The son of a Buffalo shooting victim told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday (June 6) that the gunman who killed 10 Black people "did not act alone" as he was mobilized to attack by the nation's white supremacists.
During his testimony to the Senate committee, Garnell Whitfield Jr., son of the late Ruth Whitfield, emphasized that white supremacy is the biggest impending threat to the U.S., and the mass shooting in Buffalo, New York further highlighted the issue, The Hill reports.
Whitfield Jr. called out the nation's failure to stop white extremists like accused shooter Payton Grendon who reportedly targetted the Buffalo Black community and cited the Great Replacement Theory, a racist conspiracy.
“We’re angry. We’re mad as hell. Because this should have never happened. We’re good citizens. Good people. We believe in God, we trust in God, but this wasn’t an act of God. This was an act of a person, and he did not act alone,” Whitfield Jr. said.
“His anger and hatred were metastasized like a cancer by people with big microphones in high places screaming that Black people were going to take away their jobs and opportunities," he told the committee.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D) previously called domestic terrorism “one of the most serious threats facing America today.” In 2017, Durbin introduced the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act to fight against extremism, but it recently failed to move forward in Congress again.
In his testimony on Monday, Whitfield Jr. urged lawmakers to leave their positions if they're unwilling to take action because “the urgency of the moment demands no less.”
“My mother’s life mattered,” Whitfield Jr. said. “My mother’s life mattered and your actions here today will tell us how much it matters to you.”
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