How they see us: Inciting terrorism against Mexicans
The carnage in El Paso was inevitable, said Leo Zuckermann in Excélsior (Mexico). Donald Trump came to political prominence by questioning the citizenship of then–U.S. President Barack Obama. Trump launched his own presidential campaign in 2015 by slandering Mexican immigrants in the U.S. as criminals and rapists. In office, he has demonized Muslim lawmakers and Central American asylum seekers. It is no accident that his “racist and xenophobic speech has empowered white supremacists,” like the one who killed 22 people at a Texas Walmart last week. Eight of the victims were Mexican citizens, including Elsa Mendoza Márquez, 57, a schoolteacher from across the border in Ciudad Juárez. Thanks to President Trump, white nationalists “are no longer in the catacombs, but present in the public arena.” Trump sows hate at his rallies, encouraging the mob to chant against illegal immigrants. At a rally in Florida in May, he even laughed when a supporter suggested shooting migrants. No one should be surprised when someone actually opens fire on Hispanics.
Mexico is treating this as “an act of terrorism” against our citizens, said Roberto Gil Zuarth in El Financiero (Mexico). It wasn’t just another American mass shooting. The killer drove some 650 miles from his home outside Dallas to the border city of El Paso, specifically to kill Mexicans—and he was spurred to this slaughter by Trump’s “hate speech.” Our foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, says the government might seek the killer’s extradition, but Mexico has no legal standing to do so. Instead, we need to mobilize “unprecedented international pressure” against America’s “official racism.”
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been too meek in the face of Trump’s bullying, said Javier Lozano in El Universal (Mexico). A few weeks ago, he surrendered to Trump’s demands that we send troops to our southern border to halt the northward flow of Central American migrants or else be hit with harsh U.S. tariffs. It’s time to restore “strength and dignity” to the bilateral relationship. Yes, we’ll help tackle the migrant crisis—but only if the U.S. stops the trafficking of guns, the weapons that fuel cartel violence here. Some 70 percent of guns found at crime scenes in Mexico were bought legally in the U.S. and then smuggled here. Most importantly, there should be no cooperation on any issue unless Trump ends his racist rhetoric.
He won’t, said C.J. Werleman in The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia). Trump’s entire “political shtick is pivoted on the white nationalist notion that white Americans find themselves in a do-or-die struggle with nonwhite immigrants.” He uses dehumanizing terms, calling Hispanic migrants “invaders,” and the El Paso killer echoed those terms. Remember, when Rwandan Hutu politicians called the Tutsi ethnic minority cockroaches, “it started a genocide that resulted in the deaths of upwards of 1 million people in that country.” The U.S. is “in the midst of a domestic white nationalist terrorism crisis,” and the president is only fueling it. ■