Brooklyn, NY — Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) issued the following statement in response to the El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio massacres over the weekend:
“Our country is in crisis and in mourning. This past weekend our nation again saw violence tear apart two more communities. My heart goes out to the people who are grieving today in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio where dozens of lives were stripped away too soon by white nationalists. The hate held by white nationalists and white supremacists in America has been fueled by a racist, xenophobic, bigoted president, and as a result, these radical white males feel emboldened to commit attacks on American soil.
The string of attacks by these radical white males means we must increase our intelligence resources to monitor and circumvent future attacks by white nationalists because no person in America should feel scared to leave their house to go to Walmart or to socialize with their friends. It is imperative that our country addresses the threat of white nationalists and white supremacists.
We saw our government react after the Oklahoma City Bombings, which was done by a radical white male, by paying close attention to white nationalists to prevent future similar attacks. America’s focus shifted after the tragic September 11th attacks in devoting intelligence resources to preventing Islamic and foreign terrorism. Today with the trend of more and more white supremacist attacks, our government needs to put the same amount of resources into studying the behavior of white nationalists as we do in to foreign threats to our country.
Tragically, lives continue to be lost because of hate-fueled mass shootings and massacres, but at the end of the day, whether these human lives are lost by the bullet of a white supremacist or by the bullet of a foreign terrorist, the American government has a responsibility to identify and ward off all threats by allocating proper intelligence resources regardless of where these perpetrators reside.
We must also keep on pushing to enact gun safety laws in Congress. The House of Representatives passed a bill months ago which would require universal background checks before purchasing a firearm–but this legislation sits stagnantly in the Senate. At what point will our Republican elected officials choose human life over gun lobbies? As public servants, we have a job to protect people from gun violence which starts with getting guns off the streets and by siphoning off access to black-market guns from the iron pipeline.
We must not see the day when we turn on the tv with news of a mass shooting somewhere in America and find this “normal.” We must not ever become desensitized to the gun violence that is plaguing our communities. It is my hope that our prayers will be answered–prayers that our Republican lawmakers will do what’s humane and put lives above lobbies. I pray that with bipartisan action to enact common sense gun safety laws in Congress that never again will we have to grieve the losses from another mass shooting or gun massacre in America.”