Things That Matter

President Trump And Beto O’Rourke Both Speak In The Same City, On The Same Night, Here’s What Happened

On Monday night, President Trump spoke to about 6,500 supporters in El Paso, Texas, in what is the first of many such rallies leading up to the 2020 election. His rallies, which mostly consist of his own supporters, are nothing new and have been a common sight since he took office. Yet, for Trump, Monday’s rally was different. Less than a mile away from his rally, El Paso native Beto O’Rourke, who came close to unseating Sen. Ted Cruz in November, was the one stealing all the headlines.

It’s not every day that an ex-congressman can get under the skin of the president of the United States.

O’Rourke, who has yet to announce a candidacy for president, held a rally aimed at promoting the reality of the situation at the border. He tried to debunk many of the claims Trump has made in the last few months arguing for his border wall.

“We are making a stand for truth against lies and hate and ignorance and intolerance. We are going to show the country who we are,” O’Rourke said at his rally. “We’re going to make a stand to ensure that we live up to our promise, to our potential, to our purpose as a country.”

There are substantive disagreements between both men and Monday’s dual-rallies showed these differences. For Trump, holding his rally in El Paso was strictly a political move because of its close location on the U.S.-Mexico border. For O’Rourke, it was an opportunity to spell the truth of what’s really happening in his home district’s backyard.

There were false claims of crowd sizes from the president.

From the start, there was already misleading statements from President Trump about the size of his rally crowd. “We have, let’s say, 35,000 people tonight, he has 200 people, 300 people — not too good,” Trump said in reference to O’Rourke’s rally. He would later claim that the actual size was 10,000 people but in reality, the El Paso County Coliseum holds about 6,500 people. In comparison to O’Rourke, following a mile-long march, he drew at least 7,000 people at his rally.

Trump claimed El Paso had one of the highest rates of violent crime in America before a wall was put in place, after which it became one of the nation’s safest cities. That is inaccurate.

At last Tuesday’s State of the Union address, the President claimed that El Paso had one of the highest rates of violent crime in America. Trump claimed that a barrier constructed at the border helped make El Paso one of the nation’s safest cities, El Paso’s mayor, Dee Margo corrected him. “El Paso was NEVER one of the MOST dangerous cities in the US,” he tweeted. O’Rourke chimed in on Trump’s claims about El Paso and the effectiveness of a border wall.

“El Paso is one of the safest cities in the United States of America,” he said. “Safe not because of walls, but in spite of walls. Secure because we treat one another with dignity and respect. That is the way that we make our communities and our country safe.”

According to Vox, El Paso has constantly had the second-lowest violent crime rate of similarly sized cities, a ranking it had both before and after a partial barrier was installed near the border in 2008.

“We have so much to give, so much to show the rest of the country,” O’Rourke said in a rebuttal the president. “Here, a city that has been one of the safest in the United States of America for 20 years and counting. … Walls do not save lives. Walls end lives.”

While O’Rourke spoke about the things that unite Americans, President Trump used his rally to take aim at O’Rourke and fellow Democrats.

At his rally, President Trump took jabs at O’Rourke saying he is a “young man who’s got very little going for himself except he’s got a great first name.” He also used his rally to attack the media, which resulted in the attack of a cameraman, poke fun at the Green New Deal and falsely accuse Virginia Governor Ralph Northam of supporting the murder of newborn babies.

O’Rourke went the other direction as he spoke about how the great hopes he has for the country. He spoke about the reality of what many Americans are currently facing including rising health costs, economic disparity, and job opportunities. Whether O’Rourke will run for president or not, the truth is he has gotten the attention of President Trump. That is a fact.


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El Paso Shooter Charged With Hate Crime For Deadly Walmart Attack

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El Paso Shooter Charged With Hate Crime For Deadly Walmart Attack

adriana.candelaria / garbrielndresden / Instagram

El Paso shooter, Patrick Crusius, has been indicted on 90 federal charges related to the deadly attack, including hate crimes. The shooter admitted to having a specific community in mind when he carried out the attack at the Texas Walmart.

The El Paso shooter is facing federal hate crime charges in connection with the deadly shooting.

Credit: p_craig / Instagram

On Aug. 3, 2019, shooter Patrick Crusius walked into an El Paso Walmart and killed 22 people, injuring 23. Some of the victims were Mexican nationals who were shopping.

Crusius has now been charged with 90 federal charges because of the attack including hate crimes resulting in death and an attempt to kill. The shooter admitted to wanting to target Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the attack.

The grand jury that indicted the shooter referenced “substantial premeditation” before the attack.

Credit: @JakeBGibson / Twitter

Before the attack, Crusius spent six weeks buying an AK-47 and ammunition. Shortly before a 911 alert of the shooting, the shooter’s manifesto appeared online. The manifesto spoke of a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” The manifesto also stated that “if we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can be more sustainable.”

