Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project Director Heidi Beirich issued the below statement on the impact of President Trump’s racially-driven rhetoric following the shooting Saturday in El Paso, Texas:
“By describing immigrants in derogatory terms, President Trump is pushing anti-immigrant hate into the mainstream. Trump has broken the bounds of decency, and his rhetoric and tweets are normalizing anti-immigrant sentiments and fueling white supremacist conspiracy theories that engender violence.
“As we head into another election cycle, Trump shows no signs of stopping and is, in fact, doubling down on his efforts to turn the country into an increasingly unwelcome environment for anyone who isn’t white. To pretend that his administration and the hateful rhetoric it spreads doesn’t play a role in the kind of violence that we saw yesterday in El Paso is ignorant at best and irresponsible at worst.
“We cannot ignore the role that Trump’s policies, appointments, and rhetoric play in the ongoing instances of domestic terror that continue to plague our country. In referring to immigrants as ‘rapists’ and ‘invaders,’ threatening ICE raids, separating families, and laughing off chants of ‘send her back,’ Trump is emboldening ideologies that turn into real life violence, making America a more dangerous place for all of us and particularly the communities Trump targets.”
To interview SPLC Intelligence Project Director Heidi Beirich, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 334-956-8420.