FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 3, 2021
Remembering the Victims of the 2019 El Paso Walmart Massacre by Standing Against Violence Directed Towards Latinos
EL PASO, Texas - The following is a statement from Frankie Miranda, president and CEO of Hispanic Federation:
“As we remember the massacre that took place at an El Paso Walmart store on August 3, 2019, we must continue to combat hateful rhetoric against immigrants and Latinos. We must mourn the 23 lives violently taken on that day and honor survivors by demanding an end to the violence fueled by racism, xenophobia, and falsehoods, and by stopping the spread of hate across the nation.
"While delayed, the steps several social media websites have taken to block some people, like Trump, from stoking violence with lies is a welcome development, but more needs to be done. Private companies do not have to allow hate speech, and it is for the good of the country to stop misformation crafted to induce hate and xenophobia. As we saw in El Paso during the horrible massacre on Aug. 3, racism is dangerous and must be stopped at its source.
"Sensationalizing the plight of lawful asylum seekers and refugees at the southern border by anti-immigrant policymakers and media figures fuels the flames of anti-immigrant sentiment and clearly harms our immigrant communities. The fact that the shooter was not even from the border and drove a long way to El Paso with only the goal of carrying out this attack shows the violence that can be inspired by rhetoric using the border as a scapegoat. The fact is a majority of Americans support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented people. The overwhelming majority of people seeking lawful entry at our border are families simply looking for a safer life. As we saw on Nov. 3, 2019 in El Paso, on Aug. 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, and on Jan. 6, 2020 in Washington, DC, it is the white supremacists in this country that are dangerous - not the vulnerable children trapped in facilities or people looking to be reunited with their families.
"We must commit to being a country of welcome for the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, not a nation of xenophobia, hate, and violence. Instead of circulating negative rhetoric and implementing policies that criminalize immigrants and Latinos, we need to implement policies that reflect the realities of our communities and will of the public, such as immigration reform that provides a pathway to citizenship and gun control legislation. Together, we can end the campaign of hate maliciously weaving its way through our country and ensure a safer future for all.”