TEXAS ─ On Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019, 20 people in El Paso lost their lives and over two dozen more were left injured at the hands of a shooter who opened fire at a busy Walmart. Jolt is demanding that our leaders call this heinous act what it is: a domestic terror attack rooted in white supremacy. It’s a targeting of the Latino community emboldened by the racist attitude of our own president and the complicity and inaction of elected officials at every level.
The following is a statement from Antonio Arellano, interim executive director of Jolt Action, a Texas Latino voter organization:
“Our hearts and deepest condolences go out to the families and friends of the El Paso attack victims, including those survivors whose lives are forever changed by this tragedy.
“As made explicit in writing connected to the alleged shooter, this act of domestic terrorism carried out in a Texas border community was a targeting of Latinos. This person used the same racist, dehumanizing language employed by our current president and cited a ‘Hispanic invasion of Texas.’ It is undeniable that Trump has normalized the bigotry and hatred that fueled this. The dog whistles and blatant racism he uses to drum up support among his base is clearly linked to increasing boldness and violence of white supremacists in our country.
“This attack was a hate crime perpetrated against a Latino-majority community because our leaders have not only tolerated but encouraged white supremacist beliefs for their own political gain. In fact, the fear of Texas Latinos’ growing voting power cited in the alleged shooter’s manifesto is a fear shared by the same conservatives who are working to suppress our community’s voice through citizenship questions, gerrymandering and other means.
“We are calling on our leaders to stop demonizing Latinos for political gain and instead take meaningful action to fight white supremacy. We call on them to make our communities safer and stop putting gun sales above our lives.
“Despite what white supremacy spews, Latinos aren’t invading Texas. We’ve always been here, we belong here, and we’re not going anywhere.”
Jolt Action is the largest Latino progressive organization in Texas, focused on building the political power and growing the influence of young Latinos.