ACTIVISM

What the Tragedy in El Paso is Really About and How You Can Help

The tragedies in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio last weekend were horrible. I was almost left without words. It’s taken a few days to process everything. It brought me back to the impotence I felt when nothing happened after Sandy Hook, or after Parkland. Things have been escalating, every day we see it. The Occupant in the White House fuels hateful rhetoric, and people who hate have become emboldened and empowered by his words. Of course, if the “Commander in Chief” is spewing hateful rhetoric and talking about shooting people on Fifth Avenue without repercussions, why wouldn’t the white supremacists be emboldened? After all,  there IS a white supremacist (actually, probably more than one) in the White House.


Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

But, the domestic terrorism that occurred in El Paso is particularly disturbing because of what it represents. A man went out of his way to kill Hispanic people, because he doesn’t want Brown people to take over, so says his manifesto. This shows us a few things. First, how sorry is your life that you actually have time to travel so far away to do something like this? Second, the education system is really failing us. Because, if you know your American history, you know that Texas was part of Mexico before being the Lone Star State and becoming part of the United States. As a matter of fact, there are MANY states that were Mexican before becoming part of the United States. As Eva Longoria says, “we didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us.” 

What I want everyone to understand is this: This isn’t an attack on Mexicans or Mexican Americans. This is an attack on all Latinos. Because when 45 came down that escalator and said that Mexicans were rapists and criminals, he really wasn’t ONLY talking about Mexicans. He was talking about ALL of us, no matter the nationality. When he says that our country is being “infested” he means it is browner than he’d like, and there are way too many of us for his liking. This isn’t simply an attack against Mexicans, Mexican Americans. We must not be fooled. This is an attack on anyone who doesn’t look like a WASP. He wants to take us out, like he would take out an infestation of cockroaches. 

I recently read a Twitter feed by Adrian Carrasquillo. It was heartbreaking. People describing how they feel being Latino and being targeted, people fearing for their lives and the lives of their loved ones. 

What can we do? 

It’s easy to feel hopeless and powerless. It’s easy to feel defeated. But we must NOT. We must continue. Even if we must take a few days or however long to step away to recharge, we must not lose hope. For our kids, for the future, we must remain hopeful. 

Here are some things you can do to not fall into hopelessness and inaction: 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Now more than ever, we need everyone to know: WE HAVE RIGHTS. Share our #KnowYourRights guides in English, Español, ‎Português, Kreyòl Ayisyen, اردو, Tagalog, 中文, 한글

A post shared by ACLU (@aclu_nationwide) on


 

It isn’t enough to say “I’m not a racist.” You have to be proactively ANTI-RACIST. You have to show up. These ARE NOT NORMAL times. Nothing that is happening is normal. 

I’d like to leave you with this quote, and below, I’ve updated it for our times. Please please use your voice to speak out for the most vulnerable, even if you’re not one of them. 

 

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—

     Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

 

FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE MEXICANS, and I didn’t speak out because I was not Mexican. 

Then they came for the Muslims, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t Muslim.

Then they came for the undocumented immigrants, and I didn’t speak out, because I wasn’t undocumented.

Then they came for the poor people, and I didn’t speak out, because I’m not poor.

Then they came for the women of color, and I didn’t speak out because I’m not a person of color. 

Then the came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me. 

 

Diana Limongi
welcome! I'm a mom, activist, nonprofit professional and writer from Queens, NY. I blog about motherhood, parenting and raising my multilingual and multicultural kids in NYC. I have two kids, a 7 year old and a toddler.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.