After the buffalo is killed, parents struggle by negotiating with their children

When NPR spoke to Walden-Glenn on Monday, he said his middle-school children did not go to school that day. She said the emotional burden was too much to deal with in the classroom.

“We went through such a violent breach, and we were so moved,” he said. “I don’t understand how it feels to expect life to continue as normal when there’s nothing normal about what we’ve just encountered.”

Tyrell Ford also works at VOICE. He is the father of two young boys, who he said were too young to fully process Saturday’s attack.

“I don’t think they fully understand until they get a little older and the world starts to see what it really is,” Ford said. “And that’s the risk we’ve exposed to the dark side of the world.

“My wife took the opportunity, as we discussed, to talk to them, to let them know that there are some people out there who will notice you based on your skin color and will always be alert, even if they are so young.”

Since the attack, Ford, who is Black, said he and his wife have been discussing getting a gun. He said the shooting had doubled his sense of security towards his family.

“The fight against black and brown bodies is real, and we don’t know when the next event will take place,” he said.

Flowers at a memorial at the shooting site. (Alana Wise / NPR)

In a block on Tuesday in the block where the Tops Supermarket stands, still surrounded by yellow police tape, strangers gathered to pray, sing and support each other.

Daniel Wisinski was there with his two teenage daughters. They threw flowers at the time of awakening. Balloons and other memories of a lost life were piled up.

Wisinski, who is white, struggled with tears when she explained how she and her husband wanted to raise their children to see everyone as equal.

“I’m just honest with them – my husband and I always are,” she said. “We teach them that we are all one human race, and that this kind of thing should not happen.”

Her two daughters, 19-year-old Julia and 17-year-old Sarah, say they are shocked that someone so young could be so radicalized to carry out such violence.

“It’s horrible that so many young people can be influenced to do bad things like this,” said Julia.

Her sister Sarah said, “It was really annoying for me that this could happen so close to where I live.”

Their confusion was echoed by 5-year-old Alina, who was on surveillance Tuesday with her parents and younger sister, helping to distribute food and diapers to the family’s church group as well.

“We actually talked to her before we arrived,” said her mother, Candice Ernie. “I didn’t go into detail, but just let him know that one person hit a lot of people in a grocery store. And we’ve kept it up for now. Of course, the kids have a lot of questions.”

Ernie, whose family is black, said his daughter asked him if the gunman attacked the store because he had a bad day or not.

“We told him that there was an opinion against the word of God by someone who decided to resort to fear and violence instead of peace,” Ernie said.

Alina was happy to be out with her family and help the community, but the 5 year old had a question as the sun went down over the tops.

“How did this happen?”

His mother had no answer.

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