Culture

A White Nationalist Attacked Latinos Near The Border, Here’s A Reminder Of Latino Beauty And Heart

This weekend marked the 8th mass shooting in the United States of 2019 that have left at least 60 people dead. It’s hard for many to feel hopeful of the direction the nation is headed when mass shootings continue to feel more like the norm rather than a cause for concern and a cause for stricter gun laws—especially when white supremacists are specifically killing and targeting communities of color. 

But despite the darkness and the lives that were lost, it’s also important to not completely lose ourselves in it. Highlighting the beauty around us will help us in our fight for a safer country for future generations.

While one border town suffered from a mass shooting, one L.A. journalist reminded us of the “beauty of another border town, Tijuana.” 

Esmeralda Bermudez, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, shared a series of tweets highlighting the beautiful Mexican culture in Tijuana during her stay there. 

“On a day when hate targeted brown people near the border — when so many feel devastated and powerless — I thought the least I could do is show you the joy and beauty of another border town, Tijuana. #ElPasoStrong,” Bermudez tweeted. She was sharing a video of a quinceñera dancing along with what seems to be her father, with the banda blasting in the background. 

On Saturday morning, a gunman opened fire at a Walmart at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, killing at least 20 people. Not even 24 hours later, a shooting in Dayton, Ohio left nine people dead and dozens injured. 

In a series of tweets, Esmeralda Bermudez from the L.A. Times showed us the beauty of our people, of our culture, and the joy folks were feeling in another border town that could have easily been the subject of that mass shooting. 

Bermudez tweeted “while the American side of the beach is silent, on the Mexican side tubas & trumpets sound off across the sand.” 

The L.A. Times journalist highlighted a vibrant place filled with “good people and lots of good food.”

Bermudez’s tweets were refreshing and humanized the folks that white supremacists and racist leaders like Donald Trump demonize day in and day out. 

Still, we can’t help but feel a tinge of sadness as we remember that this is perhaps what the folks and communities affected by the El Paso mass shooting were also like.

According to reports, the gunman left behind a four-page document posted to 8chan that was “filled with white nationalist and racist hatred toward immigrants and Hispanics, blaming immigrants and first-generation Americans for taking away jobs and the blending of cultures of the United States.” 

However, it seems to have been lost on the gunman that what is now Texas was once part of Mexico until it joined the U.S. in 1845. According to the Texas Tribune, a new census estimates that “Texas’ Hispanic population growth continues to surpass white population growth, with Hispanics on pace to soon represent plurality.” 

There’s no doubt that it hurts to see our Latinx communities be targeted in such ways and then have innocent victims pay the price of white supremacy. 

It also goes without saying that the current administration and our commander-in-chief, Donald Trump, is to blame for the fact that the gunman felt he had the right and the power to take away the lives of innocent folks simply because he felt they did not “belong here” or should “go back” to their countries. 

As of Monday, August 5, the death toll from the mass shooting that took place in El Paso is at 22 victims. According to BuzzFeed News, David Shimp, chief executive officer at Del Sol Medical Center said earlier today that an elderly woman died late Sunday and another patient this morning. 

According to CNN, “El Paso County District Attorney Jaime Esparza said that the suspect is charged with capital murder and that authorities will seek the death penalty.” The FBI in El Paso is asking anyone who was at the scene of the shooting who might have taken video or pictures to submit them to investigators. 

Lastly, Esmeraldo Bermudez ended her series of tweets with a video of a man playing somber music on his violin—which almost felt like a tribute to those who lost their lives on the other side of the border, in Texas. 

“I hope these scenes from the border brought you some sense of goodness on a tragic day,” she tweeted. “Tomorrow I’ll be joining my colleagues at the @latimes to continue to bring you full coverage of the mass shooting in El Paso. Good night.”

Earlier this morning, the Los Angeles Times also published an article in which many Latinos share that the El Paso shooting this weekend marked a devastating new low in the Trump era. 

“It’s a destructive moment for this country,” one Latino said. “This is the first time when I feel as if our adversaries have declared war against our immigrant community.” 

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Racists Threatened To Call ICE On This Mexican Restaurant After They Kept Their Mask Rule

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Racists Threatened To Call ICE On This Mexican Restaurant After They Kept Their Mask Rule

Several states across the country (mostly governed by Republican leaders) have decided to repeal their mask mandates despite their own health officials urging against such moves.

Yes, the vaccine roll out has improved under the Biden administration – with nearly 2 million people getting vaccinated each day – but that is still not enough for the United States to reach herd immunity over night.

Now, thanks to these irresponsible moves by Republican governors, Americans are left to fend for themselves against anti-makers. In fact, a Mexican restaurant in Texas that decided to keep its mask mandate for diners is now facing racist attacks with people threatening to call ICE on its workers.

