Hispanic leaders throughout North Texas say it is time to mobilize at the ballot box and for President Trump to stop his “racist rhetoric” after the Latino community was targeted in Saturday’s mass shooting in El Paso.
Rodolfo Rosales, director of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) in Texas, said he believes the mass shooting will serve as a wake-up call to the Hispanic community.
The Hispanic community is resilient, and won’t allow what happened in El Paso to scare us, he said.
“I think this will mobilize us to get us out and vote,” Rosales said. But he added that he was angry that Latinos were singled out.
“I’m angry. I’m hurt. I was doing my laundry on Saturday and watched what happened in real time,” he said.
Rosales added that President Donald Trump needs to stop his rhetoric about immigrants invading Texas.
“The president has to take some culpability. I am an eighth generation Texan. For me, this rhetoric is targeting Hispanics like we haven’t seen in some time”, Rosales said.
He also called for Congress to end the ban on assault weapons which was in effect from 1994 to 2004.
“If you want assault weapons, join the Army or the Marines… We have to renew our drivers licenses and our car registration. Why can’t we do the same for gun ownership,” he said.
Patrick Crusius, 21, of Allen, was booked on a charge of capital murder Sunday, accused of killing 22 people and injuring at least 25.
Fernando Florez, president of LULAC Council 4833 in Fort Worth, also said it is time for Hispanics to mobilize and vote.
“I think this community here is absolutely outraged by what happened,” Florez said.
“This individual (the shooter) went over there (el Paso) to shoot Hispanics,” he said.
“I’m hoping that we don’t have copycats,” Florez said.
Luis Castillo, president of LULAC council 22320 in Arlington said he is also frustrated and angry by the lack of inaction in Congress and President Trump’s tweets.
“The Republicans are stalling the whole process. Those assault weapons are meant for war…” Castillo said.
“Some are discouraged that we participate in marches. We keep going through the same routine, a mass shooting happens and people get on their soapbox, but Congress hasn’t taken action. Those politicians need to be voted out,” Castillo said.
Vigils and marches
United Fort Worth and other organizations are organizing a vigil at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Unity Park, 4001 Townsend Ave. in Fort Worth. The vigil is to honor those who were killed in El Paso.
On Saturday, LULAC will hold a Unity Against Hate March and press conference with religious and civil rights leaders at 9 a.m. in El Paso.
A GoFund Me account was also established to help the shooting victims with medical and funeral expenses.