As border residents, we feel the pain of the El Paso and Ciudad Juarez community and we grieve together as one.
To our El Paso and Ciudad Juarez family, we declare our love and solidarity. We are heartbroken over the hate and terror inflicted on your community and on your hearts.
To our Rio Grande Valley family, we understand your fear, we know you’re thinking this so easily could have been us. The commitment we make to you is that we will continue to advocate for inclusive policies that don’t terrorize our communities.
Border communities are bi-national and multicultural communities whose diversity makes our region and our nation strong. There is no border between the love we have for our family and neighbors, no matter on what side of the river they reside. We are all attacked by this act of terror, which we know is an extension of the everyday acts of hate and dehumanization perpetrated by ICE, the Border Patrol, and the Trump Administration throughout our region.
Official policies that violate rights based on the color of our skin, where we were born, or how we pray only embolden white supremacists while dividing us and making us weaker in our ability to respond to attacks. Violent white nationalists see their own ideals reflected in government policies that separate families, cage children, exclude Muslims and asylum seekers, subject men, women, and children to abhorrent conditions in border jails, and banish community members to incarceration and deportation.
Dr Martin Luther King said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Only a national community that affirms human dignity and worth can root out white nationalism and racial hate.
Border residents are advancing a vision of the border based in human rights that expands public safety, protects human life, and welcomes people at the border. Boundaries of race, national origin, or religion do not delineate who is deserving of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Just as we join together to grieve this senseless act of violence against a peaceful, loving community, we can join together to push back against racial hate and win border and immigration process that uphold our shared dignity.
We won’t let hate win. El Paso-based organizations have called a nationwide day of action on Wednesday, August 7th, to call out, condemn, and resist the emergent intersection of white supremacy and mass, terroristic, gun violence.
Join the vigil in McAllen this Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Archer Park.