Things That Matter

Watch Congressman Luis Gutierrez Passionately Explain Why He’s Boycotting The Inauguration

PBSNEWSHOUR / ABCNEW / YOUTUBE

Luis Gutierrez, a Democratic Congressman from Illinois, has announced plans to boycott President-elect Donald Trump’s upcoming inauguration on January 20th. Gutierrez says it’s not because he’s  a sore loser — Gutierrez notes that he attended President George W. Bush’s inauguration and has a solid working relationship with many Republicans in Washington.

Rep. Gutierrez’s decision to boycott President-elect Trump’s inauguration is a symbolic protest of the hate and division President-elect Trump relied on to win.

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CREDIT: C-SPAN / YOUTUBE

By going after minority groups — women, Latinos, Muslims, environmentalists, LBGTQ, African-Americans, immigrants — President-elect Trump gave his disillusioned voters a target for their frustrations. While it may have been strategic political tactic by Trump, the negative sentiment it stirred through the country made Rep. Gutierrez, his family, and countless minority groups feel unwelcome and unsafe in their own country.

Rep. Gutierrez said he wouldn’t be able to face his family with a clear conscience if he participated in legitimizing President-elect Trump’s platform.

I am on #DianeRehmShow today speaking about the #refugeecrisis on our southern border

A photo posted by Representative Luis Gutiérrez (@repgutierrez) on

While addressing the House on January 10, Gutierrez summed up his sentiments, saying, “When the new President denigrates Latinos or Mexicans or immigrants as drug dealers or criminals, I want to be able to say that I did not condone or allow that type of speech to go mainstream.” Rep. Gutierrez’s district is roughly 72 percent Latino, and he has spent his career fighting for the rights of minorities.

In a video posted to YouTube, Gutierrez noted that though he will not be at the inauguration, he plans to be in D.C. for the January 21st Women’s March on Washington.

CREDIT: REPGUTIERREZ / YOUTUBE

Gutierrez says he plans to participate in the January 21st march along with his wife and the thousands of others who have joined the Facebook group. The march started out as a peaceful protest to bring attention to the women’s rights cause, but since it was introduced, the event has become a statement for human rights in general. People will march on behalf of pretty much anyone negatively affected by the policies that President-elect Trump’s has promised to enact. For more information on the January 21st march, check out the Facebook page.

Read: Thousands Of People Are Organizing To Protest Donald Trump’s Inauguration Across The Country

El Paso Widower Who Invited Everyone To His Wife’s Funeral Donates Thousands Of Flowers To Honor All 22 Victims Of The El Paso Massacre

Things That Matter

El Paso Widower Who Invited Everyone To His Wife’s Funeral Donates Thousands Of Flowers To Honor All 22 Victims Of The El Paso Massacre

@brie_san11 / Twitter

It’s been a little over two weeks since a terrorist upended lives when he attacked an El Paso Walmart, killing 22 people. Since then, there has been an outpouring of grief and pain but along with it a community banding together amid an outpouring of support. 

Over the weekend, that cycle of grief and support continued as many of the remaining victims were finally laid to rest. 

One El Paso funeral home director put together the ultimate send off for all 22 victims, organizing a caravan of hearses that convened at the makeshift memorial. 

Twenty-two hearses carried flowers to the makeshift memorial outside Walmart.

Perches, who organized the funeral for an El Paso widower who made headlines when he invited the entire city to his wife’s service, reached out to other area funeral homes to organize 22 hearses — one for each person killed — to deliver flowers to the makeshift memorial at Walmart, which has become a place to mourn and remember. One final procession.

On Sunday, the hearses left La Paz and followed a police escort for the five mile procession to the memorial.

There were so many flowers at La Paz that it took nearly an hour for about 100 volunteers to load the hearses.

The flowers were donated from the El Paso widower made famous when he invited the entire city to his wife’s funeral.

There were 22 hearses, representing the 22 victims of the shooting, that carried more than 1,000 floral arrangements sent by people around the world for Margie Reckard’s funeral service and burial — which were held on Friday night and Saturday.

Salvador Perches told local ABC affiliate KVIA, “I spoke with (Reckard’s) husband about the idea, and he felt this would be a fitting tribute to his wife and to the other victims,” Perches said. “Contact was then made to all of the other participating funeral homes and all of them agreed that this can serve as a gesture of unity and a sense of closure for all of the funerals that happened from this tragedy.”

People who saw the caravan pass by took to social media to share their emotions.

Cars stopped in both directions as the 22 hearses passed. People captured the moment on cell phones. Some held small American flags and removed their hats.

“I just got chills,” Sunset Funeral Homes Director Christopher Lujan told CNN in an interview. “Seeing 22 hearses is just unbelievable.”

The hearses unloaded the flowers at the makeshift memorial site outside the Walmart where the attack took place.

The makeshift memorial at Walmart sprang up a day after the shooting. People have gathered to pray and sing amid the candles, rosaries and white crosses with handwritten names of the dead.

