Two mass shootings that left 29 dead in the United States this weekend have prompted condemnation across the world and drawn comparisons between suspected racist motives behind one of the shootings and President Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric.
On Saturday, 20 people were killed in El Paso when a shooter opened fire at a shopping center in what investigators are calling a case of domestic terrorism. Federal authorities are “seriously considering” bringing hate crime charges against the suspected gunman.
Investigators delving into the background of the suspect have found a manifesto online, thought to be posted by the suspect, railing against the threat of a “Hispanic invasion.”
The news has prompted publications and public figures worldwide to sound the alarm over a resurgence of white supremacy in the United States and a president who they see as encouraging such beliefs.
Trump has often spoken of an “invasion” at the southern border in railing against migrant arrivals, and he used a racist trope when he recently tweeted that four minority Democratic congresswomen, all citizens, should “go back” to “the crime infested places from which they came.” Trump’s opponents say his inflammatory rhetoric about immigrants and people of color has stoked divisions in the country and can incite violence.
A White House spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
Trump condemned the El Paso shooting in a tweet.
“Today’s shooting in El Paso, Texas, was not only tragic, it was an act of cowardice. I know that I stand with everyone in this Country to condemn today’s hateful act. There are no reasons or excuses that will ever justify killing innocent people,” he said, adding that “Melania and I send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the great people of Texas.”
Across the world, many were more direct in their denunciation of the root causes of the violence and Trump’s potential role in it.
In Europe, the left-wing Berlin-based newspaper Taz featured a spread on the El Paso shooting with the headline, “The White Danger.” The publication linked the anti-immigrant manifesto to the shooter’s actions, though authorities are still working to confirm that the suspect was behind it.
Another German daily, Der Tagesspiegel, published a column by journalist Fabian Löhe arguing that Trump’s “daily racism” has “prepared the intellectual ground” for such violence.
Martha Bárcena, Mexico’s ambassador to the United States, on Sunday condemned racism toward Hispanic communities in the United States and called for “respectful and compassionate dialogue between our countries and communities.”
“Xenophobic and racist discourse breeds hate crimes,” she tweeted. “Hispanic communities contribute enormously to the American society.”
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that at least three Mexican nationals were among the dead in the El Paso rampage.
We need “a non racist, non xenophobic, non divisive, non hateful President. That’s where it all starts,” wrote Dolia Estévez, a prominent Mexican correspondent and commentator.
In his weekly address Sunday, Pope Francis offered his condolences and condemned violence against “defenseless people.”
“I am spiritually close to the victims of the violent episodes which in these days has bloodied Texas, California and Ohio in the United States, striking defenseless people,” Francis said, referring to a Sunday morning shooting in Dayton, Ohio, that left nine dead and a shooting in Gilroy, Calif., last weekend that left three dead.