Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard has taken it upon himself to eradicate white supremacy in America.
Alarmed by the rise of hate crime in the U.S., Ebrard is arranging a summit of leaders from Spanish-speaking nations to develop a strategy to combat white supremacy by the end of a year. The hope is that world leaders would draft a policy position based on discussions at the summit.
“If white supremacists are calling for hatred, racial divisions, what is our response? We have to define our response, defend our culture, language, civilization, our existence,” spokesman Roberto Velasco Alvarez said.
Dallasnews.com reports: The summit, still in its preliminary stages, would involve leaders from Latin America, Spain and Portugal and include key Mexican American political and cultural actors, including Texas, said Velasco.
Patrick Crusius, 21, drove from his native North Texas to El Paso and on Aug. 3 walked into an El Paso Walmart wearing protective ear muffs, safety glasses and a high-powered assault style rifle. Police say he shot and killed 22 people and injured at least two dozen more. Minutes before, authorities say, he posted a manifesto online at the 8chan website filled with anti-immigrant rhetoric that detailed his intention to stop a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
Eight of the fatalities were Mexican nationals, prompting the government of Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to demand that Mexico be included in the investigation. Mexico also left open the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the gun company.
“This is a big issue for Mexico and for Mexican Americans in the United States,” said Velasco. “But this is also a widespread issue for Latin America, the Caribbean countries, Spain and Portugal. The shooter wasn’t just going after Mexicans. He was targeting Latinos. Secretary Ebrard’s position is this can’t solely be a fight for Mexico, but it must be one for Latin America and beyond.”
Ebrard traveled to El Paso immediately after the shooting, demanding that Crusius be extradited to Mexico to face charges. He called the crime an “act of terrorism,” saying “Mexico is indignant. We will not meet hate with hate, we will act with reason and within the law, but with firmness.”
In the manifesto, the author warns white Americans that foreigners are replacing them. He lays out his intention to kill Hispanics to reduce their numbers in America by instilling enough fear in them to get them to leave the country en masse.
El Paso has long been a majority-minority community with more than 80 percent of the population Hispanic. When Crusius surrendered to police after the shooting, police said he reiterated that he was targeting Mexicans.
Some critics have blamed political leaders, particularly President Donald Trump, for fueling the fires of anti-immigration and anti-Hispanic racial discontent. They say the Trump administration is also using immigrants as political props.
Velasco said it would be “irresponsible for our government” to assign any blame on the White House. “What is a fact is that there are groups who promote white supremacy. We’re working with Mexican consulates to strengthen the protection of our countrymen.”
Francisco de la Torre, Mexico’s consul general in Dallas, said his office is vigilant about any mistreatment of his countrymen in North Texas in the wake of the shooting in El Paso, but stressed his belief that the “harmonious coexistence of cultures leads to the advancement of humanity. The only thing separated by colors should be dirty clothes before they’re tossed in the wash.”
Some Mexican American leaders promptly applauded Mexico’s move to hold the summit.
“It about time,” said Texas state Sen. Jose Rodriguez, D-El Paso, who was in Mexico City recently as part of the Border Legislative Academy, a bipartisan effort that includes elected U.S. and Mexican leaders talking about common issues, including immigration and, Rodriguez added, the “attack in El Paso.”
“The moment is different in that now you have more open, wider hostility coming from the highest political levels, starting with President Trump and our own governor,” he added, pointing to Gov. Greg Abbott’s fundraising letter that warned Republican supporters of the dangers posed by undocumented migrants entering the Texas border from Mexico.
“The kind of divisive language they use, the hostility against immigrants puts everyone in a vulnerable position. It’s time for Mexico to develop a more aggressive policy to build a strong relationship with Mexican nationals, and Chicanos, Mexican Americans and Latinos. Hate crimes are on the rise and we’re the target.”
Trump has repeatedly said he’s “the least racist person anywhere in the world.”
Abbott has acknowledged that “mistakes were made and course correction has been made,” regarding the letter.