Texas Mexican restaurant is facing a backlash for sticking to its mask rules.

Houston’s Picos Restaurant, a small family-owned Mexican restaurant, is facing racist threatening comments after deciding to prioritize public health amid an ongoing pandemic. Several people sent hateful messages through social media and called the restaurant, threatening to report staffers to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“It was just horrific,” co-owner Monica Richards told the Washington Post. “People don’t understand unless you’re in our business what it felt like, how hard it was to go through everything we went through during covid. For people to be negative toward us for trying to remain safe, so that this doesn’t continue to happen, just makes zero sense to us.”

Picos decided to maintain their mask mandate as the governor lifted the state-wide one.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) rescind the statewide mask mandate despite the fact that a vast majority of his state’s residents remain vulnerable to COVID-19. The governor has ignored the advice of his own public health officials who say the state should wait on lifting these mandates until their is a greater incidence of vaccination in communities.

With Abbotts order, Texas will become the largest state in the nation to no longer require masks, which has not come easily for many businesses that are navigating enforcement mask rules to protect employees and customers while facing backlash.

Experts agree that masks are among the most effective way to curb the spread of COVID-19, but they’ve also become a partisan symbol. Masks have become so symbolic that one conservative group is set to hold a mask burning party the day the order is lifted, according to the Washington Post.

Picos hasn’t been the only restaurant facing such a backlash.

In fact, another Mexican restaurant in Houston, Cantina Bar, has been the victim of similar threatening messages, while several staff have been intimidated by screaming customers who refuse to wear masks even while it was required by a state order. Another Houston Mexican restaurant, Cantina Barba, received similar intimidating messages, and staff have been bullied by some screaming customers who refused to wear masks while it was required statewide, co-owner Steven O’Sullivan said.

“This has been ongoing through covid,” co-owner Steven O’Sullivan told the Post. “We’ve had threats of calling ICE. I had one guy just stand there and berate one of my bartenders and tell her ‘you’re an absolute idiot, you don’t know what you’re doing. If you think these masks are going to save your life, you’re stupid’ blah, blah, blah. Nobody wants to deal with that stuff.”

Another employee at a separate restaurant had to get stitches after he was hit in the head with a glass by a maskless customer he approached, Houston Police said. Hopefully, the governor will still encourage his constituents to do what’s right and continue to wear masks when asked to do.

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Daisy Ridley Claps Back at Ted Cruz After He Subtly Insulted Her ‘Star Wars’ Character

Entertainment

Daisy Ridley Claps Back at Ted Cruz After He Subtly Insulted Her ‘Star Wars’ Character

Photos via Getty Images

It seems like Ted Cruz can’t stay away from the spotlight. On the heels of a very public* scandal, Cruz is now drumming up some more controversy for himself. But now he’s inserting himself into some pre-existing drama.

This time, Rafael Cruz decided to share his opinion on a recent dispute in the Star Wars universe. Yes, you read that right.

Ted Cruz–who has had his fair share of celebrity feuds— decided to pick a fight with Star Wars actress, Daisy Ridley.

The drama started when Cruz tweeted about the ongoing conflict between Disney and “The Mandalorian” actress, Gina Carano.

As background, Disney fired Carano from the hit show after she shared various controversial, far-right opinions on social media. Her posts included anti-mask rhetoric, Q-Anon conspiracies, and promoting false election fraud rumors. Oh, and she also compared being a conservative in Hollywood to being a Jew in Nazi Germany.

Since Carano’s firing, many conservative figures have publicly come to her defense. One of them being Ted Cruz.

Recently, Rafael tweeted out: “Texan Gina Carano broke barriers in the Star Wars universe: not a princess, not a victim, not some emotionally tortured Jedi. She played a woman who kicked ass & who girls looked up to. She was instrumental in making Star Wars fun again. Of course Disney canceled her.”

For those who aren’t well versed in the Star Wars universe, Cruz’s tweet seemed to be throwing subtle shade at the character of Rey–a female Jedi in the most recent Star Wars trilogy. Sure, you could call Rey “emotionally tortured”…or you could call her a normal person who expresses normal feelings. *Shrug*

Anyway, Daisy Ridley–the actress who played Rey–soon caught wind of the diss when an interviewer brought it to her attention.

The interviewer than asked if Ridley had any response to her character being classified as an “emotionally tortured Jedi”.At first, Ridley seemed visibly surprised that Cruz shaded her character. But she quickly regained her composure–as well as her wit.

“I am very happy to be an emotionally tortured Jedi who doesn’t leave their state when it’s having a terrible time,” she quipped.

Looks like Cruz had to learn the hard way not to mess with the Force.

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