Entertainment

“Alternatino With Arturo Castro” Gun Violence Skit Is Exactly What You Need To See Right Now

Since the debut of “Alternatino with Arturo Castro” on Comedy Central, we’ve been hooked. We don’t have to explain to you how the lack of Latinx in Hollywood has made TV and film watching quite dull. So, when we found out that Castro from “Broad City” was developing his own skit comedy show based on his “experiences as a Latino millennial in the United States,” we could not wait. 

Now that we’re a couple of months into the season we’re more in love with this show than we expected. Here’s briefly why: Castro touches on real-life struggles that we’re all currently experiencing but from our perspective. How revolutionary is that? Its sort of like “Seinfeld” meets “In Living Color” meets your whole Latino family. 

On Tuesday night’s episode, “Alternatino with Arturo Castro” included a skit that was all about mass shootings in our country. 

Comedy Central

Castro, who is a writer on the show as well, said the skit was shot last year. CNN reports that the parody, titled “Welcome to America,” was intended to air last week but then the mass shooting in Gilroy, California happened, so they delayed it. He felt it would be too soon to make light about the topic since people were still mourning the people who died in Gilroy. Then two back-to-back shootings happened in a matter of hours, and Castro said his skit had to be seen because these shootings continue to happen. 

“After a lot of soul-searching, I realized that it’s always going to be too soon as long as we keep allowing this to happen and don’t come together to make things change,” he said in a video posted to social media. “In no way am I trying to make light of it. And my voice is all I have, man. My art is all I have, and I have to use it to speak up for things that I care about.”

The sketch itself is about immigrant students who are taking a “cultural assimilation” class and learning about American customs. 

Comedy Central

The white teacher is telling the students that one thing they have to be prepared for is random shootings. Castro plays a student named Diego who’s from Central America. He can’t fathom why anyone in the U.S. would shoot anyone for no reason. He says in Central America people kill because they’re in drug cartels and are killing rival gang members. 

The teacher tells Diego, “Okay, in this country, it’s more like a single student shoots other students. Diego asks her, “If he is not in a cartel, then where is he getting his guns?” She responds by saying, “You can get guns anywhere. It’s America. I can get you a gun.”

When Castro’s character realizes that in the U.S. people are shooting others just to kill and that they can happen anywhere like schools, churches, concerts, he tells his teacher he’s going to go back to Central America. 

Comedy Central

Diego says to his teacher, “It’s super dangerous, but they have rules I can understand.” 

This sketch is hard-hitting on many levels. The rationale around mass shootings in the U.S. is terrifyingly hard to understand, which is why it makes no sense — especially for foreigners — that people are killing senselessly. 

While discussing the skit during an interview on CNN, Castro said that when they shot they filmed the skit, they had “hoped the topic of mass shootings was never going to be relevant again.” 

He also said that he isn’t trying to make the light of the situation, but he’s trying to show that mass shootings are difficult to understand. He went on to say that he understands gun violence first hand as he is an immigrant himself, but how can a nation of law be lawless when it comes to guns. 

People on social media definitely have a lot of feelings about this skit. 

Twitter

“I thought the sketch was great!” one person said on Castro’s Instagram. “Thank God. I’m from El Paso, this weekend has been the worst, and it’s continuing, but this was funny. Thank you, I’m so elated that you have a show.” Another said, “I admire your decision…it will always be too soon. It’s more important that we keep talking and bringing about change.”

Watch the entire skit below.

What are your thoughts about it?

Let us know in the comment section below. 

READ: This Actor Is Starting His Own Show On Comedy Central All About Being A Latino Millennial

Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot Has Overseen A Huge Drop In The City’s Violent Crime Right And This Is Why

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Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot Has Overseen A Huge Drop In The City’s Violent Crime Right And This Is Why

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Chicago, Illinois, is one of the mayor American cities that faces big challenges when it comes to fighting violent crime. Historically, the city has been renowned for the role that organized crime has had on politics and also because deep social inequality often leads to marginalization. Even though the city experiences high levels of criminality that need to be tackled, there are some promising signs as 2020 begins. And the newly elected mayor Lori Lightfoot might have a lot to do with it, and has some thoughts on why the city has experienced a double-digit fall on violent crime indexes. 

Lori Lightfoot, a queer Black woman, has had a great inaugural year in office.

Credit: Chicago Tonight / WTTW

Lightfoot is part of an important shift in local governments that has seen the number of female incumbents increase more than ever before. As NFINCE reported in its end of year recap of good things that happened in 2019, “with the April election of Lori Lightfoot in Chicago, a record number of black women (eight) served as mayors in the 100 largest cities in the United States.”

Lightfoot has been strong from day one, making masterful political moves such as firing a senior police officer that many had not dared to touch. As the Chicago Sun Times reports: “… she fired the retiring police superintendent she had celebrated one month earlier after accusing Eddie Johnson “lying” to her and to the public about the circumstances surrounding an embarrassing drinking-and-driving incident in mid-October. From a practical standpoint, Lightfoot’s decision simply means Johnson is gone a month earlier than the Dec. 31 retirement date he announced in October. But, from a political standpoint, it’s a sea change”. So yes, while in power she has made sure that the establishment knows that she has the upper hand. 

While cities like Baltimore experienced a spike in crime during 2019, Chicago’s went down by up to 10%!

As the non for profit The Crime Report points out: “Crime in Chicago is down. Though it hasn’t returned to 2014 levels, compared to late November of last year, reported crimes are down by 10 percent. That decrease is driven partly by significant declines in property crime. Violent crime has fallen by 11 percent”. This is great news for the Windy City, which has often been singled out by Republicans as evidence of Democrat failure in government. Let’s not forget that mamy Obama aides and Obama himself learnt to do politics in the tough Chicago scene and the city is a somewhat safe Democratic bastion.

