As is the case with every hate crime, the ramifications of the crime don’t end with the criminal act, or even the conviction of the perpetrator. Hate crimes have a ripple effect, touching much more than their individual victims, or the group targeted. They affect entire communities, and the lives of the victims are forever changed.
The August 3 shooting at a Walmart in El Paso certainly changed lives, and as soon as the news of the shooting broke, it changed what numerous ADL employees were doing on an otherwise restful Shabbat. Moments after news stories appeared about the shooting, Oren Segal, the director of ADL’s Center on Extremism, texted Dena Marks and started working with her to give FBI officials information about the alleged shooter Patrick Crusius. We found his anti-immigrant manifesto and sent information about that to the FBI. Southwest Interim Regional Director Gail Glasser and Jean and Jerry Moore Southwest Civil Rights Counsel Rachel Bresner also were involved throughout the day in behind-the-scenes work and communication.
After that Saturday, ADL sent communiques to board members, participated in vigils, appeared in the news and on television programs, sent information to schools and others about how to help students and children understand what was happening, participated in a panel at Rice University, and urged friends of ADL to take action by contacting government and legislative leaders and asking them to condemn hate and violence and support laws that addressed hate and domestic terrorism.