Things That Matter

After The Shooting In El Paso, Beto O’Rourke Calls On Media To Call Out Trump’s Dangerous Rhetoric

Democratic Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke is arguably taking the strongest stand against Trump’s blatant racism out of any other Democratic candidate. O’Rourke is a third-generation El Pasoan, with roots deep in the El Paso community. In the wake of a mass shooting perpetrated by someone who espoused white supremacy talking point, O’Rourke is holding Trumps’ feet to the fire. 

While O’Rourke has been calling Trump a racist and a white nationalist for several years now, this week he called Trump “the most racist president since Andrew Johnson.” He not only called Trump a white supremacist but tweeted, “You cannot leave it up to me. Members of the press: You too have to call him out for being the most racist president since Andrew Johnson.”

The President of the United States took to Twitter to mock the Latino influence El Paso has had on O’Rourke.

Credit: @realdonaldtrump / Twitter

O’Rourke is pure Irish-American, but he grew up in El Paso, a border community that is majority Latino. Growing up, friends gave him the nickname “Beto,” short for Robert, and it stuck. Just three days after the deadliest attack on Latinos since the Mexican-American War, Trump decided to attack O’Rourke.

O’Rourke took to Twitter to let the president know that he believes that Trump’s racist dog-whistles led to the attack.

Credit: @BetoORourke / Twitter

O’Rourke makes no claim to be Latino, but he has represented Latinos in his career as a public servant to El Paso. The shooter idolized Trump on his social media accounts and used much of the same rhetoric in the white supremacist manifesto he posted online. Like Trump, he used words like ‘invasion,’ ‘animals,’ and ‘infestation.’

In an interview with CNN, O’Rourke called on media to “call him out for being the most racist president since Andrew Johnson.”

Credit: @BetoORourke / Twitter

After CNN asked him to comment on Trump’s condemnation of white supremacy, O’Rourke responded by saying, “This is the same man who called white nationals and klansman and Neo nazis ‘very fine people.’ This is the most racist president we’ve had since perhaps Andrew Johnson, in another age, in another century. He is responsible for the hatred and the violence that we see right now. You cannot leave that just to me to say that. It’s gotta be you.”

O’Rourke is so frustrated with reporters skirting around bigger questions that he actually responded with “I don’t know, like, members of the press, what the f*ck?”

Credit: @MSNBC / Twitter

On Sunday, a reporter asked O’Rourke if there’s anything President Trump could do to “make this any better” and O’Rourke lost it, and reasonably so. 

“What do you think? You know the sh*t he’s been saying. He’s been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. I don’t know, like, members of the press, what the f*ck? Hold on a second. You know, I — it’s these questions that you know the answers to,” he put bluntly.

“I mean, connect the dots about what he’s doing in this country,” O’Rourke continued. 

Credit: @Indi_Tx27_4Beto / Twitter

“He’s not tolerating racism, he’s promoting racism. He’s not tolerating violence, he’s inciting racism and violence in this country,” he fumed. “So, you know, I just — I don’t know what kind of question that is.”

This political moment is offering folks a sense of relief and hope.

Credit: @JoyAnnReid / Twitter

Relief that someone is holding Trump to task. Hope that someone will do more than simply respond to his racism diplomatically.

O’Rourke is in El Paso offering his personal cell phone number to survivors of the shooting.

In a touching moment, we see O’Rourke asking survivor Sean Nixon, 20, if he’s been able to get some professional counseling or a therapist. “Talk to me,” O’Rourke tells a grief-stricken Nixon.

“It’s too much. El Paso was great. I don’t know why this dude was doing this to us,” Nixon cries out while weeping. 

O’Rourke gave him his personal cell phone number and a promise to connect him with therapists, and anything else he might need.

Credit: @ericbradner / Twitter

O’Rourke gives him a long hug and tells him, “I’m with you. I’m with you. This is my cell phone. It goes directly to me. There have been a number of people who have reached out to me–counselors, therapists who want to be helpful. If that additional help would be good for you, let me know and I’ll put you in touch.”

READ: Here’s How One 11-Year-Old El Paso Resident Is Trying to Bring Some Positive Light After A Horrible Mass Shooting

Here Are Some Key Take-Aways From President Trump’s Disastrous Axios Interview

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Here Are Some Key Take-Aways From President Trump’s Disastrous Axios Interview

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

President Donald Trump recently did an interview with journalist Jonathan Swan for Axios and it was very bizarre. From bragging that the U.S. has a death rate lower than the world’s to claiming to have done more for African-Americans than John Lewis, the interview went off the rails from the beginning.

President Donald Trump’s latest interview is a wild ride in the worst way.

The president of the United States used an interview with Axios to try to push his narratives. From Covid to Ghislaine Maxwell to John Lewis to Russia, President Trump managed to spout a series of conspiracy theories and questionable statements. The interview has left many scratching their heads in disbelief.

