Op-Ed: A Dispatch from the Most Dangerous City in America

It’s just past 8 p.m. in the Desert Southwest.  A drab, uneven rain falls across El Paso County, the Franklin Mountains wear a fedora of low-hanging clouds; the Star dimly shines through the February mist.

It’s the perfect scene, in a deadly city, for another murder.

Hundreds of thousands of victims, mowed down in a burst; a fully-automatic bombastic claim – met with applause.  Character assassination of an entire region and people on a public stage.

Thousands of miles away, a verbal murder takes place. In plain sight.  And televised.

“The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime — one of the highest in the country, and considered one of our Nation’s most dangerous cities. Now, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of our safest cities. ” President Donald J. Trump, State of the Union, February 5, 2019

Simply put: the President of the United States lied about our home town.


There are many ways to disprove this lie, I could link to a thousand sites and most would be discredited or explained away Mr. Trump’s hardcore supporters – even tagged as ‘Fake News.’

Tuesday night, the President lied on live T.V.  And the people – the victims of the lie – those that know the truth are our neighbors, our family and our friends. You, reading this column. YOU know the truth.

Never has El Paso led the country in violent crime – or any other type of crime.  Never.

According to the El Paso Police Department,  at our worst in 1993, we had 56 murders.  New York City – Trump’s hometown and business headquarters – had 1946 – and that’s not even their high number.  But that’s not the point.

Trump Lied.  And has lied before. And will lie again.

I am not alone in this.  Check out our local leaders…

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And Barela added this emailed comment:

Statement from State Sen. José Rodríguez, D-El Paso

The president lied again about El Paso. I will not repeat the lie, but will state the truth: El Paso has low crime rates, and has since the early 1990s. It is past time for elected officials to stop lying about the border, and about immigrants. Texas leaders have an obligation to stand up for Texas communities. El Paso and other border communities are economic and cultural engines, contributing to the prosperity of Texas and the United States.


I could continue to post tweets, emails, screenshots, and more.  But they all say the same thing, the same thing millions of Americans have been saying for the last few years about the President of the United States.

He is frequently factually incorrect.  He produces alternative facts like GM produces cars.  This is something we all knew before he was elected.

And still he was elected.

And now, one of his biggest lies has come home to roost in our collective back yard.

But this one hits home.  And everyone knows it.  Even the excuse makers, you know the ones.

“I remember how dangerous it was back in the day, I used to be afraid of driving down Border Highway because of the people crossing.”

“The Border Patrol couldn’t even help you if you were dragged back into Juarez and got mugg [sic]”

“The cartels are setting off car bombs in El Paso.” (Editor’s note: this last one was from a Governor of Texas)

Lies.  Half-heard tales. Urban legends.

It would not surprise me if President Trump were to begin citing Mexican organ thieves as yet another reason for a border wall.

So what say you?  You who know the truth about your own town.

The El Pasoan who put his or her trust in the President to ‘Make America Great Again’ – you’ve given him a wide berth on several issues that would have deterred and defeated any other candidate – but this one is in your back yard. Literally and physically.

It’s easy for some to blow this comment off, or make more excuses for the President, but you know the truth, deep down. Watching the news – be it from 1965, 1993 or yesterday – you know the truth about your hometown – and it just doesn’t line up with what the president said.

Not by a long shot.

According to the El Paso Inc. – via theNew York Times – the President is rumored to be headed to El Paso on February 11th.  Knowing him, it will be to take credit for the wall and for making El Paso one of the safest cities in the US.

But you know the truth. You know the EPPD officer that did that. Or the soldier, or the Border Patrol Agent did that. You know your neighbor that did that.  And you know it was never, ever as bad as the President of the United States said.

In fact, you and your family did more to make El Paso safe for the last few decades than any President ever did – or will.

Don’t let this lie go unanswered; Be the truth that we all know, and then pass it on.