EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — It was less than a hundred years ago that businesses in El Paso denied service to African Americans and Mexicans. This week, longstanding racial tensions continued to amplify as thousands around the country gathered to protest racism and the murder of George Floyd.
In El Paso, the community is navigating whether being anti-racist also means being anti-police.
On Sunday, members of the El Paso Police Department walked alongside protestors from EPPD headquarters to Memorial Park. Protestors offered each other snacks, face masks, bottles of water, and hand sanitizer. It was nice.
The protest was peaceful until it wasn’t.
Livestreams on Facebook showed smoke bombs hurled at police vehicles and it didn’t take long for a cacophony of screams, feet pounding on pavement, and projectiles slamming into police protective gear to drown any sense of unity.
The EPPD has long been lauded for its role in ensuring El Paso is one of the safest cities in the country. Less than a year ago, EPPD showed poise and expertise following the Aug. 3 mass shooting at the Walmart near Cielo Vista Mall.
The horrific murder of George Floyd, a thousand miles away, has shaken community faith in local law enforcement. Cities like Washington D.C., New York, and Atlanta are setting themselves on fire pursuant to intensified social frustrations turned violent.
The complexities of racial violence in America cannot be taught in a lifetime, and certainly not in a web story, but we must try to learn as much as possible.
KTSM has created a list of influential movies, TV shows and books that help everyone understand the issues better. Being exposed to art made and told by African Americans is paramount to having meaningful conversations about how to move forward together.
It’s in no way comprehensive, but it’s a start:
- Between the World and Me
- The Hate You Give
- The Nickel Boys
- The Underground Railroad
- To Kill A Mockingbird