George P. Bush called on Americans to take a stand against “white terrorism” in the wake of a mass shooting in El Paso that has left at least 20 people dead and more than two dozen injured.
The son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, George P. Bush serves as the General Land Office Commissioner in Texas and was one of a number of local and statewide officials to speak out in the wake of the attack. But Bush was one of the few to condemn the shooting as an act of white supremacist terrorism, including one of the only Republicans to classify the attack as an act of white terrorism.
As The Hill noted, Bush explicitly took aim at violence carried out by those espousing white supremacist beliefs.
“I believe fighting terrorism remains a national priority,” Bush said. “And that should include standing firm against white terrorism.”
“There have now been multiple attacks from self-declared white terrorists here in the US in the past several months,” he added. “This is a real and present threat that we must all denounce and defeat.”
As the report noted, FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee that white supremacist cases are now the majority of the FBI’s caseload for domestic terrorism. While El Paso police have not yet announced a motive for Saturday’s deadly shooting outside a Walmart shopping center, a manifesto posted online and purported to be from the suspect echoed white supremacist beliefs that Hispanic immigrants are “invaders.”
As the Los Angeles Times noted, Saturday’s attack comes amid heightened fears of the violence carried out by white supremacist groups and individuals with those beliefs. The report noted that the El Paso mass shooting came just days after another shooter opened fire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival outside of San Jose, California, in what appeared to be a similar attack. As the report noted, before the Gilroy shooting, the shooter had posted a photo on Instagram urging people to read a novel that is widely associated with white supremacists.
— The Hill (@thehill) August 4, 2019
The report noted that experts have seen a rise in white supremacist violence around the globe, including an attack on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, that the El Paso shooter made reference to in the purported manifesto posted online.
It was not yet clear if the El Paso shooting was an act of white supremacist violence, as investigators have not yet released any information about a potential motive.