Hate Will Not Win

In: The Lonestar Weekly   Posted 08/10/2019

It’s been a week since the horrible tragedy in El Paso, and Texans are grieving this tremendous loss. Our hearts go out to the families of the 22 people who were killed and the dozens who were injured.

El Paso is a peaceful, wonderful example of Texas culture and diversity. To see someone filled with evil, twisted beliefs seek to drive a wedge between neighbors is heartbreaking.

But this week, Texas sent the nation a message: We are not going to let this barbaric act of terrorism and white supremacy by one sick, hate-filled person define who we are.

We're Texans. Hate will not win; evil will not triumph.

In the face of this tragedy, we saw the dedication and unity of neighbors, law enforcement, doctors, and nurses. You can see this tight-knit community’s spirit just by looking at the memorial to the victims that grows each day and the blood banks that have been fully booked for weeks.

Memorial on August 4 (left) and on August 7 (right)

Let me tell you about a Ft. Bliss soldier, PFC Glen Oakley, who was in another El Paso store when he heard the gunshots. Seeing children without their parents to protect them, he ran in and helped them escape to safety.

I used to live in El Paso, and I know many generous, kind, and gentle Texans like PFC Oakley who call this diverse city home. I know El Pasoans will transform the hate they were shown into love and understanding towards their neighbors. It is the Texas way.

If you’re an El Paso resident looking for support during this difficult time, there are several free resources for you to seek help:

  • Text HOME to 741741 to be connected to a Crisis Counselor or call the Crisis Mental Hotline at 1-877-541-7905.
  • You can also call the Emergence Health Network Crisis Hotline at 915-779-1800.
  • If you are a veteran or the family of a veteran, call the Veteran Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
  • You can also receive crisis counseling through the El Paso Veterans Center. For more information, call 915-772-0013