This weekend marked the 8th mass shooting in the United States of 2019 that have left at least 60 people dead. It’s hard for many to feel hopeful of the direction the nation is headed when mass shootings continue to feel more like the norm rather than a cause for concern and a cause for stricter gun laws—especially when white supremacists are specifically killing and targeting communities of color.
But despite the darkness and the lives that were lost, it’s also important to not completely lose ourselves in it. Highlighting the beauty around us will help us in our fight for a safer country for future generations.
While one border town suffered from a mass shooting, one L.A. journalist reminded us of the “beauty of another border town, Tijuana.”
Esmeralda Bermudez, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, shared a series of tweets highlighting the beautiful Mexican culture in Tijuana during her stay there.
“On a day when hate targeted brown people near the border — when so many feel devastated and powerless — I thought the least I could do is show you the joy and beauty of another border town, Tijuana. #ElPasoStrong,” Bermudez tweeted. She was sharing a video of a quinceñera dancing along with what seems to be her father, with the banda blasting in the background.
On Saturday morning, a gunman opened fire at a Walmart at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, killing at least 20 people. Not even 24 hours later, a shooting in Dayton, Ohio left nine people dead and dozens injured.
In a series of tweets, Esmeralda Bermudez from the L.A. Times showed us the beauty of our people, of our culture, and the joy folks were feeling in another border town that could have easily been the subject of that mass shooting.
Bermudez tweeted “while the American side of the beach is silent, on the Mexican side tubas & trumpets sound off across the sand.”
The L.A. Times journalist highlighted a vibrant place filled with “good people and lots of good food.”
Bermudez’s tweets were refreshing and humanized the folks that white supremacists and racist leaders like Donald Trump demonize day in and day out.
Still, we can’t help but feel a tinge of sadness as we remember that this is perhaps what the folks and communities affected by the El Paso mass shooting were also like.
According to reports, the gunman left behind a four-page document posted to 8chan that was “filled with white nationalist and racist hatred toward immigrants and Hispanics, blaming immigrants and first-generation Americans for taking away jobs and the blending of cultures of the United States.”
However, it seems to have been lost on the gunman that what is now Texas was once part of Mexico until it joined the U.S. in 1845. According to the Texas Tribune, a new census estimates that “Texas’ Hispanic population growth continues to surpass white population growth, with Hispanics on pace to soon represent plurality.”
There’s no doubt that it hurts to see our Latinx communities be targeted in such ways and then have innocent victims pay the price of white supremacy.
It also goes without saying that the current administration and our commander-in-chief, Donald Trump, is to blame for the fact that the gunman felt he had the right and the power to take away the lives of innocent folks simply because he felt they did not “belong here” or should “go back” to their countries.
As of Monday, August 5, the death toll from the mass shooting that took place in El Paso is at 22 victims. According to BuzzFeed News, David Shimp, chief executive officer at Del Sol Medical Center said earlier today that an elderly woman died late Sunday and another patient this morning.
According to CNN, “El Paso County District Attorney Jaime Esparza said that the suspect is charged with capital murder and that authorities will seek the death penalty.” The FBI in El Paso is asking anyone who was at the scene of the shooting who might have taken video or pictures to submit them to investigators.
Lastly, Esmeraldo Bermudez ended her series of tweets with a video of a man playing somber music on his violin—which almost felt like a tribute to those who lost their lives on the other side of the border, in Texas.
“I hope these scenes from the border brought you some sense of goodness on a tragic day,” she tweeted. “Tomorrow I’ll be joining my colleagues at the
@latimes to continue to bring you full coverage of the mass shooting in El Paso. Good night.”
Earlier this morning, the Los Angeles Times also published an article in which many Latinos share that the El Paso shooting this weekend marked a devastating new low in the Trump era.
“It’s a destructive moment for this country,” one Latino said. “This is the first time when I feel as if our adversaries have declared war against our immigrant community.”