Vice President Kamala Harris appealed to those mourning the death of an 86-year-old woman killed in this month's racist mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, that "all good people" should stand up and say "enough is enough."
Harris said there is a "through line" to the shootings in Buffalo and others, including this week's deadly school shooting in Uvalde.
"There's a through line, what happened here in Buffalo, in Texas, in Atlanta, in Orlando, what happened at the synagogues," she said. "And so this is a moment that requires all good people, all God-loving people, to stand up and say, 'We will not stand for this. Enough is enough,' we will come together based on what we all know we have in common, and we will not let those people who are motivated by hate separate us or make us feel fear."
Harris was seated in the front row at a memorial service for Ruth Whitfield, a woman who had just left from visiting her husband at a nursing home when she stopped at a supermarket to buy groceries. Nine other people were killed when a White supremacist opened fired inside a Tops grocery store in Buffalo two weeks ago today.
Harris was not expected to make remarks at the memorial service, but as the Rev. Al Sharpton was addressing the crowd, he said, "I'm going to break protocol. I think that we should insist that we hear from the Vice President of the United States of America."
"The pain that this family is feeling right now, and the nine other families here in Buffalo, I cannot even begin to express our collective pain as a nation for what you are feeling in such an extreme way," Harris said. "To not only lose someone that you love, but through an act of extreme violence and hate. And I do believe that our nation right now is experiencing an epidemic of hate."
She said Americans were "in this together" and that "we are strong in our belief of what is right."
"No one should be made to fight alone. We are stronger than those who would try to hurt us think that we are," she said. "That we are strong, we are strong in our faith, we are strong in our belief about what is right, and our determination to act to insure that we protect all those who deserve to be protected, that we see all those who deserve to be seen, that we hear the voices of those people, and that we rise up in solidarity to speak out against this. And to speak to our better angels."