Commentary: We live in dangerous times, and bold and courageous actions are necessary to curb the violence and racism that happened in El Paso last weekend. After Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) tweeted a graphic Wednesday revealing the names of 44 constituents in his San Antonio district who have donated the maximum contribution of $2,800 to President Trump's campaign, Alex Nogales, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), has affirmed his solid support of Rep. Castro's action, stating that his tweet was necessary to make everyone aware of Trump's donors who are helping to spread his repeated messages of intolerance, bigotry, hate and violence against Latinos and other people of color in this country.
"Trump has directly placed a target on the backs of millions of immigrants, painting them as drug smugglers, rapists and murderers. As a consequence, we have seen the manifestation of this hatred in El Paso, Texas when a 21-year old white gunman drove across the state and opened fire in what the community calls the 'Mexican Walmart'", said Nogales. The gunman, who murdered 22 people in El Paso, has confessed he was targeting 'Mexicans'. His suspected writings have also claimed the massacre was a response to the 'Hispanic invasion of Texas', which directly mirrors Trump's repeated rhetoric in tweets and rallies. "Words matter and have real consequences," continued Nogales.
"After Rep. Castro's tweet, outraged Republicans sharply criticized him, calling the action harassment and 'disgusting'. They are now calling for an ethics investigation. But, let us be clear; there is nothing wrong with identifying Trump's donors. It is public information and easily available online. Rep. Castro was not calling for violence against those donors, nor did he give out their addresses or phone numbers. He was not releasing any secrets, merely stating the public record. The U.S. Supreme Court has even endorsed public disclosure of campaign contributions. Not only do we defend Rep. Castro's position, we also ask other lawmakers and community leaders to publicly support his donor disclosure, and duplicate what he did in their own communities in order to reveal who is supporting Trump in the wake of a turbulent, violent, and divisive time in our nation's history," stated Nogales.
"As for Trump's donors, they are not only allowing his speeches and twitter messages of hate to continue by giving him money, they are also condoning his racist and white supremacist ideologies, and supporting his actions against Latinos and other people of color. What they are doing is immoral and we should not be afraid to shame them as they are not afraid to support Trump and his prejudicial actions. So, we ask them: Do you think it is alright for Trump to continue his vicious, hurtful attacks on vulnerable, Latino communities? Do you support separating children from families as seen this past week in Mississippi when 680 undocumented workers were arrested by ICE, leaving children behind weeping and fearful? If these are actions you believe in and approve of, you should stand up and publicly own the immorality and lack of compassion displayed by Trump, just as we stand up to hold you accountable for your shameless support of a shameless president and his administration," demanded Nogales.
The campaign donor database can be found on the Federal Election Commission's website here. There is also comprehensive information about campaign contributions, lobbying data and analysis on OpenSecrets.org.