A white supremacist railing against a “Hispanic invasion” murdered 22 people in a shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas on Saturday.
The shooter posted his manifesto on 8chan, a social network widely used by white supremacists to spread racist propaganda. The site has been used by multiple mass shooters and many believe its existence enables the growing radicalization of white supremacists online.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) urged young people falling into the grips of white supremacist propaganda to “come back” in a rousing speech commemorating the victims of the El Paso shooting, as well as those who perished in a shooting in Dayton, Ohio the next day.
Watch Ocasio-Cortez’s moving speech below:
— Catherina Gioino (@CatGioino) August 6, 2019
After noting that rhetoric like “infestation” and “invasion” directly pulls from white supremacist tactics, the Congresswoman said:
“What I have to say to the young men and increasingly some of the young women in this country that are falling into the grips of white supremacy, that find themselves getting radicalized in a funnel of vitriol…What I have to say to you is ‘Come back.’ Because there is a mother waiting for you. I know it. I know there’s a teacher waiting for you saying, ‘What happened to my kid?’ ‘What happened to my friend?’ And we will always be here and hold space for you to come back. We will love you back. You are not too far gone.”
She then posed a challenge to Americans everywhere. “We’re gonna have to go deep. We need to go deep. Because it’s not just those that have succumbed to hate that have to change. We have to learn to love bigger to bring them back.”
People welcomed Ocasio-Cortez’s calls to “love bigger” during a time that love feels in such short supply.
Honestly, she’s a revolution all by herself.
I feel like a bad person for not feeling this way. I’m not there yet. I’m really angry & it will take time for me to find it in my heart to love fascists.
Alex, thank you for elevating the human in all of us.
— Tania Singh (@TwinklingTania) August 6, 2019
I have goosebumps. This is exactly what we need to hear at this moment. It’s a damn shame we can’t hear it from our president because he’s quite simply incapable of love for anyone but himself
— Cheryl Candora (@cheryl27613) August 6, 2019
No one else is like this. Thank you.
— Asher Baumrin (@rurikab) August 6, 2019
Now to see if the United States will heed her calls.