#ThisIsAmerica Hashtag Dominates Twitter After El Paso, Dayton Shootings

A gunman opened fire at a shopping mall in El Paso, Texas on Saturday, August 3, 2019. (Credit: YouTube)

Mass shootings in Texas and Ohio claimed at least 29 lives and injured dozens of others this weekend, shocking the nation and prompting critics to place blame on President Trump for “stoking racism.”

After waking to news Sunday of a second massacre in a matter of hours, social media users expressed their anger on Twitter. The two hashtags #ThisIsAmerica  and #WhiteSupremacistTerrorism trended throughout the morning, with people demanding stricter gun control and an end to Trump’s rhetoric about people of color.

“I’m at a loss for words. Two mass shootings in 24 hours?! My heart & prayers go out to El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. This has got to stop!” actress Jill Marie Jones tweeted.

“#ThisIsAmerica …where a traffic stop can get you killed… but you get taken in to custody alive in a civil manner after committing a mass shooting and taking the lives of innocent people,” comedian D.L. Hughley wrote.

“When Donald Trump uses words like ‘infestation,’ ‘invasion’ and ‘shithole countries’ … Trump is giving license to this kind of violence. He’s responsible,” said Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), who’s running for president.

The reactions have dominated social media since Saturday morning when a gunman opened fire at a shopping mall in El Paso, Texas, killing 20 people and injuring at least 26 others. Police said most of the victims were shot at a Walmart adjacent to Cielo Vista Mall in the border town.

El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen told reporters the shooting had “the nexus of a hate crime.” Patrick Crusius of the Dallas area was arrested minutes after the shooting. Police described him as a 21-year-old white male.

The police chief said investigators found a manifesto they believe the shooter authored. The hate-filled manifesto was posted online a half hour before the shooting and made reference to a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, who’s from El Paso, said Trump shares blame for repeatedly using racist rhetoric.

“You’ve had a president who’s called Mexican citizens ‘rapist and criminals,’ though Mexican immigrants commit crimes at a far lower rate those born here in the country. He has tried to make us afraid of them,” O’Rourke said.

The former Congressman cited other examples, including Trump’s Muslim ban and his comments telling four Democratic Congresswomen of color to go back to their “crime infested” countries.

“He is a racist and he stokes racism in this country,” O’Rourke said.

About 13 hours after the El Paso shooting, a gunman opened fire outside a popular bar in Dayton, Ohio, where people were enjoying a night on the town.

At least nine people were killed and 27 injured in the early morning violence. The gunman was armed for battle. Police said he was wearing body armor and carrying multiple rounds of ammunition. Officers in the area responded within a minute and killed the gunman, authorities said Sunday.

The shooter was identified as Connor Betts, a 24-year-old white man, The Associated Press reported. His 22-year-old sister, Megan, was among those killed.

The attacks came less than a week after a 19-year-old gunman killed three people and injured 13 others at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California before dying of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Many social many users say they are fed up with the violence and want something done. Read their reactions below.