Veronica Escobar: Trump ‘Painted Target on Our Backs,’ Should Not Come to El Paso Until He Apologizes for Racism

Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, about the introduction of H.R. 1 - For the People Act. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX) accused President Donald Trump on Tuesday evening of painting a “target” on El Paso and said he should not come to El Paso until he apologizes for his racist remarks against Hispanics.

Speaking on CNN a day before Trump’s scheduled visit to El Paso, Escobar, who represents the district where the Walmart shooting occurred, said “the president needs to take back his words” because they “drive much of that hate” and have caused a spike in hate crimes while he has been in the White House.

“As far as I’m concerned, he should not be here until he does that,” Escobar said, emphasizing that Trump should not come into a community “where he painted a target on our backs.” “He put the target on our back. He needs to peel it off.”

Escobar, after saying that she was concerned about “copycat” attacks, suggested that Trump could peel the target off of El Paso’s back by acknowledging that he was “wrong” to make racist and dehumanizing remarks about Latinos.

The Congresswoman who said this week that Trump is “not welcome” in El Paso also said on MSNBC that Trump must “accept responsibility” for his racism and “apologize and take back those words” so he does not inspire more of his “followers” to commit hate crimes. Escobar said Trump’s words actually “fuel” violence.

“We need the president to accept responsibility, apologize and take back those words so that his followers, the people who cling to his every word, who follow his rallies, who get riled up and excited about the bigotry that comes from his speeches at those rallies. They need to hear that the president acknowledges that he was wrong and that his words were wrong, and that every human being has value because those words have dehumanized whole groups of people,” Escobar previously said. “You can’t be a person with a gun and shoot innocent victims unless you think they are subhuman. That language dehumanizes people.”

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