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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Showtime’s ‘Bad Hombres’ Is A Documentary Highlighting The World’s Only Binational Baseball Team

Entertainment

Showtime’s ‘Bad Hombres’ Is A Documentary Highlighting The World’s Only Binational Baseball Team

tecolotes_2_laredos / Instagram

Sports have a way of bringing people together. The experience of rooting for your team is a unifying feeling that transcends borders and culture. Showtime is exploring the importance of sports through the lens of the Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos.

“Bad Hombres” is a documentary highlighting immigration under President Trump through baseball.

Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos are the only binational professional baseball team in the world. The team splits their home games between stadiums in Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Director Andrew Glazer wanted to highlight the immigration issue through a sports lens to offer a different layer to the narrative.

“Most of the people trying to come into the U.S. are families and children trying to escape horrible violence in Central America,” Glazer told CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “That story has been told, so what I wanted to do was show people in a way that I thought would be relatable to what life is like on the border. What life is like on those two sides and how interconnected they are. The thing that struck me to be honest is that initially in Laredo, Texas was how pervasive Spanish is spoken.”

The documentary shows the struggles of the baseball team trying to make sense of the volatile U.S.-Mexico border relations.

The Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos split time playing their home games between two stadiums in the U.S. and Mexico. The Trump administration’s constant battle with Mexico and threats to close the border put the team’s season in jeopardy. A first look teaser shows team managers trying to coordinate the release of game tickets in time with the ever-changing immigration announcements from the Trump administration.

“Bad Hombres” speaks politics without directly addressing politics.

“Even though my film has an overarching political message, the players are not covertly or overtly political in any way,” Glazer told CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “They are baseball players and they are living their lives and a lot of them are trying to make it to the majors and some of them were in the majors and are now finishing their careers. There wasn’t a whole lot of political discussions.”

Glazer made sure to highlight the depths and complexities of the team members dealing with the political climate without politics.

“Inherently, what made the team fascinating is you had players from the U.S. who were Anglo-American players and Mexican American players who had a different perspective,” Glazer told DJ Sixsmith. “Then you had Mexican players and some Dominican players and Cuban and people from everywhere else. There were different languages and different perspectives. Seeing how that developed over time was pretty fascinating.”

“Bad Hombres” is streaming on Showtime.

READ: Veronica Alvarez Is The Coach For The Oakland A’s And Her Presence Is Giving Girls A Chance To Pursue Baseball

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Voting Rights Activists Are Sounding The Alarm Of Latin Voter Suppression In Texas

Things That Matter

Voting Rights Activists Are Sounding The Alarm Of Latin Voter Suppression In Texas

Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool / Getty Images

Voting turnout is the topic on everyone’s lips as we get closer to Nov. 3. The current election cycle has seen record early voting, especially for Democrats. However, in Texas, the increased turnout has led to what many are calling voter suppression to prevent the growing Latino community from voting.

Voting advocates are sounding the alarm that Texas’ GOP governor and politicians are suppressing Latino voters.

Latinos are 40 percent of the Texas population. According to a poll, Latino voters in Texas are more motivated than they were in the 2018 midterms. Twenty-eight percent of Latino voters turned out in 2018 and things have changed drastically since, mainly due to Covid-19.

Latinos in Texas are facing disproportionate rates of Covid-19 infections.

Houston Public Media reported that while Latinos make up 40 percent of the population in Texas they make up 52 percent of Covid infections. Meanwhile, white Texans make up 30 percent of Covid infections. The numbers show an uneven response to the pandemic that has left Latinos behind.

The forced consolidation of drop-off locations and limiting of mail-in ballots is further endangering the Latino community. The Covid pandemic is not over and forcing people to vote in person will only increase the spread of the virus.

One way Gov. Greg Abbott has made it harder for people to vote safely is limiting drop-off locations for mail-in ballots.

Gov. Abbott made the decision to limit the number of ballot drop-off locations to one per county. As demonstrated by the graph above, this leaves 4.7 million residents of Harris County one drop-off location. Gov. Abbott cited the false Republican talking point of voter fraud as his reasoning for suppressing the vote in the Lone Star State. By comparison, Los Angeles County, home to 10.4 million residents, has 398 drop-off locations for mail-in ballots.

Despite this, Texas Latinos are fired up and ready to vote.

A poll found that 90 percent of Latinos voters are ready to vote in the 2020 election. Sixty-six percent of those voters are leaning towards are are definitely voting for a Biden/Harris ticket compared to 25 percent voting Trump/Pence. A large majority of Latino voters says that it is more important to vote now than it was in 2016 because of everything that is at stake.

READ: Republicans Have Made Voting In This Majority Latino Town In Kansas Nearly Impossible

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