UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía Issues Statement on the El Paso Mass Shooting from Its 2019 Annual Conference

Conference is the Nation’s Largest Convening of Latinos in the Country

SAN DIEGO—The following is a statement on the devastating mass shooting incident in El Paso, Texas, from UnidosUS (formerly NCLR) President and CEO Janet Murguía. The shooting, which seems to have been an act of hate towards Hispanics, happened as UnidosUS is holding its Annual Conference, the nation’s largest convening of Latinos in the country.

“What happened in El Paso yesterday broke our hearts and we are all thinking and praying for the people of that wonderful city. But today I am also angry because it appears as if this was a deliberate attack on our community. Dozens of innocent men, women and children just going about their day in the most ordinary of ways were targeted and gunned down simply because of who they are. It is a stark reminder that words matter.

And our pain is magnified because so many of us dreaded that this day would come. President Trump’s hateful and bigoted words have resulted in hateful and deadly consequences. He now bears some responsibility for the tragic deaths in Texas and we all must hold him accountable.

What gives me hope in these dark times is that, in spite of the division that seems to dominate our nation’s discourse, I believe in my heart that the vast majority of my fellow Americans are as troubled and appalled by what happened. We must join with them to rise above fear, division and hate and restore respect, dignity and common humanity for all in our society. I pledge that UnidosUS will lead the way and invite others to join us.

Whether race-related or not, the issue of gun violence must be addressed once and for all. Our thoughts and prayers are also with the people of Dayton, Ohio, on this tragic day.”

Yesterday, Janet Murguía delivered her annual address at the UnidosUS National Affiliate Luncheon. During her remarks, Murguía talked about the president’s hateful portrayal of Latinos in this country and his racist insults against lawmakers of color. A full transcript of the speech can be found here.

Tomorrow, UnidosUS will be hosting an event with four leading Democratic presidential candidates—former Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT).