Even in Their Deepest Pain The Families of the Victims of the Tops Massacre Are Eloquent, Passionate and Determined in Their Quest for Justice
Just days after his 86-year-old mother was gunned down by a White Supremacist during the Tops Market Massacre along with nine other beloved members of this community, Garnell Whitfield cried out in anguish during a press conference, “What are we supposed to do with all this anger? With all this pain?”
A few days ago he emotionally asked the same question before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, D.C. during a hearing on domestic violence in the wake of the mass shooting. But Mr. Whitfield had some additional questions, and the very fact that he and other family representatives were there, was proof that they were going to channel the pain into making sure that the death of their loved ones as well as the others who lost their lives in the carnage, would not be in vain.
Whitfield also made it plain at the end of his testimony, that if those elected to serve did not want to do anyting to help eradicate the cancer of White supremacy and domestic terrorism, they should step down and allow men and women who did want to fight for change, to take their place.
Describing his mother as “the heartbeat of our family and my father’s soulmate for 68 years,” he lovingly acknowledged her as the “ person who held us together probably just like your mothers did for your families.
“Our lives are forever changed by an act of profound evil and nothing will ever take away the hurt, the pain or the hole in our hearts. For her to be murdered, taken away from us by someone so full of hate is impossible to understand and even harder to live with. But we’re more than hurtful. We’re angry. We’re mad as hell because this should have never happened.”
“Every enforcement charged with protecting the homeland has conducted risk and threat analysis and determined that White supremacy is the number one threat to the homeland. And yet nothing’s been done to mitigate it or eradicate it. We’re people of decency. We’re taught to love even our enemies but our enemies don’t love us.
“So what are we supposed to do with all our anger and our pain? You expect us to just forgive and forget over and over again? And what are you doing?
“Is there nothing that you’re personally willing to do to stop the cancer of White supremacy and the domestic terrorism it inspires?” he continued. “Because if there is nothing, respectfully senators, you should yield your positions of authority and influence to others that are willing to lead on this issue. The urgency of the moment demands no less. My mother’s life mattered…,” he said holding back tears. .. Your actions here today will tell us how much it matters to you.”
Following the hearings journalist/commentator Roland Martin on the #Roland Martin Unfiltered Daily Digital Show, pointed out that basically what the Republican Senators had to say during the hearing “gave the impression that they offered their thoughts and prayers but in many ways were defending actions that could stop Domestic Terrorism.”
Attorney Benjamin Crump, who is the legal representative for the Whitfields, agreed. It was a sin, said Krump, that the “monster” killed the Buffalo Ten, but it was also “sinful how this senate has failed to act…”
During the hearing Republican senator Ted Cruz even tried do take the focus off the subject at hand and talked about how historically the Democrats were the original KKK – which had nothing to with the Tops. Market massacre
“That’s why “we are very intentional and very “driven” to maker sure that what happened at a tops on may 14 remains current and that keep the focus where it is….” chimed in Michelle spright who was also on the s how and also lost family I the massacre. “ the focus is a white supremacists (who was) very calculated, and very concise made a 180 page missive on how he was going to gun down and execute Black people who had no choice but to go to the only supermarket in this Black neighborhood that just so happens to reside in a food desert,
“We have to keep the focus that White supremacy is not just something that came up yesterday or even started on May 14. We’re demanding accountability at this point and we’re not going to be silent..”
However one of Martin’s in-studio studio guests observed that the battle was indeed uphill.