El Paso Shooting Brings to Light the Persecution Latinx Have Always Endured


As the Latinx community is still reeling from the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, the feelings it is conjuring is something our people have felt for hundreds of years. We are mourning the loss of lives, we are in constant fear, and anxiety plagues us. Latinx are not strangers to persecution, but the shooting in El Paso brings to light a new pain that the fight for our lives persists.

On social media, Latinx are expressing a dire fear that they’ve been feeling for a while — and the El Paso shooting is making it worse. Journalist Adrian Carrasquillo posted a heartbreaking thread about what the Latinx community is going through right now and how they are standing unified as they have always been.

“I truly think the scale of how horrified the Latino community is right now is not being understood, which is why the reporting about this moment is so important,” Carrasquillo tweeted. “Now Hispanic Americans have been targeted, some who are immigrants, and all who have limited political power. That’s what’s going on. And people are terrified.”

Carrasquillo went on to add dozens of D.M.s from the Latinx community, who openly shared their stories. One woman fears retribution for her advocacy of immigration rights and is worried for her family that lives in a border state. A man in Southern California who works as a manager at a grocery chain said that he is continuously told to go back to Mexico. He says he fears for the safety of his kids. Another woman said she fears her sister, who looks more “Latina” will be a target because of her brown skin.

G. Cristina Mora, a sociologist at the University of California, Berkeley, told the New York Times that Latinxs, whether they have lived in the U.S. all of their lives or have just moved here, are feeling a “deep sense of unease.”

“This has an impact beyond the first generation, the immigrant generation,” Mora told the Times. “It reverberates. It doesn’t have to be you who crossed the border. It just has to be you who are not Anglo.” The constant attack against the Latinx community is not affecting just the living, but the unborn. A story in the Washington Post notes that pregnant Latinas face mounting stress because of this fear, and more directly points their stress to President Donald Trump.

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that pregnant Latinas risk premature birth (more than any other group) since Trump’s election.

“It’s not hard to imagine why there would be increased stress the past few years: the fear of raids, the deportation threats, the tweets every morning, the separation of children from parents. It’s still early, but we’ve seen enough papers at this point that suggest it’s having real-life consequences on health,” Luis H. Zayas, professor of social work and psychiatry at the University of Texas at Austin, told the Post.

Carrasquillo noted in his thread that despite this ongoing fear and anxiety that we’re under, one thing is clear about the Latinx community: we persevere regardless. “Obviously, I shared this all because I want folks to know what’s going on,” he tweeted. “But I would also add, the level of community, of people checking in on each other, and sharing how they’re feeling has been really incredible. People are scared, but resolute things will get better.”

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