stephen Belongia refers to “both as a hate crime and racially motivated violent extremism.” Police say the suspect live-streamed the attack online and dressed in body armor and a military-grade helmet, armed with a high-powered rifle. Gendron was arrested and taken into custody at the scene for first-degree murder. He was arraigned later Saturday evening at Buffalo City Court and faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if found guilty. 

Viola Davis (L) and Chance the Rapper (R). Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images, Prince Williams/FilmMagic)

Chance the Rapper, who is no stranger to calling out acts of racism, responded to the news in a series of tweets the following day. The Chicago native began, “Black people (globally) should be in conversation with each other (privately) about the race massacre happened yesterday, and how we should respond.”

In other tweets, the “Angels” rapper said, “Privately. In-person, whenever, wherever we are. This is not a convo for Twitter, but it’s a conversation we all need to be having.” He added, “Please don’t reply with any plans or thoughts here.”

Meanwhile, Viola Davis took things a step further by channeling her notorious role as a criminal defense attorney, Annalise Keating, on ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder.”

In the caption, she wrote, ” ‘Racism is built into the DNA of America. And as long as we turn a blind eye to the pain of those suffering under its oppression, we will never escape those origins.’ ” ~ Professor Annalise Keating.”

(Photo: @violadavis/Instagram.)

In addition, the actress shared a collage that featured images of “unarmed” Black men and women who were murdered or gunned down by police. Between images of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Mike Brown and Elijah McClain, and others were images of “heavily armed” individuals who made it out alive. The list included Dylann Roof, the self-proclaimed white supremacist who gunned down victims at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.

In the 2018 crossover episode of “HTGAWM” and “Scandal,” Annalise Keating took on the Supreme Court for her case “Lahey v. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” She argued that the state failed to provide adequate legal representation for Black and underprivileged defendants who cannot afford their own. She also alleges people of color were unfairly incarcerated and targeted with longer sentences than those with paid lawyers.

“The only safeguard people of color have is the right to a defense and we won’t even give them that. Which means that the promise of civil rights has never been fulfilled,” she said during her captivating speech. “Due to the failure of our justice system, our public defense system in particular. Jim Crow is alive and kicking.”

With Kerry Washington‘s character Olivia Pope sitting in the courtroom, Keating explained the historical struggle African-Americans have faced within the justice system for decades. She also pointed out that the Supreme Court is a place where racist laws have been dismantled and upheld.

“The Sixth Amendment was ratified in 1791. It’s been 226 years since then. Let’s finally guarantee its rights to all of our citizens,” she concluded.

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