HF Statement on El Paso and Dayton Shootings

New York, NY - Today, Jose Calderon, President of Hispanic Federation, issued the following statement on the El Paso and Dayton shootings:

“This weekend’s deadly shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, profoundly saddens and deeply enrages us. The violence that was inflicted on these communities is heartbreaking but unfortunately unsurprising.”

“These shootings, and the hundreds that have preceded them this year, were preventable. Sensible and practical gun control legislation languishes in Congress because members of Republican leadership in the House and Senate are more beholden to the NRA and its millions of dollars in campaign contributions than they are to the safety and well-being of American families. There is a bipartisan consensus in America’s towns and cities that Congress can and should place meaningful limits on gun ownership. The failure of our leaders to act on this clear-cut popular sentiment is the result of nothing more than a combination of cowardice and avarice.”

“Just as problematic is the sick and dangerous philosophy that motivated the shooting in El Paso. What occurred in that thriving and diverse border city was an act of domestic terrorism driven by white supremacy. The shooter’s intent was clear: to inflict death and terror on the city’s Latino community. Some may be tempted to see the shooter’s actions as simply the act of a deranged person. Draping the shooter in the mantle of a “lone, sick gunman” only seeks to avert attention away from the ways many of our national leaders have not only stoked white nationalist actions but also been complicit with them. One need only to look at the words and statements of President Trump since the first day of his election campaign to find the stark commonalities that exist with the language used by the shooter in his so-called manifesto. We have long warned the President and his enablers in Congress and the media that words have consequences – that the drumbeat of anti-immigrant rhetoric grounded in dehumanizing language can only lead to violence. This weekend in El Paso, sadly, we saw the deadly effects caused by leaders trading in the language of hate.”

“If President Trump truly wants to make sure that this weekend’s victims didn’t “die in vain,” he could start by relentlessly pressuring his party’s leadership to pass meaningful gun control legislation such as mandatory background checks and the banning of sales of military-style assault weapons, and by renouncing once and for all the racist rhetoric he has long used to attack immigrants and people of color.”