Since the beginning of 2019, the United States of America have seen 249 mass shootings – on Saturday evening US time, Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas were number 248 and 249. The devastation has not only rocked the country but the globe as the conversation for stricter gun laws is reintroduced. As vigils take place for the 31 victims, peaceful protests have broken out.
On Sunday evening, thousands of people came together to march down the streets of cities carrying signs and flowers as they mourn the death of not only its residents but a crumbling government. Signs read, “If only thoughts and prayers were bulletproof”, and “Disarm Hate” and called for gun bills to be put into effect. However, guns are only part of the epidemic spreading across America – that is, racism.
We must honor the sacred memory of those we have lost by acting as ONE PEOPLE. Open wounds cannot heal if we are divided. We must seek real, bipartisan solutions that will truly make America safer and better for all. pic.twitter.com/ADvMn9HZW7
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2019
While the motive of the Dayton attack is still not known, El Paso was crime of hate and of unwavering racism. The country has racism engrained in its history but according to residents of the town, it is stemming from the White House.
“Racism has a name,” Fernando Garcia, the founder and executive director of the Border Network, told The New Yorker. That name is Donald Trump. His rhetoric brought this violence to El Paso.” Garcia went on. “Today we march in the streets. Tomorrow it will be the elections. We will get this racism out of the White House.”
Elsewhere however and a clear illustration of the strong divide and ongoing debate, Ohio Republican State Representative, Candice Keller, took to Facebook following the two attacks with a controversial post which has since been deleted. She blames open borders, homosexuality and video games.
“Why not place the blame where it belongs?”, she said in post. Keller went on to share an extensive list including the breakdown of traditional American family, marijuana and the Democratic party.
No, m’am. The blame belongs to the evil man who killed those people. pic.twitter.com/uBHI3fPf3M
— Dave Yost (@Yost4Ohio) August 5, 2019
People were quick to respond and are calling for her resignation. Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones, who oversees law enforcement across Keller’s district, is among those calling for her to resign. “Candice Keller should resign at once. Shame shame,” Jones tweeted.
The protests and vigils continue. In a time when the country – and the rest of the world – need to come together, why are we still seeing so much hatred and adversity?