Beto O’Rourke Holds “Rally Against Fear” to Counter Trump Rally

Editor’s note: The following was written by Lauren Rangel, contributing writer for the Daily Campus.

Thousands joined Beto O’Rourke to “Rally Against Fear” as President Trump took the stage at Dallas’ American Airlines Center on Thursday. As the 2020 election approaches, Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke held a counter-rally nearby at Grand Prairie’s Verizon theater.

Over a dozen community figures, including Christina Tzintzun Ramirez, Royce West, and Reverand Dr. Michael Waters, invigorated the crowd before Beto took the stage.

Among the speakers were several U.S. Senate candidates such as Christina Tzintzun Ramirez. As a Mexican American, she decided to center her speech around immigration. As the crowd cheered, she told President Trump, “If you come for our family, we come after you and vote you out of office.”

Before beginning his speech, Royce West, another U.S. Senate candidate, paused the rally for the second moment of silence that night to honor Elijah Cummings. On October 17, Elijah Cummings, a member of the House of Representatives, died at age 68 from long-term health problems. As West silenced the excited crowd, he noted that “we gotta remember our giants.”

Moments before Beto appeared, Reverand Dr. Michael Waters walked on stage with a group of nearly 50 people holding Beto signs. A silence fell over the crowd as he talked about the lives that were lost due to domestic terror incidents and hate crimes. To end his speech, Water challenged the audience to “stand against racism, stand for America”. With the whole auditorium on their feet, he asked “Will you stand? Will you rebuild our nation?” and he then handed over the crowd to Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke.

At 8:21, Beto welcomed the audience in Spanish and English. He thanked the chanting congregation for their support by noting that “at this critical moment for our country… it gives me so much pride and I’m filled with so much gratitude to see so many good people… coming together”. In a display of opposition to President Trump’s rally in Dallas, O’Rourke exclaimed that “we are here tonight to show the country to stand up”.

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Beto O'Rourke Photo credit: Julia Depasquale

Overall, the Democratic candidate focused his speech on overcoming three different types of fear. The first fear is the fabricated fear of the president. Beto noted that Trump “wants us to be afraid of one another”. As an example, he claimed that Trump’s description of “Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals” is rhetoric created to classify “one people, of one religion” as “inherently dangerous or disqualified or defective”. Instead of asylum seekers finding salvation at the U.S. border, “they found their worst nightmare because this president described them as an invasion”.

Second, he points to the fear of being targeted. Referring to a recent poll in Texas, “more than 80 percent” of the Latin X community “fear they will be the victims of a mass act of terror based on their perceived immigration status or their country of national origin.” Appealing to the hurt of communities across the United States, Beto stated that if he “loved differently than the majority, looked different than the majority, prayed differently than the majority” that he “too may have been afraid.”

Lastly, he admits that although the future is counting on us to defy fear, it’s easy to be afraid of a failure to do the right thing “because it is not popular, because it does not poll well, because it does not follow our status quo or the political conventions of the day.” Beto asserted that the only way to defeat fear is to “stand up for the right thing, regardless of the political consequences”. He called the audience to action by encouraging support for his positions on universal healthcare, immigration, legalizing abortion, and foreign policy.

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Beto O'Rourke Photo credit: Julia Depasquale

In the end, Beto exclaimed that “we are the answer to that fear” and “this country was not built on fear, no, America was built on courage.” As he wrapped up his final words, Beto O’Rourke cheered, “Texas are you ready? Let’s get after it!”