President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit El Paso, Texas, days after a violent attack fueled by white supremacy and hatred took the lives of 22 people. The shooter’s manifesto included phrases and rhetoric straight out President Trump’s tweets and rally speeches. Mario Carrillo, who grew up in El Paso and serves as the America’s Voice Texas Director, issued the following statement:
My city’s heart is broken and President Trump has an opportunity and a responsibility to help in healing the wounds left by this terrorist attack. Unfortunately, he’s proven over and over again that he’s incapable of showing compassion or acknowledging that his words – against immigrants, against Latinos, and against the city of El Paso – could have led to violence. If he turns this visit into just another photo op, without any attempt at reconciliation and truly bringing the country together, our city would be better off without him.
President Trump has continually used our border community as a prop for his anti-immigrant agenda and has led his supporters to believe that our borderlands are nothing more than a place to erect more walls and separate families. I wish he’d take the time to visit with El Pasoans and to truly get a sense of what our city is about. He’d see our city as a welcoming place, that has opened its arms to people from the world over, including my own family, and the most vulnerable among us.
The President could learn so much from El Paso, and he could go a long way in ensuring our country that he will no longer dehumanize immigrants and use rhetoric that could lead to further violence. Given his track record and his unwillingness to take responsibility, though, I fear it is too late.