I am outraged. Saddened. Sickened. And horribly unsurprised. Another white nationalist with a gun has massacred the targets of his hate. Past targets have been women, African Americans, Jews, Muslims, LGBTQ people. This time this young white nationalist man targeted immigrants and Mexicans and killed 20 people.
Richard Parker wrote in the New York Times:
“Most significantly though, the El Paso massacre — and that’s what it is, it is not a mass shooting but a premeditated massacre — was the inevitable byproduct of the Trump era’s anti-immigrant, and anti-Latino invective, which with its pervasive, vile racism has poisoned our nation.
“El Paso-Juarez is a big, bustling desert city of over two million, straddling the United States and Mexico. My hometown has virtually zero modern history of ethnic strife; El Paso alone is over 80 percent Hispanic. We switch from English to Spanish without skipping a beat and we are fine with that. But the Trump era is not.
“It has brought us walls, internment camps and children in cages. The massacre is the outcome I have feared for years now, and I can’t help but feel that its genesis lies with the president of the United States.”
The killing is a predictable consequence of the continuing drumbeat of hate emanating from the White House, unchallenged by Republicans, and amplified by the media.
“The perpetrators of these mass killings are being shaped by the hateful and divisive narrative and accompanying policies at the federal, state, and local levels that marginalize and demonize immigrant, Black, brown, LGBTQ, and other communities.
“The spate of shootings should spur a national discussion about the cultural and policy changes we must make in order to end this epidemic of mass violence and domestic white terrorism that our country continues to grapple with.”
Yes to all of that.
Last week protesters led by Jewish activists blocked ICE offices in Minnesota and Milwaukee and other cities across the country. Never again, they said.
“We can’t wait for the right time, we needed to do this yesterday, and we need to do this together. Our cruel and racist immigration system impacts everyone living on this land, from the indigenous people who remember forced removal, to those of us brought here as slaves without our consent, and those who were immigrants and refugees fleeing oppression.”
You can act, too.
Every Tuesday morning, from 7:30 to 8:30, people gather at the ICE entrance to the Bishop Henry Whipple Federal building to protest the continuing detention of immigrants, here and at the border, as well as the anti-immigrant policies that deny asylum to those seeking safe haven in the United States.
Every day: Stand on any street corner any time with a sign opposing immigrant detention camps
Call your Senators and your Representative. Tell them we need to stop the hate. Tell them we need to support immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. Tell them this is not negotiable, not something on which they can compromise. This is the heart and soul of our country. We cannot let the haters win.