After the mass shooting in El Paso that ended in the deaths of 20, many eyes were on Beto O’Rourke, the presidential candidate that calls the border town his home. Even though the shooter said he was motivated because of a “Hispanic invasion of Texas” – words that mimic President Donald Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric – not enough have denounced it as an act of white supremacy. So when a reporter asked Beto a question about the shooting, he was noticeably upset.
The reporter asked him, “Is there anything in your mind that the president can do now to make this any better?”
To which Beto responded, “What do you think? You know the shit he’s been saying. He’s been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. I don’t know, like, members of the press, what the fuck?”
And while he first only hinted at the connection between Trump and the shooter, he went on to further elaborate.
“Hold on a second,” he added. “You know, I – it’s these questions that you know the answers to. I mean, connect the dots about what he’s been doing in this country. He’s not tolerating racism, he’s promoting racism. He’s not tolerating violence, he’s inciting racism and violence in the country. So um, you know, I just – I don’t know what kind of question that is.”
As Beto explained in his response, we cannot continue to downplay Trump’s racist language or ignore how white supremacy has made a home in the Oval Office.