On Sunday, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) delivered a rousing speech during a visit at First Corinthian Baptist Church, a historically black church in Harlem, where she nearly brought the house down.
“In our schools we’re hearing about bullying. We’re seeing harassment at supermarkets. We see KKK flyers being passed around on a town in Long Island. We’ve seen an epithet written on a family’s door. Just a few days ago, Timothy Caughman [was] murdered by a white supremacist, solely because he was black. And two days from now, we will remember the anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” Gillibrand said to the church congregation before she was introduced by her “friend,” FCBC senior pastor Michael Walrond.
“Too many of you have witnessed this too up close and personal for far too long, and too many New Yorkers, especially within communities of color, have been facing this kind of hatred and violence even before election day.”
The junior senator, who has been very vocal against President Donald Trump, spoke to the rising hate crimes across the nation since his election in last November.
“This onslaught of hate [is] coming out from every direction in Washington, the highest places in this country,” said Gillibrand. “The struggle is not against the flesh and blood, but against the rulers, the authorities and the powers of this dark world…It’s time that we take a stand. We take action. We stand up to the bullying. We stand up to the hateful words. We protect those least among us. We protect the vulnerable.”
She added: “And when we’ve fought the good fight, and we still feel that anxiety that comes with so much uncertainty, we look back to the scriptures. And Philippians tells us what to do: ‘Do not be anxious about anything. But in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God.’ The peace of God will be with us. It transcends all things. It will guard our hearts and minds in Christ.”
After delivering her five-minute address at First Corinthian, Gillibrand was met with an electrifying standing ovation.
The politician was first appointed to the Senate in 2009 after President Barack Obama nominated then-senator Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, leaving a vacant seat. She went on to run a successful special election in 2012 for a full six-year term.
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Though she’s up for reelection in 2018, many have speculated that Gillibrand would take her anti-Trump stance all the way to the presidential election in 2020. Back in February, the senator told Syracuse.com that she would rather focus on serving her constituents in the Senate.
Still, many are still holding out hope.
Listen to the speech here.