Entertainment

Bravo’s ‘Texicanas’ Premiered This Week And People Are Already Clapping Back Against Racists

A few months ago, Bravo teased a new addition to its collection of reality television dramas. “Texicanas” is exactly what you would expect it to be. As the name implies, it follows six Mexican-American women living in San Antonio, Texas (Tejanas). Like any other Real Housewives show, the women are rich, beautiful and trying to keep up their social lives. Unlike those shows, these women are speaking in Spanglish, and navigating Tejana-specific problems like green cards, cultural expectations of women, and domestic violence.

The series premiered Tuesday night after “Mexican Dynasties” and viewers’ feelings are all over the place–upset about the production, casting and what it means to be a San Antonian woman.

Mexican-Americans everywhere are feeling seen.

@aleppolly / Twitter

Or heard rather? Seriously, expect your language to be spoken and to learn a few new words in the process. Bravo TV is out here dubbing out every other Spanish word coming out of their mouths but giving us the subtitles.

Some of us are living life on the edge by just watching the show.

@vanedivinaa / Twitter

Yeah, that feeling never seems to go away? So many of us didn’t even know these were curse words growing up because our mami’s were always chismosando. That slap upside the head is the only way to learn what’s wrong and right to say.

Other Latinos were disappointed with the lack of Mexican food in the show.

@9woodMac / Twitter

So much of Latino culture is the family drama happening around a léchon only for the hangry tíos to calm down after eating. Food dictates the drama. We get it, but also, we can eat salads for lunch and still be Latino.

So, we all expected drama from the cast, but the drama is going down in Twitter threads as well.

@bossiinina / Twitter

Let’s face it, comadres, we’re all watching reality TV for the chisme and to feel better about our own lives. Some of these viewers who took to Twitter could use a mirror.

Some people are really dragging the network for their casting calls.

@TT7N9 / Twitter

Dayum. This is how to let people know how you really feel. Like, maybe some people are just being mean to be mean. The internet is perfect for that. However, some times people just don’t like seeing themselves and their communities wrongly represented.

Texas + Mexicana = Texicanas

@stephanie_wins / Twitter

Some folks are having a hard time with a Mexican cast on a show that is so obviously meant to include a cast that’s navigating two cultures. You can’t have one without the other.

Anayancy is the only woman who isn’t a U.S. citizen just yet.

@ericccdean / Twitter

Every woman has her own story. Some were born in the U.S. but grew up in Mexico. Others were born and raised in Texas. Anayancy Nolasco is still waiting for her citizenship to come through. She lives in San Antonio with her daughter, Ellie.

San Antonians are clapping back louder than the racists to prove a point.

@kesleavictoriaa / Twitter

San Antonio is a diverse city. It was once Mexican territory. All this border conflict is human-made. This is a show about people and how they navigate that conflict.

Other fans are taking a moment to straight laugh at the racists.

@RaquelVivienne / Twitter

If your problem is that the women are Mexican, then maybe you should open your eyes and stop discounting the brown people that make up the majority of your city. Just a very rational thought to leave here.

A few Latinas have complained that the women don’t represent their Latinidad.

@melanese_ / Twitter

Representation is important, claro. BUT–let our people act as wild and crazy as all the other white people in Real Housewives. We deserve cheesy rom-coms with tropes, meaningful films and trash TV like the rest of the U.S.

“Mexican Dynasties” fans feel the bar has been set too high to let “Texicanas” be.

@coletteLala / Twitter

Many folks on Twitter were calling for a full season of “Mexican Dynasties” instead of “Texicanas.” We’re going to give the show more time for the plot to develop.

Frankly, a good fraction of complainers had it in for production, not the cast.

@Paul_0808 / Twitter

It’s hard to say if the “formula” of “Mexican Dynasties” that @coletteLALA was referring to is the actual editing formula. There’s no question that “Texicanas” is trying something different.

It seems to be a mix of script and ‘reality.’

@Jacqueliinee02 @KeirnThomas / Twitter

One of the women, Penny, narrates the entire series. If you saw the teaser trailer, expect a lot more of that. The viewership is split on whether we like it or not.

This realist has a message for the pessimists out there.

@ninaluna1126 / Twitter

And that message is: drink more tequila and keep watching. Have you seen the show yet?

You can tune in to “Texicanas” debut season on Bravo, Tuesday nights.

