Wednesday, April 17, 2024

El Paso residents outraged that Trump didn’t mention Latinos in his speech

President Trump condemned white supremacy from the White House yesterday, but left Latinos out of his speech.

It’s a significant omission and a stark difference from the written document that has been linked to the 21-year-old gunman who allegedly opened fire on weekend shoppers Saturday at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. The shooter’s alleged document mentions a Latino invasion, the increasing Latino population and a decision by its writer to target Latinos after reading a right-wing conspiracy theory asserting Europe’s white population is being replaced with non-Europeans.

“We’ve got dead bodies. The majority are Latino. Some are foreign nationals from Mexico and we got a manifesto describing what he intends to do and why,” said State Rep. Cesar Blanco, a Democrat who represents El Paso. “I think it’s telling; he failed to mention Latinos,” Blanco said of the president. “He failed to mention that our community is majority Latino, but it doesn’t surprise me.”

The Mexican government confirmed that eight of the victims identified so far were Mexican citizens, not unexpected considering the city of El Paso and surrounding communities of El Paso County, Texas are about 83 percent Latino. Trump did say in the speech that he had sent his condolences to Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, because eight citizens from Mexico were among the dead, but he didn’t make specific mention of El Paso’s residents of Latino descent.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus pushed Trump to commit to no longer use the term “invasion” to describe Latino communities, immigrants or refugees to the country. Rep. Joaquín Castro, D-Texas, twin brother of presidential candidate Julián Castro, said in a statement that the caucus is grateful Trump addressed the El Paso and Dayton, Ohio tragedies.

But he said, “this does not make up for the years of attacks by President Trump on Hispanic Americans and our immigrant communities.” “During the president’s address, he blamed the Internet, news media, mental health and video games, among others … Unfortunately, he did not take responsibility for the xenophobic rhetoric that he has frequently used to demonize and dehumanize Latinos and immigrants over the past four years.”