Culture

Latinos Are Here For Shaymaa Ismaa’eel, The Muslim Woman Who Smiled For Islamophobic Protestors

If you’ve been on Twitter lately, you’ve met Shaymaa Ismaa’eel, a 24-year-old woman, whose photos of her smiling in front of homophobic islamophobic protesters went viral. In the three days since she her tweet, the post has had over 310,000 likes and 85,000 retweet–the vast majority of which are positive and supportive.

Here’s the scoop and all the ways Latinos are showing their support.

“On April 21st I smiled in the face of bigotry and walked away feeling the greatest form of accomplishment.”

CREDIT: @shaymaadarling / Twitter

That’s it. That’s the caption for her viral post and it’s inspiring people everywhere.

Shaymaa was visiting Washington D.C. for the Islamic Circle of North America (INCA)’s annual convention.

CREDIT: @shaymaadarling / Twitter

The nonprofit organization is here to build a community for Muslim-Americans. Shaymaa remembers similar anti-Islam protesters were at the convention two years ago. When she first saw them, she was shocked, and later when she wanted to take a photo in front of them, they were gone.

But it’s 2019 and the Islamophobes are out of hiding questioning if she really did the thing.

CREDIT: @human_cookies / Twitter

Not only did Shaymaa get the chance to take this photo at this year’s convention, but haters don’t feel she’s trustworthy enough to believe the photos are real. This is the most polite hater we could find.

This led Shaymaa to post a follow up of her original tweet.

CREDIT: @shaymaadarling / Twitter

The ensuing thread is filled with people tweeting all caps #FAKENEWS. But we’re not going to talk about the very vocal minority of haters. We are here to talk about the people showing this young woman support and love.

Shaymaa spends her day job at a school working with children on the autism spectrum.

CREDIT: @shaymaadarling / Instagram

However, on weekends, she’s giving us lewks and bravery like no other. She told Teen Vogue, “Us youth, we need to actually see people who aren’t so apologetic, who aren’t so scared. It is hard to be Muslim in this day and time.”

She also let everyone know that she has to be confident in herself because her identity is visible at all time.

CREDIT: @shaymaadarling / Twitter

“I’m an African-American woman, so I can’t be white passing,” she tells Teen Vogue, “even if I take my hijab off — I still have struggles. You have to know your strength. A lot of youth need to understand that and just think about that a little bit.”

Latino Twitter came out strong for her story.

CREDIT: @CommunityUnity / Twitter

According to a 2007 report from Voice of America, the Latino-Muslim community is between 40,000 and 200,000 in the U.S. alone. Being Latino means being diverse and intersectional because we have an intersection of all faiths, all skin tones, and all genders in our community, and we get to stand with each other, for each other.

Folks are calling her an American hero.

CREDIT: @SergioAntonio / Twitter

Shaymaa told Teen Vogue that she knew “talking to someone like that is talking to a brick wall. You kind of can’t really do anything to combat it.”

It was also Easter Sunday the day the protesters arrived, which just adds layers to this story.

CREDIT: @CavScoutVeteran / Twitter

“We were wrapping up the second day of the convention and the first thing I saw was there they are,” Shaymaa tells Teen Vogue. “I showed my friend and she was like, ‘It’s Sunday. It’s Easter. Don’t they have something better to do?’ I was like, ‘Clearly, they need something from us.’”

“Kindness is a mark of faith. Those who aren’t kind have no faith.”

CREDIT: @Emma_Aurora_ / Twitter

She posted the same photo on Instagram with the above caption, and that also went viral. She has over 377,000 likes on the Instagram post proving that people want to see more love in this world.

“They were like, ‘Oh, yeah, you need to cover your face, too.’”

CREDIT: @its_carlos801 / Twitter

As she was walking away from taking the photo, she tells Teen Vogue that the protesters started to make fun of her. “And then someone was like, ‘You know it’s a cult when everyone’s walking around in pajamas.’ I was like, ‘Hmm, is he saying that because I’m wearing loose pants?’ I love sarcasm, so I was like, ‘Thank you for that.’”

The tables have turned because The Internet is now making fun of the protesters.

CREDIT: @adam_casto / Twitter

“I did not know that JC Penney sells draperies in denim,” writes one user. ????Several people started posting timed selfies of them mimicking that same posture.

Other folks thought he looked familiar.

CREDIT: @freemedusa / Twitter

Some were saying he’s a Westboro Baptist Church protester. Others thought he looked like their sleep paralysis demon.

Is sleep paralysis contagious?

CREDIT: @rosie_rosella / Twitter

Have you ever noticed that the people who hold those specific protest signs always look the same? Is it just one group that travels around the country protesting? Or do all Christian protest extremist look the same?

Lizy Rodriguez was over here revving up the inner mami in her.

CREDIT: @lizyrodriguezzz / Twitter

I mean… if rejoicing in Jesus’ resurrection looks like you making fun of a black woman in a hijab then you might be practicing a different religion than you think. Preach, Lizy.

