LULAC Leads ‘March For A Unite America’ ’To Come Together as One Community and Call For Stricter Gun Control Regulations in Response To Mass Shootings
Nation’s Oldest & Largest Hispanic Civil Rights Organization Leads Rally with More Than 1,000 People Demanding an End to President Trump’s White Supremacist Rhetoric & Policies
El Paso, TX – Today, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) held a march and rally called “March for a United America” in response to the mass shootings in El Paso. The march in El Paso began at Armijo Park and ended at the El Paso County Courthouse, followed by a rally. Attendees wore white to symbolize peace and unity. LULAC President Domingo Garcia and CEO Sindy Benavides led the event today, along with other LULAC leaders. They were joined by elected officials and diverse religious and civil rights leaders, as well as families of those impacted by last weekend’s shooting.
For 90 years, LULAC has fought for civil and human rights, and has empowered its members to create and develop opportunities where they are needed most. Today, LULAC is committed to fighting against the worst attack on the Latino community in a generation.
“Together we are demanding an end to the anti-immigration and white supremacist rhetoric that is leading to violence against communities of color,” said Domingo Garcia, President of LULAC. “What happened in El Paso is indicative of the direction we are headed as a country– one where people, especially racial, ethnic and religious minorities, live in fear. We demand an outright ban on all military assault rifles. We are better than this, and we are insisting that our President do his job of protecting the people in our country, apologize to the victims of last weekend’s mass shooting and their families, and put an end to the hate speech that so easily rolls off his tongue.”
During the rally, LULAC leaders called the El Paso shooting a domestic terrorist attack against Latinos and demanded that President Trump stop feeding into the anti-immigrant frenzy and white supremacist violence.
“Only one week ago, we faced one of the top 10 deadliest shootings in modern American history and were witness to the tragic impact that racist rhetoric can have on a community,” said Sindy Benavides, CEO of LULAC. “Today, we marched dressed in white with people of other races, backgrounds and religions, to symbolize peace and unity against hatred and racism. We are sending a strong message that our race, ethnicity, language, skin color and heritage will not be used as a weapon to target us indiscriminately. As a community, we will continue to stand firm, holding elected officials accountable and reminding them that together, our voices are stronger than the hate speech some of them have chosen to endorse.”
In unity, the organizations and people participating in today’s event demanded stricter gun regulations and an end to the dangerous racist rhetoric that motivated a mass shooting leading to the death of 22 people in El Paso. Here are some of their statements:
“At ADL, we understand the dangers of discrimination and dehumanization. We will continue to stand with the Latinx community as they recover from this horrific attack,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League. “And as they stood with the Jewish community in the wake of Pittsburgh and Poway, we will always stand with others who experience hate – from African Americans in Charleston, to Sikhs in Oak Creek, to Muslims in Christchurch. White supremacy is a threat to us all and so it is time that leaders truly step up and take action to douse the flames of hate before they further damage our communities.”
“There’s no longer any other way to describe it – gun violence is a human rights crisis. Yet instead of having a president who does all he can to protect and heal, we have a leader who actively incites this kind of behavior that ultimately targets Black and Brown Americans,” said Reverend Al Sharpton, president and founder of National Action Network (NAN). “This has to end now – and we all bear a responsibility to fix it. We at NAN will continue our work to assist the families of gun violence victims and work towards lasting legislative solutions to this devastating crisis.”
“El Paso, the ‘Ellis Island’ of the Southwest through which so many Latinos in America trace their journey, was targeted by a white nationalist who used a weapon of war for a hate crime against Latinos,” said Texas Senator José Rodríguez. District 29 (D-El Paso). “In my role as an elected official and legislator, my primary work is to help my community heal, and to work to limit the possibility of this type of violence. We now must unify to say, no more. ¡Ya basta!”
“The march today was an opportunity to come together in solidarity and love,” said Pastor Michael E. Grady, Former President of the NAACP-El Paso and father of a victim of the Walmart shooting. “Today we marched as one people. It is time for El Paso to release the passion of forgiveness and unity, and rise above the hate that attacked us. As the TV cameras leave and national attention goes away, we will start a process of healing. Together, we in El Paso can make a difference and become a beacon of hope.”
“In the state of Texas, there hasn’t been any meaningful legislation brought to the table to defend and protect the ones we love most,” said Chris Vasquez, President of Students Demand Action at Collin College and member of Collin College LULAC. “Politicians have given us their thoughts and prayers, but no action. Today, we march together to demand action. We will not be silent and will continue to speak out and support communities in need of our solidarity.”
LULAC has created a fund for the families of the victims impacted by the El Paso shooting. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to help the victims with medical expenses and families with funeral expenses. Those interested in donating can do so here.