Obama: Americans must not let racist views become normalized

President Trump speaks about the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton at the White House

President Trump speaks about the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton at the White House

Such language has "been at the root of most human tragedy throughout history", Obama added, and has "no place in our politics and our public life". "The dual shootings in Texas and OH - separated by hundreds of miles and less than a single day - sparked grimly familiar scenes of panic and grief as public places were yet again terrorized by a hail of bullets".

In a rare public statement Monday about twin mass shootings that have rattled the nation, former President Barack Obama offered a forceful rebuke of the growing gun violence in America, denouncing not only the lack of federal gun control measures but public leaders who demonize marginalized groups and stoke racial divisions.

Former President Barack Obama on Monday released a pointed statement condemning "language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders" that "normalizes racist sentiments" following two mass shootings in the United States in the span of 13 hours - one of which involved a white supremacist suspect. Trump has previously tempered his criticism of white supremacy, though he said in scripted remarks to the nation earlier Monday that the nation "must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy".

On Saturday morning, dozens of people were killed when a gunman opened fire in a Walmart shopping centre in El Paso, Texas.

The former president noted that the El Paso shooting followed a trend of "troubled individuals who embrace ideologies and see themselves obligated to act violently to preserve white supremacy".

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In the address that began shortly after 10 a.m. ET, Trump also said that capital punishment should be "delivered quickly, decisively, and without years of needless delay" in hate crimes, and directed his Department of Justice to propose such death penalty legislation.

Towards the end of his speech this morning, Trump, reading from the teleprompter, incorrectly referred to the OH city where nine people were killed in the weekend shooting.

He also compared white nationalist shooters to "followers of ISIS and other foreign terrorist organizations", noting that they "may act alone, but they've been radicalized by white nationalist websites that proliferate on the internet". "No other developed nation tolerates the levels of gun violence that we do". "But the evidence shows that they can stop some killings", he said.

"We are not helpless here", he wrote.

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