Things That Matter

Latino Border Patrol Agent And Army Veteran Hailed As Heroes In Poway Synagogue Shooting In San Diego

When Oscar Stewart and Jonathan Morales when to the Congregation Chabad synagogue in Poway, California on April 27, they went to worship. When they left, the two men, an army veteran and off-duty Border Patrol agent, were hailed as heroes for confronting a lone gunman. Here’s what we know about the two men who shortened the killer’s rampage of terror on the last day of Passover.

One person died and three were injured in a shooting at the Chabad Congregation in southern California.

Credit: @JoaquinCastrotx / Twitter

On the last day of Passover, a lone gunman entered the house of worship and opened fire. The news of another mass shooting broke the peaceful week of celebration in the Jewish faith.

According to the LA Times, the FBI was notified about a manifesto from the suspect but the shooting happened before the FBI could finish their investigation.

In the chaos, two men are being called heroes for their quick action that forced the shooter to flee.

Army veteran Oscar Stewart and off-duty Border Patrol officer Jonathan Morales were at the temple worshipping when the shooter entered. While Morales has been more withdrawn from the media, Stewart has shared their story.

The two men ran to the gunfire when they first heard the loud bangs echoing through the temple.

Credit: @IBEW569 / Twitter

Stewart, an Iraq war veteran, was the first person to confront the shooter. Stewart told journalists that he ran to the gunfire and started to scream at the shooter. Stewart’s actions forced the shooter to flee the temple and try to escape.

The Rabbi asked Morales to come to the service armed because we live in a time where gun violence is commonplace in society.

Credit: @philwillon / Twitter

According to USA Today, Stewart chased the shooter out of the temple and that’s when Morales told Stewart to duck. Morales, who works for Border Patrol, was armed and opened fire on the shooter’s car trying to disable it.

“Morales recently discovered his Jewish roots. He would travel three and a half hours from [the California town of] El Centro to pray with us at our shul,” Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein told media at a Sunday press conference, according to The Times of Israel. “He felt this was his house of worship. And many times I said, ‘Jonathan, you work for the border patrol. Please arm yourself when you are here; we never know when we will need it.’”

The shooting at Poway is another example of the kind of gun violence American’s face on a daily basis.

Credit: @nataliemorales / Twitter

Whether at school, work, concert, or a place of worship, Americans live with a constant understanding that any day can be the day they are involved in a mass shooting.

“Hate and violence against anyone because of their race, ethnicity or religion has no place in our society,” senior Customs and Border Protection official John Sanders said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Our thoughts and prayer are with the victims, their families, and their community as they recover from this tragic event.

READ: Anthony Borges Protected 20 Classmates During The Parkland Shooting And Just Got Released From The Hospital

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

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

Things That Matter

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

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

California Is Poised To Become The First State To Offer Unemployment To Undocumented Workers

Things That Matter

California Is Poised To Become The First State To Offer Unemployment To Undocumented Workers

Brent Stirton / Getty Images

Covid-19 has devastated families financially, especially Latinos. Latino households have experienced disproportionate levels of unemployment and health issues from Covid-19. California is helping undocumented people impacted by the virus.

California is going to help undocumented people struggling during the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic.

On Monday, the California legislature released a stimulus package to help Californians suffering during the pandemic. The “Major Components of Joint Economic Stimulus Plan” includes financially assisting undocumented people living in California. The plan further stipulates that the state would create a fund to assist those who will lose when the $600 unemployment benefits disappear and any other holes that might remain in the economic injuries of residents.

People are defending the use of tax dollars to help undocumented immigrants.

Undocumented people pay taxes. It is a narrative that anti-immigrant people push to further harm the undocumented community. Advocates have argued that the undocumented community should be protected during this pandemic as much as anyone else. This plan would likely do that.

“Our calls for prompt relief and a bit of human kindness have been heard and we hope soon not another family will go hungry or without essentials such as medication, bars of soap and other hygiene products, as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc in the Golden State,” Angelica Salas, executive director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, said in a statement.

The virus is still spreading in the U.S. with California being one of the worst-hit states.

The state set a record on July 29 with 12,904 new Covid cases and 192 deaths. The state has been criticized for rushing its reopening strategy that led to a visible explosion of cases in mid-June. That is when California restrictions were lifted before meeting the health guideline standards for a safe reopening.

Latinos are the most impacted community. More Latino households have seen illness and sudden joblessness across the U.S. The federal government has left out undocumented people, who pay taxes, from assistance using tax dollars. California might be the first state to rectify that.

READ: Boston Red Sox Pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez Suffering From Covid-Related Heart Inflammation

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com