Actresses America Ferrera, Eva Longoria, and Jennifer Lopez are amongst a group of more than 150 writers, artists and leaders who have come together to write a public “letter of solidarity” to U.S. Latinos after the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas and the latest immigration raid in Mississippi.
The letter, published by The New York Times, says all who signed stand with U.S. Latinos who may feel “terrified, heartbroken and defeated by the barrage of attacks,” citing the shootings in El Paso and Gilroy, California, which targeted Hispanics. The two attacks killed nearly two dozen Latinos.
“We have been smeared by political rhetoric and murdered in violent hate crimes. We have been separated from our families and have watched our children caged,” the letter said. “But, we will not be broken. We will not be silenced.” The letter says “indignities and cruelty” won’t diminish the contributions Latinos have made to the U.S. and urged Hispanics to keep standing up to bigotry.
Longoria told The Associated Press that she and Ferrera got the idea for the letter after discovering they were both negatively affected by the El Paso shooting. “Once we started talking to other people, we found out others were feeling the same way,” Longoria said.
“Instead of us all suffering alone we wanted to unite and tell our community that is going through all of this … we are with you and we will fight for you.” She said the letter is not meant to take political sides but to reach out to Americans regardless of party to say Latinos are hurting.
Ferrera told The AP that Latinos have been subjected to numerous racist attacks lately, but the El Paso shooting and the Mississippi raid were “just soul-crushing” for some. “We wanted to do something to let people know we aren’t going to lie down and take it,” America said. “We are going to stand up and fight.”