In a televised interview, Lightfoot outlined what she thinks are the reasons behind this positive drop in violent crimes.

Credit: CNN / YouTube

The Chicago Mayor told CNN that one of the reasons for the drop is the alignment of the different government departments in the city to guarantee public safety. But above all, she stated, was the work with what she called “community partners” while being “on the ground”. This is a very similar approach that the Obama-school of Chicago politics advocates for. She also credits the support that the city government has been giving to victims of crime. Lightfoot also singled out the use of complex technology that alerts police when there is a shooting so they can act faster. Technology is being deployed in the most violent areas of the city. There is a constant flow of information that can be sent to the field to track cars, victims and shooters. 

But there is still a lot to do and the situation in Chicago remains less than ideal, so come structural changes are being put in motion.

Credit: WBEZ

As The Crime Report sums up: “Chicago is on track to record fewer than 500 homicides this year, a 35 percent decrease from 2016. Even if Chicago returned to its 2014 murder rate, that would still be three times higher than the national rate”. There are other challenges faced by the Chicago police, such as the low number of solved homicides in the city. 

One of the most significant changes to law enforcement structures enacted in 2019 was a considerable increase in the number of detectives in the city. As the Associated Press reports, the Chicago Police Department “is beefing up its detective ranks and spreading them around the city in the hope that it can catch up to departments in other major cities that solve a far higher percentage of homicide and other violent crime cases”. Authorities are optimistic about this change, as the AP further reports: “Police officials said will get detectives to crime scenes more quickly and give them a better chance of finding witnesses to interview” and “the move will foster public trust in communities, particularly those with high crime rates , and will allow residents to regularly see the same detectives”.

Violent crimes are down, yes, but other offenses that affect communities are up, as reported by The Wall Street Journal: “A rise in carjacking across Chicago has spooked residents even as police celebrate a drop in violent crimes such as shootings and homicides”. So there is still a lot of work to do. 

Authorities Have Identified Gabriel Romero As The Person Who Killed Two People In The Pearl Harbor Shooting

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Authorities Have Identified Gabriel Romero As The Person Who Killed Two People In The Pearl Harbor Shooting

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All mass shootings are travesties. Whether they occur in a public place or a school, they always instill fear, sadness, and numbness mainly because they happen so often. When a shooting occurs on a military camp, it is just as daunting and debilitating because servicemen and servicewomen are there to protect and serve. Yet we also know they too suffer from an array of mental health issues simply because of their profession. The shooting at Pearl Harbor is another example of the gun violence crisis gripping this nation.

Officials have identified the U.S. sailor who killed two people and himself as 22-year-old Gabriel Romero. 

On Dec. 4 at around 2:30 p.m., authorities say that Romero began shooting at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii. He shot three Department of Defense workers at the Dry Dock 2 on the base, the New York Post reports. Two of the victims, both males, were declared dead later at the hospital. 

One witness said he saw the shooter and assumed he was a sailor “because he was in a sailor uniform.” He also reports, according to the New York Post, that he recognized the sound as gunfire and also witnessed the shooter shoot himself.  The third victim is currently recovering at a local hospital. 

While all the victims were working on the base, they are considered civilians, not military.

Credit: @nypost / Twitter

“These victims are not only dedicated [International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers] IFPTE union members, they are hard-working public servants who go to work each day to serve the taxpayers and our military forces. They are reflective of the thousands of workers at Pearl Harbor and elsewhere that go to work to earn a living and serve their nation,” the organization said, according to the Star Advertiser. “No worker should have to go to work without the expectation of safely returning to their family and loved ones.” One of the victims has been identified as 32-year-old Vincent Kapoi Jr., a local of Hawaii. The names of the other two victims have not been released. 

“We are saddened by this incident, and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” Rear Adm. Robert Chadwick, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, said in a statement posted on Facebook. “The Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard is a vital part of our Navy ohana, and we have generations of families who work there. Our security forces are working closely with agencies investigating this incident, and we are making counseling and other support available to those who need it after this tragedy.”

Officials have not reported a motive by the shooter. At the time of the shooting, Romero’s duty was to guard the USS Columbia, a Pearl Harbor-based submarine that was in the drydock for maintenance at the time.

According to the Navy Region Hawaii, Base security, Navy investigative services, and other agencies are investigating the incident. However, Hawaii News Now is reporting that Romero had been ordered to take anger management classes. The outlet says that Romero “was having disciplinary problems at work,” and was instructed to seek help for his anger issues. 

Rear Admiral Robert Chadwick, commander of Navy Region Hawaii, told reporters that he wasn’t sure if Romero knew the people he shot. Shipyard Commander Capt. Greg Burton did send a message to families of the victims, saying, “Looking ahead, we will honor the life and legacy of those lost,” Burton said, according to Hawaii News Now

“Even now, as we mourn the loss of members of our ”ohana, please take the opportunity to reconnect with each other and to reinforce and strengthen the bonds with each other.”

This Saturday marked the 78th anniversary of the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and elsewhere, including in San Diego.

Credit: @HeavySan / Twitter

“We still owe a great debt to the greatest generation,” Scott McGaugh, the marketing director for the USS Midway Museum in San Diego, said to the San Diego Tribune. There are very few of them left. When we honor these kinds of days it reminds all of us that our nation can come together and unify for the greater good. That was certainly the case in World War II.”

On Dec.r 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor military base in Hawaii, killing  2,335 military servicemen and women, and 68 civilians.  It is unclear if the Saturday anniversary event at Pearl Harbor will pay respect to the people who died this week. 

READ:  At 104 Years Of Age, Ray Chavez Hits The Gym He Can Visit Pearl Harbor