Funeral directors invited mourners at the memorial site to unload the arrangements. They took the flowers and arranged them around the crosses. “Everybody wanted to participate in one way or another,” said Gomez, who runs the social services non-profit Operation H.O.P.E., in an interview with CNN.

Victims Of The El Paso Massacre Received Visits From Edward James Olmos And George López And Their Reactions Are Everything

Entertainment

Victims Of The El Paso Massacre Received Visits From Edward James Olmos And George López And Their Reactions Are Everything

@edwardjolmos / Twitter

It’s been two weeks to the day since a white supremacist traveled 10 hours to target Latino shoppers at an El Paso Walmart, leaving 22 dead and injured another 25 people. One patient remains in critical condition while another four are stable, but still hospitalized at El Paso’s University Medical Center. A surprise visit from Stand and Deliver star Edward James Olmos and comedian George Lopez certainly caused a positive flurry of emotion in hospital staff and survivors.

El Paso Times reports that there was no live media coverage of their visit, as it was not publicized and took everyone by surprise. The two spent hours just talking to survivors, families of those who did not survive and hospital staff.

“It was a real emotional experience all around,” UMC spokesman Ryan Mielke told El Paso Times. “They just wanted to meet with patients and staff.”

Olmos posted a photo to his Twitter with one of the survivors and her family.

@edwardjolmos / Twitter

“Celebrating life with the survivors of El Paso,” tweeted Mexicano actor Edward J Olmos. “Find a way of helping and uniting with the families of those that lost family members and survivors and their families of Dayton and El Paso.  Find ways of helping!”

Olmos and Lopez were gifted surgical caps signed by all the hospital staff that treated victims that fateful August 3rd.

@umcelpaso / Twitter

“The surgery caps worn by Lopez and Olmos were signed by all the members of UMC’s Emergency Department who were on hand August 3rd after a mass causality shooting in El Paso,” tweeted UMC El Paso. “Their visit today brought smiles and relief to recovering victims and their families.”

Mielke said the Hollywood stars pulled up a chair next to the survivors and listened to them for hours.

@FraireLibrado / Twitter

UMC hospital nurse Priscilla Fraire smiled big to get a selfie in with Lopez and Olmos. Her mom even tweeted out her thanks to the actors, saying, “Thanks George and Edward for caring about our community. #ElPasoStrong #ThankYou”

“Thank you for all you do for our Raza,” tweets a fan named Debbie Lopez Contreras. “I truly appreciate you and all your hard work to make this world a better place. Much  to you and yours”

The El Paso Pride is certainly stronger than ever.

@leon47150662 / Twitter

“Put a firmeza en El Chuco Tejas love my town 915 por vida,” one fan responds to Olmos’ tweet. “Let’s hear it for the good guys,” tweets Liz Perez in response to a comment that wonders why “hospitalized victims of the racist GOP terrorist mass murderer welcomed their visits and adamantly refused to see trump and the missus.”

“Thank you for going to my beloved hometown, Mr. Olmos!” tweets another El Pasoan. “A beautiful, compassionate and wonderful city with people on both sides of the border with our Sister City Ciudad Juarez! You are amazing, as always <3” El Paso is strong because of its Latinos, holding up other Latinos, por siempre.

This hospital staffer expressed gratitude for Olmos’ empathy for El Paso.

@CynthiaTitimtz / Twitter

“Greatly appreciate you for taking the time to come visit my city #ElPaso,” tweeted Cynthia Martinez. “It was a real pleasure to meet you. Thank you for making time to come and support our city. A community that is grieving, that is hurting.” 

“There were lines of nurses and it was chaotic.”

@MikaHayashi9 / Twitter

“They were really friendly,” 23-year-old nursing student Oseleonoleme told El Paso Times. “There were lines of nurses and it was chaotic.”

That chaos led to some staffers missing out on the photo op, and others delighting their daughters who later tweeted the above photo with the caption, “My dad works at UMC El Paso and he sent me this picture today!”

Forever, we honor the victims from the El Paso shooting. 

Andre Anchado / Facebook
  • Jordan Anchondo
  • Andre Anchondo
  • Arturo Benavides
  • Javier Rodriguez
  • Sara Esther Regalado Moriel
  • Adolfo Cerros Hernández 
  • Gloria Irma Marquez
  • María Eugenia Legarreta Rothe
  • Ivan Manzano
  • Juan de Dios Velázquez Chairez
  • David Johnson
  • Leonardo Campos Jr. 
  • Maribel Campos (Loya)
  • Angelina Silva-Englisbee
  • Maria Flores
  • Raul Flores
  • Jorge Calvillo Garcia
  • Alexander Gerhard Hoffman
  • Teresa Sanchez
  • Margie Reckard
  • Elsa Libera Marquez
  • Luis Alfonzo Juarez

Rest in Power.

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