Trump and the El Paso terrorist share more than anti-Hispanic racism.

Liam Hogan
4 min readAug 7, 2019

Their white nationalist strategy to deter non-white migration and naturalisation, for the benefit of the Republican Party, is identical.

A relatively overlooked aspect of the El Paso terrorist’s white nationalist manifesto was his specific rationalisation of violence against the Hispanic population vis-á-vis strengthening the Republican party’s future election prospects in the state of Texas and nationwide. This is notable as it is a mirror image of the ethno-nationalist strategy that was proposed by President Trump two years before the launch of his presidential campaign.

In his manifesto the terrorist stated that while the Republican party was divided on the question of immigration it was still the only party capable of helping to enforce white nationalist policies: “at least with Republicans, the process of mass immigration and citizenship [of non-white people] can be greatly reduced.”

15 March 2013

The mass murderer fears that white supremacy will be threatened in the U.S. as “the Democrat party will own America…by pandering heavily to the Hispanic voting bloc.”

The extremist then tries to rationalise this by narrating a racist conspiracy theory where Democrats “use open borders, free healthcare for illegals, citizenship and more to enact a political coup by importing and then legalising millions of new voters.” And that “with policies like these, the Hispanic support for Democrats will likely become nearly unanimous in the future. The heavy Hispanic population in Texas will make us a Democrat stronghold. Losing Texas and a few other states with heavy Hispanic population to the Democrats is all it would take for them to win nearly every presidential election.”

This paranoid ethno-nationalist electoral rationale is eerily similar to the racist argument made by Donald Trump at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in 2013.

At this conference Trump told a mostly empty room that “when it comes to immigration, you know that the 11 million [Hispanic] illegals, even if given the right to vote, you know, you’re going to have to do what’s right, but the fact is 11 million people will be voting Democratic. You have to be very, very careful, because you could say that to a certain extent the odds aren’t looking so great for Republicans, that you are on a suicide mission. You are just not going to get those votes.”

Trump next suggested that to counterbalance the Hispanic vote, the immigration process for white Europeans should be made easier.

“I said to myself, ‘why aren’t we letting in people from Europe?’ Nobody wants to say it, but I have many friends from Europe, they want to come in…Tremendous people, hard-working people. They can’t come in.”

So for Trump white Europeans in Europe are “tremendous” and “hard-working”, while undocumented Latino migrants contributing to the country over which he now presides are “unwanted people” who “are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.”

This is White Nationalism 101.

Trump therefore revealed his ethno-nationalist worldview at CPAC 2013 by implying that white migrants would vote Republican, not because of political beliefs or alignment with any form of conservative politics, but solely due to racial solidarity and an assumed motivation to maintain white supremacy. He was heavily criticised at the time by Texas congressman Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D) who said that “Donald Trump may provide comic relief, but his bigoted comments at CPAC have no place in the discussion for realistic solutions to our country’s immigration problems…His claims that European immigrants should have an easier immigration process than others is at best an ill-informed economic myth and at worst, racist rhetoric.”

Talking Points Memo, 15 March 2013

While both Trump and the El Paso racist killer wished to achieve this same end goal (to prevent Texas and other states from turning blue) the main difference is obviously the tactics and the methods proposed.

The El Paso terrorist used mass murder and violence with the hope of inspiring an ethnic cleansing campaign by other racist extremists, writing that “the Hispanic population is willing to return to their home countries if given the right incentive. An incentive that myself and many other patriotic Americans will provide.” Such massacres, this racist killer argued, “will remove the threat of the Hispanic voting bloc.”

Trump on the other hand prefers to use punitive repression and exclusionary power of the State to punish undocumented non-white people as much as possible. He terms this “immigration reform” in response to what he tells his followers, over and over, is an “invasion” and “infestation” of “illegals” who are “rapists” and “criminals” who “harm the economy”. Trump aims to cut legal immigration by 50% and to dramatically reduce and deter non-white migration from Central and South America across the Mexican border through (1) an escalation of deportations and intimidation by ICE (2) by criminalising those who aid undocumented migrants and (3) by separating children from their undocumented parents (some permanently) and (4) placing them all in concentration camps where they endure sub-standard living conditions, indefinite incarceration and a lack of due legal process.

It is also noteworthy that the only thing he apparently has against ordering the U.S. military to use force against non-white migrants is the bad optics and how it would play out in the media.

“The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human. By robbing them of their personality, he puts them outside the pale of moral obligation. Mere symbols can have no rights — particularly when that of which they are symbolic is, by definition, evil.” — Aldous Huxley (1936)

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Liam Hogan

Librarian & Historian. Researching and writing about slavery, memory and power. Ko-Fi