Bravo / YouTube

It’s what we’ll be talking chisme about Wednesday mornings for the foreseeable future. If you watched the first episode, what did you think? Comment below.

READ: Fans Of ‘Mexican Dynasties’ Can’t Stop Talking About Raquel Calling A Child Ugly To His Face

Our Tías’ Nacimientos Will Never Be The Same Since Mexico Has Outlawed Buying And Selling The Moss

Culture

Our Tías’ Nacimientos Will Never Be The Same Since Mexico Has Outlawed Buying And Selling The Moss

sony_a6000photos / Instagram / Pinterest

Growing up Mexican I looked forward to the Christmas season yes, tbh mostly because of presents but also because it was the time when mom and I got to go way overboard with our Nativity Scene decorations. If you’re Latino, putting up a nacimiento is just as essential a part of Christmas, as putting up a tree. If there’s one cliche that has proven to be true, time and again, it’s that Latino moms tend to be extra AF in everything they do. The representations of Jesus’s birth vary from minimal, to OTT baroque, to hyper-realistic. There’s one element that remains the most important aspect of the nacimiento across the board, in Mexico at least, the moss and other dense green clumps are usually used to adorn the decoration. So, what if we told you that buying and selling moss is actually illegal in Mexico?

Nacimiento, Pesebre, or Belen, are the names that different Latin American countries give to the traditional Nativity Scene representation under the Christmas tree.

Credit: Pinterest

The representation of Jesus’s birth, known as nacimiento in Mexico, pesebre in Colombia and other South American countries, or Belen in Spain, is a centuries-old tradition in the Catholic world. All you really need to tell the story are three basic figures: Virgin Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus. But why limit yourself? 

You could make the case that the three wise men and the star that guided them to the newborn baby are also essential. Jesus was born in a stable because there was no place at the inns in Bethlehem, so naturally, there should be farm animals around, and hay, and moss —and why not a stream made of cellophane, while you’re at it? 

Nativity Scenes are usually elaborate, over the top extravaganzas that families work tirelessly on for the holiday season.

In Mexico and many other countries of Latin America, nacimientos can turn into elaborate extravaganzas, populated by all manner of animals and plants that you would never find side by side in the real world. Some scenes display pump-operated rivers with real water, others feature waterfalls and ponds. Some include whole cities built around the manger where Jesus was born. The creative license extends to the characters, which range from unrelated biblical figures such as Adam and Eve to random shepherds, farmers, and the devil. It’s clearly not an exercise in authenticity, but it’s festive and fun.

Part of the fun is the use of moss and other types of grass to add to the ‘look’. 

Credit: Pinterest

Moss is used to decorate the scene, but it also has a special symbolism. Spanish moss is of particular importance in the catholic representation of baby Jesus’s birth. A little patch of the gray grass is always placed underneath Satan —to highlight his presence and set him apart from the rest of the crowd. According to tradition, Satan should always be present in a nacimiento to remind us that although the birth of Jesus offers love and the possibility of redemption, sin and evil are always present in the world —and moss plays a big part in his representation.

As soon as November starts drawing to an end and December is around the corner, every mercado in Mexico is flooded by vendors who sell the coveted greenery of the season. 

Credit: @jjoel777 / Twitter

Every city and town has a market where, for about a month between the end of November and the first week in January, a large number of vendors offer items, especially for Christmas.  Some larger cities, like Mexico City, Guadalajara, Morelia, and others, offer several tianguis navideños (Christmas markets) where literally hundreds of vendors set up shop, to sell the infamous moss. 

But as it turns out, selling and/or buying moss is illegal.

Credit: losconfites_organicfarm / Instagram

This type of grass is essential for the survival of Mexican forests. The species is protected by the country, which makes its trade ilegal —and you might want to think twice before you buy it. 

Mosses are actually essential for the health and wellbeing of many ecosystems and all the organisms that inhabit them.

Credit: sony_a6000photos / Instagram

The term moss encompasses any of at least 12,000 species of small land plants. Mosses are distributed throughout the world except in saltwater and are commonly found in moist shady locations. They are best known as those species that carpet woodland and forest floors. Ecologically, mosses capture water and filter it to underground streams, or substrata, releasing nutrients for the use of more complex plants that succeed them. They also aid in soil erosion control by providing surface cover and absorbing water, and they are important in the nutrient and water economy of some vegetation types. Essentially, they are the pulse of forests and ecosystems everywhere.

