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Let's not be in such a hurry to leave El Paso -- it takes time to digest madness

Ruben Navarrette Jr. on

The deceased included Margie Reckard, whose 61-year-old husband, Antonio Basco, invited "everyone" in El Paso to mourn with him because he's all alone now. In what is being called one of the largest funerals that Texas has ever witnessed, more than 3,000 people -- most of them complete strangers -- showed up to pay their respects. If that isn't a good story, I don't know what is.

Reckard wasn't just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It also appears that she was the wrong color.

Witnesses in the Walmart next to Cielo Vista Mall on the west side of El Paso say that 21-year-old Patrick Crusius -- whose obvious mental disorder didn't prevent him from purchasing a high-powered rifle and who told police he wanted to kill as many Mexicans as possible -- allowed white customers to exit the building before indiscriminately gunning down those with brown skin.

Can you think of anything more hideous -- or racist?

In right-wing circles, cowards who aren't shy about slapping the label "racist" on the female lawmakers of color known as "the Squad" won't do the same when the villain is a white male with an evil manifesto.

In their latest deflection, conservatives claim that it's the media that is dividing Americans by race.

 

Nonsense. Crusius who did that, and with deadly consequences.

To think, those who want to run away from stories involving race and racism will sometimes insist that Latinos are white.

Tell that to Crusius. He's white. To him, we are the "other."

Meanwhile, for Mexican Americans -- those 40 million people stuck in limbo between black and white, Mexico and the United States, English and Spanish -- this scaled-down version of ethnic cleansing has provided us with what my college roommates called "the big guess what." It's an epiphany that shatters naive assumptions and teaches you how the world really works.

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