MAJORITY LEADER SCHUMER REMARKS STANDING WITH BUFFALO MASS SHOOTING VICTIMS FAMILIES FOLLOWING THE SENATE JUDICIARY HEARING ON DOMESTIC TERRORISM
Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) yesterday stood with family members of the victims of the Buffalo mass shooting following the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on domestic terrorism. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Thank you Senator Durbin, and let me thank you was chair of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Blumenthal and all the other members of the Judiciary Committee who were here. But most particularly, I want to thank the families.
Can you imagine how hard it is being here? Having lost a loved one, lost the whole community, having been on a peaceful morning, everything looked fine. And then you hear what happened. And these folks will live with this the rest of their lives. Not just today, not just next week, not just next year. The whole community on the east side of Buffalo will live with this for the rest of the community's existence.
But I want to thank them. I want to thank Mr. Whitfield, who made such great testimony. I want to thank Ms. Salter, Ms. Pritchett, and Ms. Spight, who you'll hear from in a little bit, and everyone else who was joined. I want to thank my good friend Ben Crump. We've worked on many crusades together. We won every one of them. We're going to win this one too. We're going to win this one too. I just want to salute the families who are here.
What the Scriptures tell us is the natural thing when some horrible, evil, unmistakable violence falls upon you or a loved one, and you lose them, the human instinct is what the Bible calls “curse the darkness.” You turn inward on yourself. You become angry. You give up. What the Bible also says – what the Scriptures say is – when you try to prevent it from happening to others, you're lighting a candle. It's saint-like. And you folks are saint-like. It is not easy to do this: to relive what happened, although you relive it all the time. So we have some really saint-like folks with us here to try and make sure this doesn't happen again.
We all know that racism is the deep dark poison of America. And unfortunately it exhibits itself in too many ways. But what we saw on the East Side of Buffalo – that a bigoted, despicable animal came to shoot people because they were Black on a peaceful morning at a supermarket – it just, it shakes you to your inner bones. And we have to deal with this in America. We cannot push it under the rug. We cannot ignore it. We cannot go just walk away from it. We have to keep pushing and pushing and pushing.
And so when Senator Durbin passed the legislation, the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act, I said we're gonna get this to the floor of the Senate and it's still befuddles me how so many people could vote against it, how so many people could vote against it. It's just confounding, disturbing that we did not get a single Republican and all we ask them to do is vote to allow us to debate the issue. Because we all know that when racism is left to fester, it grows. Plain and simple.
And we don't really want thoughts and prayers, we need votes. We need action. We need action. To stop this despicable bigotry. We are going to vote on gun legislation in the future. And we are going to bring this act up again and again and again in every way we can to make sure that America knows that there are enough people who want to see righteousness done.
So, I would just say we have a moral obligation to do what we're doing here and to continue what we're going to do and I pledge to the people here – the good people of Buffalo, the people of the East side, the City of Good Neighbors – that those deaths, as horrible as they were, as searing as they are in our hearts, you are making sure they will not have died in vain and we will join you in that effort until we succeed.
Thank you and God bless.
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