In the wake of two horrific mass shootings, former President Barack Obama has shared a powerful message saying we must not listen to to leaders who normalize racist sentiments.
It’s rare that former President Barack Obama wades into current political waters. But after two mass shootings over the weekend, he couldn’t hold his tongue anymore. Especially after the massacre at an El Paso, TX Walmart on Aug. 3 that killed 21 and injured 26. It was carried out by a 21-year-old suspect who left behind a manifesto with many anti-Hispanic references saying his massacre mission was “response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas” and denounced “race mixers.” President Donald Trump on Aug. 5 condemned white supremecy, but left Latinos and Hispanics completely out of his speech! This seemed to make Obama put his foot down.
In a long message via Twitter, he stated “We should soundly reject language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments; leaders who demonize those who don’t look like us, or suggest that other people, including immigrants, threaten our way of life, or refer to other people as subhuman or imply that America belongs to just one certain type of people.” In his message, Obama did not mention Trump by name.
The 58-year-old continued, “Such language isn’t new — it’s been at the root of most human tragedy throughout history, here in America and around the world,” Obama wrote. “It has no place in our politics and our public life. And it’s time for the overwhelming majority of Americans of goodwill, or every race and faith and political party, to say as much — clearly and unequivocally.”
The former president also added that “There are indications that the El Paso shootings follow a dangerous trend: troubled individuals who form racist ideologies and see themselves obligated to act violently to preserve white supremecy. Like the followers of ISIS and other foreign terrorist organizations, these individuals may act alone, but they’ve been radicalized by white nationalist websites that proliferate on the internet.”
Obama’s message came hours after Trump delivered a speech from the White House Diplomatic room where he said, “In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart and devours the soul.” But then steered his speech to putting the shooters’ blame on mental illness, video games and did not lay out any plans for stricter gun laws. He also never used the word “Latino” or Hispanic” in his speech, despite Hispanics being the alleged target of El Paso shooting suspect Patrick Crusius, who drove nearly 10 hours from his Dallas area home to the border town to allegedly carry out the mass shooting.