Article published : Tuesday, August 13th, 2019 (9:35 am)
’I feel not wanted by my fellow Americans’: Latinos share their fears following El Paso attack In message after message, Latinos across the U.S. told journalist Adrian Carrasquillo that they’re in a state of fear following the white supremacist terror attack in El Paso, Texas. ”A Latina in a predominantly Hispanic border city ’very much like El Paso’ told me she has a new job, overseeing a team of mostly Hispanic staff, with her name on the door—something to really be proud of,” he writes. ”But instead she’s terrified, she said, because the office is marketed toward Latinos and that means she feels like a target.” Carrasquillo had tweeted that Latinos were ”terrified” following the attack, sharing a story from one friend who overheard a group of white men who appeared to sympathize with the shooter. ”I mean he openly was discussing this like it was sports talk,” she told him. ”After 20 people are dead. Disgusting.” The tweet went viral when Carrasquillo began to share, with permission, more stories from other Latinos who fear that their skin color and the language they speak could get them murdered. ”A white man said his Latina wife from the Rio Grande Valley broke down after reading the shooter’s manifesto,” Carrasquillo wrote in the essay. ”She told him she’s sorry if their future kids are targets because of her. There were people who said they wish they didn’t have an accent so they could pass as white, and others who said they are ashamed to be relieved they can pass as white. ’We’re not fine,’ a resident of a border town wrote to me.” The white supremacist killer said he was specifically targeting Mexicans, but Carrasquillo noted that in many instances ”the media’s desire to erase the shooter and his ideology ended up erasing his victims and their community, too.” But it’s also a lack of diversity in the newsroom that has led to erasure, reflecting the urgent need for representation: From Univision’s Jorge Ramos to the Los Angeles Times’  Esmeralda Bermudez, Paloma Esquivel, and Cindy Carcamo, many of those who have centered the lives of the community in their reporting have been Latino and Latina journalists. ”I feel that my heart is broken, this individual, he didn’t know us,” El Paso resident Guillermo Adame said during a community charla, or chat, hosted by Border Network for Human Rights. ”I’m scared.. for my children and my grandkids and all of us. I’m scared,” said Ermelinda Blanco. CBS News reported that ”the whole room raised their hands when asked if they feel actual fear about what happened—and they all said they have never felt this way before.” Another Latina told Carrasquillo, ”It is really the last few months that I feel not wanted by my fellow Americans and it hurts.”
Author : Gabe Ortiz