The United States continues to reel from the two most recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, killing a combined 29 people.
As condolences and calls for common sense gun reform began to pour out, former Congressman and Democratic presidential candidate from Texas, Beto O’Rourke, got candid with reporters when asked how President Donald Trump can begin repairing the damage caused by unchecked carnage.
O’Rourke, who represented El Paso in Congress, didn’t mince words.
'What the f***?' – Former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke says President Trump's language against minorities promotes racial division and violence.
Two mass shootings left 29 people dead this weekend in the US.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) August 5, 2019
O’Rourke placed the responsibility squarely on Donald Trump:
“What do you think? You know the sh*t he’s been saying. He’s been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. I don’t know, like, members of the press, what the f*ck?…He’s not tolerating racism, he’s promoting racism. He’s not tolerating violence, he’s inciting racism and violence in this country.”
The El Paso shooter, who killed 20 people after opening fire in a Walmart minutes from the Mexican border, parroted Trump’s rhetoric on immigration, using words like “Hispanic invasion” and railing against the replacement of white people in the United States.
O’Rourke is far from the only person connecting the El Paso shooter to Trump’s rhetoric.
I get that it's a bad idea to republish the El Paso shooter's manifesto because you are spreading his propaganda.
But I think it's also a bad idea to ignore that much of his manifesto is ripped directly from Trump's Twitter feed
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) August 4, 2019
The shooters manifesto includes “send them back” and “fake news”.
Any Republican patriots in Congress who will speak up now? Ask the President to stop the talk that divides us? Anyone?
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) August 4, 2019
Not going to post the shooter's manifesto, but you can read a summary of it here pic.twitter.com/lswhQBcvXr
— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) August 4, 2019
Many Americans commended O’Rourke for refusing to hide an exasperation similar to their own.
Dude is most of us right now.
— LaraUnavailable (@LaraUnavailable) August 5, 2019
Surely it’s vocalising what every rational person is thinking?
— Blue Caribou Snack Bar (@bcsnackbar) August 5, 2019
Thank you, Beto, for always speaking the truth. I don’t blame you for getting fired up, it’s a terrible tragedy for your community. You’re absolutely right about Trump
— Anne (@annekbrooks) August 5, 2019
Trump has since called for stronger background checks, but suggested tying them to an anti-immigration bill.