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July 21st, 2020 

Contact: Elianne Ramos; Chief Communications Officer; [email protected]; 212.739.7513

When Hate Arrived in El Paso

It was Store #5108 to where hate drove 650 miles to eliminate a so-called invasion, using the same words promoted by the man in the White House. Hate knows no bounds. Neither does resilience.

It was shot after shot erupting in a Walmart full of our gente, Mexicans and Chicanos living in Texas and beyond. Mothers, fathers, grandparents, young spouses. All innocent except for their presence in this country. One year ago today, hate, once again, criminalized our presence.

It was 10:30 on a Saturday morning when body after body was killed at a Walmart, all of whom, for some reason, became the target of hate. Twenty-three of them were laid to rest. Anchondo, Benavides, García, Campos, Hernández-Loya, Cerros Hernández, Regalado Monreal, Coach Memo, Silva Englisbee, Muñoz Flores, Estrada Flores, Hoffman, Johnson, Lares, Legarreta Rothe, Manzano, Márquez, Mendoza, Rechard, Rodríguez, Sánchez Guerra, De Dios Velázquez.

It was 22 people seriously wounded in that attack surviving in a city that is still recovering but with resilience. #ForTheLoveOfElPaso resonates in the hearts of that historic city. It is their resolve that we also commemorate today. It is their resolve that gives us hope.

In 365 days, we have seen armed white extremists take over a state capitol in Michigan and demand that the governor be beheaded.

In 365 days, we have witnessed the lynching of George Floyd in public by a police officer, with impunity.

In 365 days, we have learned of a white anti-feminist mortally attack the family of Judge Esther Salas because of her gender and ethnicity.

In 365 days, scores of our Latino families have had to bury their loved ones because of police use of force.

In the meantime, 365 days later, we still wait for the president to denounce hate and reject white supremacy. El Paso is the Latino reason that warranted impeachment of a president – one who will never say publicly that the white race is not superior to any other.

But El Paso, #ElPasoStrong, is the also the reason that Latinos have hope, have fortitude, have resistance.