It took us until now to finally confirm the El Paso Shooting as a hate crime. In August, 2019, a gunman entered an El Paso Wal-Mart and opened fire, killing 22 and injuring 23. The shooting has been called the deadliest attack on Latinos in modern American history.
Even though the gunman Patrick Crusius pled not guilty, he was charged with a federal hate crime (a crime motivated by prejudice).
Before the shooting occurred, Crusius allegedly published an anti-Latino manifesto online claiming the attack was a response to a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
This shooting is not unique. From 2017 to 2018 the number of hate crimes in Texas jumped up by 240% and five hundred people were victims of hate crimes in 2018.
Activists and politicians believe that racist rhetoric fuels mass killings.
Trump has used words like “invasion” and “predator” over 500 times when discussing immigration at rallies. “This president, his open racism, is also an invitation to violence,” said Beto O’ Rourke, former U.S. Representative from El Paso.
Racist language empowers racists, so we need to stand against it, and support leaders who believe in justice for all.