MCALLEN, RGV – On the same day Hillary Clinton claimed half of Donald Trump’s supporters were racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, or Islamaphobic, the Texas Border Coalition unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the use of hateful rhetoric.

The Texas Border Coalition (TBC) is a collective voice of border mayors, county judges, economic development commissions focused on issues that affect 2.5 million people along the Texas-Mexico border region and economically disadvantaged counties from El Paso to Brownsville.

Texas Border Coalition Chairman J.D. Salinas
Texas Border Coalition Chairman J.D. Salinas

Clinton’s comments about Trump supporters were made last Friday at a glitzy fundraiser in Manhattan.

“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?” Clinton said to applause and laughter. “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”

Later, Clinton partially walked back her statement, saying she was wrong to say half of Trump’s supporters are deplorable.

Meanwhile, in a news release, TBC called on Texas and federal authorities to work to prevent hate crimes. The group said it wants such crimes to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

“This resolution demonstrates that the border region is united in defending the individual right of every citizen to live without fear and intimidation,” said former Hidalgo County Judge and TBC Chairman J.D. Salinas, III. “Hateful rhetoric only undermines the treasured individual rights outlined in the U.S. Constitution and our highest ideals as a nation.”

The TBC resolution states:

Whereas, The Texas Border Coalition (TBC) is the collective voice of border mayors, county judges, and economic development organizations along the Texas-Mexico border, representing 2.4 million people in counties from El Paso to Brownsville. TBC works with state and federal government officials to educate, advocate, and improve economic growth, transportation, immigration, border security, education and health care; and,

Whereas the victims of hateful rhetoric have faced physical, verbal, and emotional abuse because of their ethnicity or status; and,

Whereas the U.S. Constitution guarantee of individual rights to equal protection is a cherished American value and hate speech or violence directed towards any United States community contravenes the Nation’s founding principles; and,

Whereas the American community includes many diverse ethnicities, beliefs and cultures, and both immigrants and native-born citizens; and,

Whereas hateful and intolerant acts are contrary to the United States values of acceptance, welcoming, and fellowship with those of all faiths, beliefs, and cultures; and,

Whereas the rise of hateful and intolerant speech and violence can encourage extreme and violent actions:

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, that the Texas Border Coalition —

(1) Steadfastly confirms its dedication to the rights and dignity of Americans of all ethnicities, faiths, beliefs, and cultures; and,

(2) Denounces all forms of hate speech, intimidation, violence, and other hate crimes; and,

(3) Declares that the civil rights and civil liberties of all Americans should be protected and preserved; and,

(4) Urges Texas and Federal authorities to work to prevent hate crimes; and to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law those perpetrators of hate crimes; and

(5) Reaffirms the inalienable right of every citizen to live without fear and intimidation in their lives.

Asked to provide examples of “hateful rhetoric” TBC is upset over, TBC public relations coordinator Julie Hillrichs sent this list to the Rio Grande Guardian:

In May 2015, a woman named Pamela Geller organized an event called the “Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest,” in Garland, to encourage Americans to draw deliberately offensive cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in a show of hostility toward Muslims. The event’s organizers explicitly positioned it as “sounding the alarm about Muslim encroachment into Europe and America, and its potential impact on American culture.” When two gunmen tried to attack Geller’s event (they were killed by police before they could harm anyone).

This was from:

An incident at Texas A&M in February, a group of about 60 juniors from the Uplift school were touring the university when racist slurs were aimed at them by a group of mostly white A&M students.

This was from:

In April, 12-year-old Waleed Abushaaban, an honor student at a middle school in Fort Bend County, Texas, said his class was watching a move, and he said, “and I was just laughing at the movie and the teacher said, ‘I wouldn’t be laughing if I was you.’ And I said why? She said, ‘because we all think you’re a terrorist.’”

This was from:

Donald Trump, in announcing his candidacy a year ago, said Mexican immigrants bring drugs and crime into the U.S. and they are rapists.

This was from:

A black U.S. military veteran of the Afghan war who said he wanted to “kill white people” opened fire in a sniper attack in which five police officers were slain at a protest decrying police shootings of black men.

This was from:

John Podesta, chair of the Hillary for America group, said of Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” statement:

“It’s no surprise that Donald Trump is defending his most offensive views and extremist allies. This is the man who has spent 15 months insulting nearly every group in America — African Americans, Muslims, Latinos, Native Americans, immigrants, women, veterans, people with disabilities, and the list goes on. This is the man who hired Steve Bannon, a promoter of the racist ‘alt-right’ movement, to be his campaign CEO, and has inspired white supremacists and conspiracy theorists like David Duke and Alex Jones. So it’s no wonder Trump is standing up for them yet again. This is without a doubt deplorable — but this is who he is. This is what his campaign has always been about. And this is a fight we’re eager to have. As Hillary said today, we won’t back down. We will never stop calling out Trump’s bigotry and racist rhetoric, because we know our country is better than this. America is better than Donald Trump.”