One of the most bizarre moments is when Trump produced incoherent charts trying to change the Covid response narrative.

First, President Trump tells Jonathan Swan that the average 1,000 daily deaths and daily 65,000 infections “is what it is.” The president further argued that the country was doing everything it could to get it as under control as possible.

President Trump also tried to continue pushing the false narrative that the U.S. is doing the best with testing. As it stands, it takes days for some people to get their test results back, which makes contact tracing difficult. Contact tracing is one of the most important tools to control the virus that has already killed more than 155,000 people in the U.S.

On Representative John Lewis, President Trump was less than kind.

When asked how history would remember him for not attending Rep. John Lewis’ funeral, Trump began about how Rep. Lewis didn’t attend his inauguration. In fact, Trump called is a “big mistake.” He continued by saying Rep. Lewis should have attended his State of the Union speeches as well.

The truly stunning moment was President Trump diminishing the important contributions Rep. Lewis made to this country. Instead of acknowledging Rep. Lewis’ hard-won victories for African-Americans.

“I did more for the Black community than anybody with the possible exemption of Abraham Lincoln,” President Trump claimed. “Whether you like it or not.”

“You believe that you did more than Lyndon Johnson who passed the Civil Rights Act,” Swan asked in disbelief.

“Yeah because I got prison reform,” Trump shot back. He then continued asking Swan how the Civil Rights Acts has worked out.

He also doubled down on his comments wishing Ghislaine Maxwell well.

Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested for her role in the Jeffery Epstein child sex ring. When first asked by reporters, President Trump wished her well and acknowledged that he knew her and met her several times when living in Florida. When Swan told him that she had been arrested on charges of child sex trafficking, Trump acted obliviously.

President Trump said he wasn’t sure about that fact almost trying to ignore the facts. Swan pushed back reminding Trump that Maxwell was indeed in prison for child sex trafficking. Ignoring Swan Trump says he wishes her well because of Epstein’s death.

You can watch the full 37-minute interview below.

Get comfy. It’s a wild ride, y’all.

READ: The Trump Administration Raised Fees For Immigration Cases Including For Refugees

One Year Later, The Latino Community Remembers The El Paso Shooting

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One Year Later, The Latino Community Remembers The El Paso Shooting

Mario Tama / Getty Images

On August 3, 2019, a man entered a Walmart in El Paso, Texas and killed 23 customers and injured 23 more. The shooter, Patrick Crusius, went to the Walmart with the expressed purpose of killing Mexican and Mexican-Americans. One year later, the community is remembering those lost.

One year ago today, a man killed 23 people in an El Paso Walmart targeting our community.

The Latino community was stunned when Patrick Crusius opened fire and killed 23 people in El Paso, Texas. The gunman wrote a manifesto and included his desire to kill as many Mexicans and Mexican-Americans he could in the El Paso Walmart. The days after were filled with grieving the loss of 23 people and trying to understand how this kind of hate could exist in our society.

Representative Veronica Escobar, who represents El Paso, is honoring the victims today.

Rep. Escobar was on the scene shortly after the shooting to be there for her community. The shooting was a reminder of the dangers of the anti-Latino and xenophobic rhetoric that the Trump administration was pushing for years.

“One year ago, our community and the nation were shocked and heartbroken by the horrific act of domestic terrorism fueled by racism and xenophobia that killed 23 beautiful souls, injured 22, and devasted all of us,” Rep. Escobar said in a statement. “Today will be painful for El Pasoans, especially for the survivors and the loved ones of those who were killed, but as we grieve and heal together apart, we must continue to face hate with love and confront xenophobia by treating the stranger with dignity and hospitality.”

El Pasoans are coming together today to remember the victims of the violence that day.

Latinos are a growing demographic that will soon eclipse the white communities in several states. Some experts in demographic shifts understand that this could be a terrifying sign for the white population. These changing demographics give life to racist and hateful ideologies.

“When you have a few people of color, the community is not seen so much as a threat,” Maria Cristina Morales, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas at El Paso, told USA Today about the fear of changing demographics. “But the more that the population grows – the population of Latinos grow for instance – the more fear that there’s going to be a loss of power.”

The international attack is still felt today because of the constant examples of white supremacy still active today.

“It doesn’t occur to you that there’s a war going on, and there’s always been a war going on—the helicopters the barbed wire—but you just kind of didn’t see it,” David Dorado Romo, an El Paso historian who lost a friend in the shooting, told Time Magazine.

The sudden reminder of the hate out there towards the Latino community was felt nationwide that day. The violent attack that was planned out revealed the true cost of that hate that has been pushed by some politicians.

“El Paso families have the right to live free from fear, and I will continue to honor the victims and survivors with action,” Rep. Escobar said in her statement. “Fighting to end the gun violence and hate epidemics that plague our nation.”

READ: As El Paso Grieves Their Loss, Here Is Everything We Know About The Victims Of The El Paso Massacre, Which Were Mostly Latino