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2016 Democratic National Convention
Speech by Felicia Sanders & Polly Sheppard

July 27, 2016

Felicia Sanders and Polly Sheppard are two of the three survivors of the Mother Emanuel Church shooting in Charleston, SC.

Felicia Sanders

Good evening. My son's last words were: "We mean you no harm."

Tywanza. My hero.

Two days later, I forgave the shooter who murdered him.

Hate destroys those who harbor it. I refused to let hate destroy me.

Though I have to ask: How was he able to purchase a gun he used to kill so many?

After that fateful day, Hillary Clinton called on lawmakers to close the Charleston loophole.

Because of the loophole, even though the shooter had an arrest record, when it didnít surface and three days passed, he could still buy that gun.

No one should feel what Iíve seen. No one should feel how we feel, how weíve suffered.

The Bible tells us that if we humble ourselves, pray, and turn from our wicked ways, God will forgive us and heal our land.

Let us heed Godís word and in turn may God heal our nation.

Polly Sheppard:

Amen. To heal, we must forgive. Thatís what Iíve learned this past year.

The shooter in Charleston had hate in his heart. The shooter in Orlando had hate in his heart. And the shooter in Dallas did too.

So much hate, too much.

But as scripture says love never fails. So I choose love.

And in this election, I choose Hillary Clinton.

Hillary was in South Carolina the day before the shooting, and in the days that followed, she talked about the hatred in our nation, the racism, the injustice.

She said that we canít hide from these truths. She called on us to name them and own them and then change them.

Together we can fight for that change. Together we can heal. Together we can love.

Thank you.