August 5, 2019 4:53 pm
Updated: August 5, 2019 6:41 pm

Obama calls on Americans to reject the normalization of racism in wake of mass shootings

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In a statement posted to Twitter on Monday, former U.S. President Barack Obama offered his condolences to the families of those killed in mass shootings in Texas and Ohio over the weekend, and called on Americans to reject the normalization of racist sentiment.

“Michelle and I grieve with all the families in El Paso and Dayton who endured these latest mass shootings,” he wrote.

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In the statement, Obama reminded Americans that they “are not helpless” in the face of the nation’s high frequency of mass shootings.

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“No other developed nation tolerates the levels of gun violence that we do. Every time this happens, we’re told that tougher gun laws won’t stop all murders; that they won’t stop every deranged individual from getting a weapon and shooting innocent people in public places,” the statement reads. “But the evidence shows that they can stop some killings. They can save some families from heartbreak.

WATCH: Trump blames recent American mass shootings on mental illness

“And until all of us stand up and insist on holding public officials accountable for changing our gun laws, these tragedies will keep happening,” he wrote.

Obama called on Americans to “soundly reject language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments.”

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“Such language isn’t new,” he wrote. “It’s been at the root of most human tragedy throughout history, here in America and around the world.

“It has no place in our politics and our public life. And it’s time for the overwhelming majority of Americans of goodwill, and every race and faith and political party, to say as much — clearly and unequivocally.”

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On Saturday, a gunman opened fire inside of a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, killing 22 people and injuring 24.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, nine people were killed in a shooting at a popular bar in Dayton, Ohio. Another 27 people were injured as a result of the incident.

WATCH: Trump condemns racism, bigotry and white supremacy after shootings

In a speech from the White House on Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump vowed to act with “urgent resolve.”

“In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy,” he said, adding that he had directed the FBI to examine steps to identify and address domestic terrorism.

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“These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America,” he said.

Trump said he wanted legislation providing “strong background checks” for gun users, though he has reneged on previous promises after mass attacks. He offered few details.

WATCH: Trump blames recent American mass shootings on mental illness

The weekend shootings were the 21st and 22nd mass killings of 2019 in the U.S., according to the AP/USA Today/Northeastern University mass murder database that tracks homicides with four or more people killed — not including the offender.

— With files from Jessica Vomiero and the Associated Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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