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commUNITY spotlight: Washington hears from Buffalo after the Tops mass shooting

Relatives of victims killed or injured inside and outside of Tops supermarket in Buffalo sent a strong message to Washington lawmakers

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Federal lawmakers and anyone in power will not forget Buffalo. The voices, faces and message was strong.

Zeneta Everhart told lawmakers at a congressional hearing "domestic terrorism exists in this country for three reasons. America is inherently violent. This is who we are as a nation. The very existence of this country was founded on violence, hate and racism with the near annihilation of my native brothers and sisters.  My ancestors brought to America through the slave trade were the first currency of America.

"Let me say that again for the people in the back.

"My ancestors the first currency of America were stripped of their heritage and culture separated from their families, bargained for on auction blocks, sold, raped and lynched. Yet I continuously hear after every mass shooting that this is not who we are as Americans and as a nation. Hear me clearly: This is exactly who we are."

Congresswoman Joyce Beatty chairs the Congressional Black Caucus. She told 2 On Your Side's Claudine Ewing, outside the capitol, after hearing Everhart speak, "Racism still exists in America. We saw it here on January the 6th. We see it on the United States House floor.  When members of Congress espouse racist theories, when they talk about replacement theories in floor speeches, in campaign speeches. This is a real issue, but we are prepared to continue to stand up and fight."

She continued by saying, "We all have a responsibility, for little children to not be able to go to school, to go to the theater, to be in a shopping center, or to be able to do anything that is a part of traditional life. We can do better."

Watch the entire episode of commUNITY below:

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