After a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas claimed the lives of 20 people and injured dozens more, voices of the El Paso community stand together in condemning the racism and hatred that fueled the violent attack.
In an interview with MSNBC, Representative Veronica Escobar spoke on the strength of the El Paso community and asked the President to consider his role in the events that unfolded:
We are the epitome of goodness as a community. We welcome the stranger, we take care of the vulnerable, and that is who El Paso is and I’m so proud to be a member of this community.
Words have consequences, and the president has made my community and my people the enemy. He has told the country that we are people to be feared, people to be hated. He has done that at his rallies, he has done that through his twitter.
I heard earlier someone mention that he may be coming here. I hope that he has the self-awareness to understand that we are in pain and we are mourning and we are doing our very best in our typical, beautiful, graceful El Paso way to continue to be resilient. And so I would his ask his staff and his team to consider the fact that his words and his actions have played a role in this.
In response to a question from a reporter asking what the President can do to “make this any better” former Congressman Beto O’Rourke responded by saying:
What do you think? You know the shit he’s been saying. He’s been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. I don’t know, like, members of the press, what the fuck? Hold on a second. You know, I — it’s these questions that you know the answers to.
I mean, connect the dots about what he’s been doing in this country. He’s not tolerating racism, he’s promoting racism. He’s not tolerating violence, he’s inciting racism and violence in this country. So, you know, I just — I don’t know what kind of question that is.
El Paso Sheriff Richard D. Wiles posted this in a statement on Facebook:
I love El Paso and its diversity and believe that being raised here made me and my children who we are today. And I thank God for that.
But what happened today is beyond comprehension. This Anglo man came here to kill Hispanics. I’m outraged and you should be too. This entire nation should be outraged. In this day and age, with all the serious issues we face, we are still confronted with people who will kill another for the sole reason of the color of their skin.
I fear things will not get better. Not pointing out anyone in particular, but I’m sick of people jumping in front of the cameras offering prayers and condolences as things just keep getting worse.
It’s time to rise up and hold our representatives accountable at all levels. I want representatives who will stand up against racism. Who will stand up and support the diversity of our nation and our state. Who will stand up for a strong criminal justice system that holds criminals responsible and keeps violent individuals locked up and off our streets. Who support robust community mental health services. Who support keeping guns out of the hands of people who are just waiting for an opportunity to kill others.
El Paso will never be the same, because a racist came to our city to try and make a point. It didn’t work though, because the backlash of this community, as we hold national, state and local politicians accountable, will be the only point that will be made.
Mario Carrillo, America’s Voice Texas State Director issued the following statement:
What we saw in El Paso this weekend is what happens when racist and hateful rhetoric is normalized and encouraged by our nation’s leaders. President Trump has long sought to demonize and “other” brown and black communities and it’s no coincidence that the shooter chose to terrorize El Paso as his target. El Paso represents the best of America. My hometown is a city known for its diversity, culture and its predominantly-Latino population. It’s one of the safest, most welcoming and compassionate communities in the nation. We are saddened by the horrific loss of life. We will do what a great community does: stand up to racism and xenophobia and come together to take care of one another.