Then there’s the obvious solution to this kind of bigotry.

CREDIT: @mapofsoulnicole / Twitter

Most Churches, Mosques, and Temples often work together to create multi-faith events. Islamophobia, like anti-Semitism, works off an assumption that an entire religion is a threat. That’s fake news.

Just like radical Islam makes a mockery out of the faith, this version of radical Christianity does the same.

CREDIT: @mzxzzz / Twitter

So like, do they see how they’re doing the exact same thing that they’re protesting against? ????

Islamophobia is a serious threat to our Muslim-American brothers and sisters.

CREDIT: @joepequenotv / Twitter

Hate crimes have escalated since Trump ran his campaign and enacted his Muslim Ban. Many Twitter user were scared for her–to simply be an African American woman in a hijab smiling.

“I wanted them to see the smile on my face, and see how happy I was to be me and walk around being a Muslim woman.”

CREDIT: @jftaveira1993 / Twitter

Ultimately, Shaymaa’s message shines brighter than any blemish of bigotry. She told The Guardian, “I wanted to show them that we are going to remain kind and unapologetic, and continue to spread love in the face of bigotry.”

And for all her positivity and freedom to just be, we thank you, Shaymaa.

CREDIT: @shaymaadarling / Twitter

So many of us can relate to kissing our loved out in front of homophobic protesters, smiling your brown face at the MAGA hat guy and overall just doing as our mama taught us by “killing with kindness”. Shaymaa, you are a shining, beautiful example of what it means to be American. Gracias.

READ: Latino Muslims Are Talking About Their Experience At The Intersection Of Latino And Muslim

Turns Out ‘Machete’ Director Robert Rodriguez Is Behind ‘Rain On Me’

Entertainment

Turns Out ‘Machete’ Director Robert Rodriguez Is Behind ‘Rain On Me’

As a director, Robert Rodriguez never fails to deliver.

From the hits of the”Spy Kids” franchise to “Machete”, the seasoned Mexican-American filmmaker has built a career on high-action movies that always deliver colorful punches. It’s why, when it was recently revealed that he added Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s latest music video collaboration to his lineup of films we were pretty surprised. And awestruck.

“Rain on Me,” is the latest Gaga X Ariana Grande collab to go viral and the first music video to be directed by Rodriguez.

Over the weekend, the second single from Gaga’s upcoming sixth studio album Chromatica dropped much to the delight of fans. The song, which visits the genres of dance-pop, disco, house, and electropop has been described by Gaga as a “celebration of tears” and has already received quite a bit of praise from users online. According to Rolling Stone, “In addition to Grande, the 16-song Chromatica will also feature contributions from Elton John and South Korean group Blackpink.”

Of course, over the weekend, fans could not get enough of the video.

Or the chemistry between the collaborators.

Check out the music video below.

A Fight Broke Out In A Florida Home Depot Parking Lot And You Can See The Coronavirus Spreading

Things That Matter

A Fight Broke Out In A Florida Home Depot Parking Lot And You Can See The Coronavirus Spreading

@WhiskeyRiff / Twitter

There is one thing that will always deliver, even during a pandemic: fights. Even while the world is on lockdown and a virus is spreading, people can still find a way to get into a fight. This fight comes to you from a Home Depot in Florida.

A fight broke out at a Home Depot parking lot in Florida.

The fight took place at a Home Depot in Tampa and the fight itself is wild. Four men are in a melee and the more you watch it, the wilder it gets. First, you notice the wildly swinging paint cans. Paint is flying and you are all wondering how in the world the people hit with the paint cans are still standing. Then you realize that the pickup truck is in the splash zone. Next thing you know, one of the men is going after someone with a shovel. Yes. A shovel that you use to dig holes with. It truly is a wild ride and it has left the Internet wanting answers. Most of all, why?

If you come across it with no warning on Twitter, the video is a lot to process.

How did this fight start? Who threw the first punch? What is there to fight over in Home Depot? There are so many questions watching this fight. It can’t be possible that the best way for this fight to go off includes paint flying everywhere.

The guy with the shovel is the sleeper in this fight.

Everything is already so crazy that you aren’t sure what to take in first. Then, out of nowhere, a shovel rises straight into the air and all of your focus goes right to it. The man slams it down hard and it isn’t clear if he hit his intended target.

Some people, while not surprised, are still just done with Florida right now.

Florida has this reputation to always draw attention to itself and never for the right reasons. This fight in the time of Covid-19 is just the latest iteration of the Florida we have come to know. From politics to bizarre moments, Florida is a frontrunner in the race to be the wildest state.

On the other side, there are people who literally cannot wait until something like this comes out of Florida.

Social media is a crazy world. There are things happening on there that you would never believe would actually happen. Yet, social media is there to take the craziness of the world and serve it right up to you on a silver platter.

READ: Remember That Viral Disneyland Fight? The Internet Just Figured Out What Really Went Down