The atrocity that occurred in El Paso just one week ago weighs heavily on the minds of many, except for Donald Trump, who took the opportunity as a photo op to “prove” he is not a racist. If anything, he made things worse. As I often say to people who aren’t black but think we’re “whiners,” just “walk a mile in my shoes, live my life, and then, come back and tell me I’m whining.” The same is true for Latinos, Mexicans, and South Americans in this country, regardless of their legal status. They know what it was like for us in the 50s and 60s, and the pain is horrific.
Adrian Carrasquillo, who writes for Politico, has been bombarded with messages from people directly impacted by this massacre. One writer shared that she has been crying and apologizing to her white husband that because of her, their children will be targets. A Salvadorian male, who is married to a white woman, prays that their children come out white. These are issues that don’t concern most American families. Unfortunately, the stories are chillingly familiar to me as a black woman. I can honestly say that I feel their pain, and that’s not some talking point. Most are scared, and they believe the press is focused on the wrong issue. Yes, we need new gun laws, and yes, mass shootings are out of control in the U.S. Being a member of a targeted group, however, is a whole different issue.
For Nicole Chavez of CNN, this event hit especially close to home. She is from El Paso and has shopped in that Walmart numerous times. Chavez said that all she could think about was her mom buying glucose strips and sugar free snacks for her abuela or her papá, who buys Coca-Cola products in that store for his business in Juárez. One of her sisters had just bought school supplies for her kids, or she might have been in the store that day. Anyone with any empathy can imagine how frightening this must be for people of Latino and Mexican descent. Chavez shares that El Paso is a very friendly town where a handshake won’t do; people who barely know you will walk up and hug you. They share neighborhood barbecues, church, and other family activities. In other words, these people are no different from anyone else, and they deserve to be treated with respect.
The shooter in El Paso drove hundreds of miles to kill people he didn’t even know, people who live their lives very similarly to yours and mine. They sometimes speak a different language, but in every other respect, they are us. Yet, our faux president, Donald Trump, continues his hateful rhetoric as if he has done nothing wrong. He takes a baby whose leg was broken while his mother died shielding him with her body from a white supremacist and holds him up to the camera, grinning and giving a “thumbs up.” He isn’t in the least bothered by the turmoil he has caused, and will deny with his dying breath (from my fingers to God’s ear) that his words didn’t cause this. Trump, words have consequences. We have seen those consequences manifested in El Paso. Please do the world a favor and shut your stupid, bigoted mouth for the remainder of your “presidency.”
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years