November 02, 2018

Congressman Cárdenas on mourning those lost at the Tree of Life


Contact: Bryan Doyle

(202) 225-6131

Washington, D.C. –  This evening marks the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath, and across this country Jewish Americans will spend tonight mourning the loss of 11 people who were gunned down in an act of terrorism in Pittsburgh. Those killed at the Tree of Life synagogue were active in their community, and worked to make certain that all people were treated with dignity and respect. The shooting is one of the most horrific tragedies to ever befall American Jews, and while the shooter’s political beliefs are complicated, it’s important to note that he remains a proud member of an alt-right movement that our president has refused to denounce despite every opportunity to do so.

The conversation this week should be focused on a message of strength and unity in the face of hatred and intolerance. Yet in spite of, or perhaps because of, the awkward relationship Trump has with an increasingly violent alt-right movement, the media would rather focus on the circus our president has put on this week. Right now, there are two prominent sets of events in America. There are what is actually happening -- the shootings in Pittsburgh, the mailing of pipe bombs to prominent media figures and liberal leaders, and the Mueller investigation -- and then there is the fiction that Donald Trump is selling.

Trump has spent this week promoting a series of meaningless stunts, coopting the Constitution, the military, and common sense, but I have faith in the American people’s ability to see through these distractions. This is not the first time powerful men have tried to shift the conversation by demonizing minorities. Like our country, my district -- the San Fernando Valley -- is strong because it is a diverse place where people come together to solve problems. I see it every day. I have hope for America and for the Valley, but we cannot remain the greatest country in the world unless we hold our leaders to highest standard. It starts with each of us. We are praying for the victims and their families. Regardless of religious belief, Americans everywhere feel grief for what happened in Pittsburgh. We are with you.