El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH: Two Communities and A Weekend of Tragedy for Our Nation That Demands Action

This statement can be attributed to Olivia Golden, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP).

Washington, D.C., August 5, 2019—This weekend’s horrific shootings in El Paso and Dayton have left our country deeply saddened and shaken. While investigations into these events are ongoing, in this tragic moment in our country, we must take the time to reflect on the immense devastation inflicted on communities and the great danger posed by hateful, bigoted, and xenophobic rhetoric. The attacks in El Paso and Dayton are grave consequences of this rhetoric and follow recent killings at a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh, a Muslim mosque in New Zealand, a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, and an African American bible study in Charleston South Carolina.

The language of white nationalism and racism perpetuated by our president is shameful. Words matter. Hateful messages—and harmful actions—fuel a toxic atmosphere in this country that is divisive and abhorrent. The fear and anxiety that is widespread will likely intensify, especially in communities of color and immigrant communities. For everyone living here, and especially for our nation’s children, this insidious environment is deeply harmful and traumatizing with widespread and long-lasting consequences. 

For those communities in Texas and Ohio, we share the burden of your pain. And we share your concern and urgency that it is long past time for our leaders and lawmakers to address the epidemic of hatred, white nationalism, racism, bigotry, and gun violence devastating our country.