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United We Stand summit at White House attempts to combat hate

Four months after Tops mass shooting on May 14, Dr. LaVonne Ansari spoke as part of a panel that included women impacted by hateful violence.

WASHINGTON — The horrible act of violence on May 14 here in Buffalo was among the recent attacks that were the focus of a summit in Washington on Thursday.

"We are still in complex trauma. People don't realize that, I get emotional," said Dr. LaVonne Ansari, CEO of the Community Health Center of Buffalo.  

Four months from the tragedy of May 14, Dr. Ansari spoke as part of a panel that included women impacted by hateful violence.

"We are not prepared for domestic terrorism," Dr. Ansari said. "We have to know that we missed all the signs.

"Our instinct when I talk to the Tops employees, our patients, our community, their instinct told them, their instinct told them that this shooter had been coming for months was something wrong, but we didn't have the knowledge, we didn't have the knowledge to know what domestic terrorism was."

The United We Stand summit brought together community leaders like Dr. Ansari, survivors, family members, and government officials, including President Biden.

"The violence and the haters are in the minority, but unless we speak out, unless we speak out, it's going to continue. It will continue," President Biden said.

The president also called out social media companies to hold them accountable for being platforms where people can spread hate.

"I'm calling on Congress to get rid of special immunity for social media companies and impose much stronger transparency requirements on all of them," President Biden said.

Despite all of the acts of hate represented by survivors at the summit, the President remains hopeful because of the younger generations.

"They're the least prejudiced, most volunteering, least, how can I say it, least likely to find blame and most likely to get engaged," President Biden said.

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