As critics blame President Donald Trump for Saturday’s massacre in El Paso, Texas, many of his Hispanic supporters remain defiant.
The El Paso shooting, apparently motivated by anti-immigrant sentiment, has revived longstanding claims that Trump is enabling or even promoting white nationalism in the United States.
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke told CNN on Sunday that Trump is so clearly a “white nationalist” that the matter “cannot be open for debate.”
On Wednesday, a former FBI assistant director told MSNBC that Trump’s order that flags be flown at half mast to honor victims of the El Paso shooting — as well as of another shooting 14 hours later in Dayton, Ohio — amounted to a secret salute of Adolf Hitler.
Meanwhile, in El Paso Wednesday, a group of Hispanic protestors waved Mexican flags, held anti-Trump signs and performed what appeared to be traditional Aztec dances in opposition to the president’s upcoming visit to their city in remembrance of the shooting.
Protesters are gathering in El Paso ahead of Trump’s visit pic.twitter.com/zgyHOSAvbF
— Bloomberg TicToc (@tictoc) August 7, 2019
Hispanics defy the Trump white supremacy narrative
Among them was David Callejas, 35. He told the Post that he doesn’t blame Trump for the actions of the El Paso shooter, who killed 22 people and injured 26 others.
The way Callejas sees it, the gunman’s ideology was the result of “an upbringing issue with the individual,” rather than a racist narrative from the White House.
Callejas, who was born in New York and raised in Columbia, also expressed support for Trump’s “America First” economic agenda.
“I like the business background he has. America needs that,” he said. “We don’t want to go through another economic crisis. The Democrats are too radical. We don’t want to become Venezuela.”
Emma Jimenez, who is known on social media as “The Conservative Latina,” also stands with Trump.
Jimenez told Pluralist that she trusts the president to protect her Second Amendment rights. She questioned how the left can warn that white supremacy is a rising threat to people like her while also seeking to reduce her capacity for armed self-defense.
“White supremacy” is on the “rise” & minorities aren’t “safe”, anywhere. Police are “targeting” minorities & police should be the only ones to have guns. Trump is “literally Hitler” & the government wants me to give up my guns for my protection…
mAkEs SeNse ?#SoWoke
— The Conservative Latina (@TheConservati19) August 7, 2019
Nor are Callejas and Jimez alone. According to a February YouGov poll, nearly a third of adult Hispanics support Trump. Telemundo recently found that a quarter of Texas Latinos back Trump’s reelection in 2020.