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El Pasoans sound off about racism in the U.S. today

El Pasoans discuss racism in the U.S. with KFOX14
El Pasoans discuss racism in the U.S. with KFOX14
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President Trump called out white supremacists, KKK members and neo-Nazis by name on Monday while delivering remarks about the violent protests that happened in Virginia over the weekend.

“Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo Nazis-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans,” President Trump said.

The remarks come on the heels of backlash from lawmakers from both political parties. On Saturday, the President condemned the violence, but did not name any specific groups.

At Hillside Coffee Shop in west El Paso, many people KFOX14 spoke with said they were disappointed in the president at first for not naming these groups.

“I feel like it should've happened sooner. I feel like that should've been the first thing he should've talked about when he first came out to the press,” Manny Ciniceros said.

“It's a good thing that he finally said it, but to me, the way I view it is it's a little bit more of him trying to save himself,” Estevan Garza agreed.

Others, however, said the president shouldn’t have had to name any one group because they believe there is plenty of blame to go around.

“I personally don't believe it was just one person or one group that was responsible,” Rachel Aguirre said. “I don't think he was obligated to specifically point the finger at somebody or something.”

For Sophia Terrazas, the president and other lawmakers are people who she believes should be setting an example for others to follow.

“They're supposed to be role models, and how are you supposed to learn from that?” she asked.

She believes the president hasn’t done enough during his time in office to promote tolerance and understanding.

Andree Guerrero agreed. She said she was horrified by the Charlottesville violence and thinks the presidentshould do a better job promoting tolerance with his words and actions.

Johanna Allen, meanwhile, says she grew up thinking racism was a part of history and was not as abundant in the U.S. as it is today. She believes people don’t do enough to reach out to others with contrasting opinions.

“We're not really challenging ourselves or trying to understand each other,” Allen said. “I think just exposing ourselves to different viewpoints, even if it's uncomfortable or maybe leads to conflict, I think maybe it's just learning how to deal with conflict in a nonviolent way would be one approach.”

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