The August mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, left 22 people dead, most of them Latinx. And since then a troubling narrative has emerged. It’s one that shows Latinx people are targets in this country. (We use the term “Latinx” because it is gender-neutral and includes LGBTQ people.)
Despite the Latinx population being the fastest-growing minority in the nation, they are deeply under-represented in the media. In the wake of the El Paso shooting, we saw this play out in real-time. In their reporting, many national media outlets did not immediately emphasize that Latinx people were specifically targeted. Instead the headlines mainly focused on President Trump.
Here in Teton County, where Latinx people comprise roughly 30 percent of the population, there is a similar dearth of representation in the media. In other words, local media also does not capture enough voices from our Latinx community. So after a tragedy like the shooting in El Paso, we’re thinking about how to include more of those voices.
Two advocates who can speak to the anxieties Latinx people feel right now joined us in the studio for this episode of Jackson Revealed. Daniela Peterson is a counselor and the founder of La Familia, a counseling center that offers bilingual mental health services. Valeria Bunnett came to the U.S. from Ecuador when she was 20 and today works as a medical interpreter at La Voz.
First off, we wanted to know if people in the local Latinx community are experiencing heightened stress and anxiety from the El Paso shooting and the current political climate.
“Absolutely,” Peterson said.
Listen above for the full conversation.