Crusius drove 10 hours overnight from Dallas to El Paso to carry out the shooting. After the shooting, Crusius gave himself up to police stating, “I am the shooter.” The federal indictment comes on the six-month anniversary of the tragic shooting.

Some claim that the language in the manifesto parroted some lines and sentiments from President Trump.

Credit: @eptxyds / Twitter

While the wording ming be similar to what President Trump has said in the past, it is not known if the president actually inspired the shooter. According to AP, the shooter claims that his anti-Mexican beliefs were set before the president and his campaign.

A memorial has been built at the Walmart to honor the 22 victims of the shooting.

Credit: tallyngrams / Instagram

“This hate crime may be considered an act of domestic terrorism, as have other hate crimes throughout our history, like the violence wrought by white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan,” Eric Dreiband, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, told reporters on Thursday.

The deadly shooting united a community in the face of hate and mobilized a gun reform message from Walmart.

The announcement to change open carry policies for the stores and limit the sale of guns and ammunition was widely celebrated. Gun reform activists saw the move as a way to limit the spread of gun violence in the country.

READ: The El Paso Walmart Where A White Nationalist Killed 22 People Reopens With #ElPasoStrong Banner

American Latinos United Launches Committee To Take Down President Trump In 2020

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American Latinos United Launches Committee To Take Down President Trump In 2020

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

On Monday, American Latinos United (ALU) made the announcement that it would be forming a committee to create a new super PAC, “focused on defeating President Donald Trump by activating Latino voters in key battleground states.” As the 2020 election cycles draw closer and closer, political groups are already looking to key battleground states where Latino voters will play a key role in determining the next president. 

Backed by former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and entrepreneur Fernando Espuelas, the new committee will be targeting Latinos in six key battleground states: Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The ALU does not appear to be backing or supporting any specific Democratic candidate as of now. Instead, it will be placing emphasis on Latino voter engagement in these key states. 

This year will be a historic one for Latinos as for the first time ever, they will become the largest minority group of potential voters in the United States. The ALU wants to be sure that a majority of those eligible to vote actually do so. 

The 2020 election has a lot on the line besides just the presidential nomination. For Latinos, issues like healthcare, immigration, and the economy are some of the biggest factors they’ll be considering when heading to the ballot box this November. The ALU plans to energize Latino voters on these issues through specifically targeted technology, culturally appropriate messaging, and on-the-ground work to turn out voters. The committee will also have ads that will be played in English and Spanish across traditional media and digital platforms.

The ALU points to the 2016 election as an example of the importance of having Latinos come out and vote. The number of eligible voters of Latino background who did not cast a ballot in 2016 was overwhelmingly high, 14 million, considering the anti-Latino sentiment heard from Trump on the campaign trail. 

According to the Pew Research Center, over half of the 27 million eligible Hispanic voters stayed home. That may be credited to not only Trump but a lack of enthusiasm when it came to Hillary Clinton. This year hopes to be different as 32 million Latinos will be eligible to vote in 2020, compared with 30 million African-Americans.

“President Trump captured about 30 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2016. If he falls under that threshold in 2020, key battleground states will be out of his reach,” Espuelas said in a press release. “With the Electoral College in play, we intend to empower Latinos in battleground states to defeat Trump with their votes.”

The ALU called out President Trump and his administration for “incompetence and corruption.” It warns if voter turnout this year is anything like 2016, Trump will surely be re-elected. 

In advancing its message, the ALU hopes to also hope to connect with Latinos on single-issue voters that have previously not voted Democrat. In doing so, they will also educate voters on the “moral danger that Trump represents” and the consequences of reelection victory for his administration. 

 “Our country is on a precipice. President Trump’s incompetence and corruption are threatening our democracy and the American way of life,” Villaraigosa said. “Latino voters can make all the difference – if we know how to engage and activate the millions of people that sit out most elections. Through ALU, we’ll connect deeply with our community and create the mechanisms to turn out the vote in historic proportions.”

While most Latinos tend to vote Democratic, that shouldn’t make their vote an automatic given. Many Latinos have cast doubt over the party in recent years, some even pointing anger towards former President Obama who deported more than three million undocumented immigrants. 

The ALU wants to change the narrative on the 2020 election not being just about a party but about having your voice heard. The 2018 midterm elections saw some momentum when it came to the Latino vote as about 40.4 percent of eligible Latino voters came out to the polls, about 11.7 million voters in total, according to the Pew Research Center

“American Latinos United can stop him. We are everywhere. All across the country—around kitchen tables, in-office conference rooms, on busways and buses, in town halls— American Latinos are talking, planning, gathering force and strength,” the ALU website reads. “We have the power to stop Trump. And we can shine the unwavering light of truth on the corrupt Republican party that enables him.

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