Protection and conservation are relatively novel concepts in Mexican bryology, the branch of botany that studies mosses. 

Credit: @elbigdatamx / Twitter

Mexico is home to more than 900 recorded species of moss —and much of the country’s territory is yet to be explored thoroughly for more flora. However, local mosses face habitat destruction and over-harvesting as their major threat. 

In 1993, a diagnostic study of mosses that required protection Mexico was conducted, and supported by the federal government as well as other international agencies. At the time, six species were recognized as ‘rare’ or ‘endangered’ and were placed under official protection. 

The Secretariat of Environmental and Natural Resources of Mexico regulates the extraction and trade of moss. 

Credit: @iinfodeac / Twitter

In order to extract moss from its natural habitat, and furthermore, to commercialize it, vendors must follow strict requirements in order to attain a license. According to Mexican Forest Law 001 expedited by SEMARNAT (The Secretariat of Environmental and Natural Resources of Mexico), the extraction of moss is only permitted when the plant is in a mature state and ready for harvest, other conditions require that moss must be extracted in parcels of no more than 2 meters of width and that only 50 percent of each patch of moss may be extracted, etc. 

During this time of year, Mexican police are on high alert. 

Credit: @mimorelia / Twitter

Around the holiday season, police in Mexico double up on their patrolling. Authorities will be on high alert, inspecting those establishments who are authorized to sell moss and searching for those who aren’t. The Secretariat of Environmental and Natural Resources and the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection will be watching —so you might want to tell your mom and tias to avoid shopping for moss in Mexico this year.

READ: Check Out Some Of The Most Tiny And Adorable Nacimientos

The El Paso Walmart Where A White Nationalist Killed 22 People Reopens With #ElPasoStrong Banner

Things That Matter

The El Paso Walmart Where A White Nationalist Killed 22 People Reopens With #ElPasoStrong Banner

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Amid a class action lawsuit over safety, Walmart has hired off-duty officers to man its El Paso store during today’s quiet reopening, over three months since the deadly, racist mass shooting. On August 3, 2019, a white supremacist drove ten hours from Dallas, Texas, to the Cielo Vista shopping center, armed to kill as many Mexicans and Mexican-Americans as possible. That day, more than 3,000 people were in the El Paso Walmart, and 22 died within the few minutes the shooter opened fire. 

A security guard was scheduled to be there that fateful day but didn’t show. Walmart is currently the defendant in a class-action lawsuit, which is not seeking monetary damages but rather answers as to why Walmart didn’t adequately protect its customers.

The El Paso Walmart reopened its doors but not without an #ElPasoStrong banner greeting customers.

Before its scheduled opening at 9 a.m., employees gathered for the first time since the shooting for an employee meeting. Many wore “El Paso Strong” pins on their nametags. This time, armed off-duty police officers will be standing by, comforting many and alarming others. “There was a time that Walmart hired off-duty officers and for some time prior (to) August 3rd that ceased,” El Paso police spokesman Enrique Carrillo, told The Daily Mail in an email. 

The officers will be paid $50 per hour, roughly double their hourly wage.

Credit: @anjelia3464 / Twitter

Walmart has significantly invested in its security measures at all Walmart stores. “We typically do not share our security measures publicly because it could make them less effective,” Walmart spokeswoman Delia Garcia told the outlet, “But they may include hiring additional security, adding cameras in-store and using ‘lot cops’ in the parking lot. We will continue our long-standing practice of regularly evaluating our staffing, training, procedures, and technology which are designed to provide a safe working and shopping experience.”

If the government won’t implement gun reform, does the burden of protecting shoppers now lie in corporations?

Credit: @camerontygett / Twitter

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the United States, and the single largest roadblock to gun reform in America. The NRA donates to politicians who then ensure its interests are protected. The class action against Walmart presents a morose shift in the political landscape. It presumes that mentally ill people armed with assault-style weapons are something businesses should expect to protect their customers from. 

While it’s legally sound for Walmart to hire the off-duty officers to protect itself from liability, where is the burden on the police department? If the United States won’t pass gun reform measures, should it raise taxes instead to militarize the police and station them at every church, synagogue, movie theater and chain store? Will corporations band together to lobby the government, founded in capitalism, to take this undue burden off its back?

One shopper reflects the sentiment of many heading to Walmart today: “We aren’t letting this beat us.”

Credit: @KeenanFOX_CBS / Twitter

Journalist Keenan Willard met Emma Ferguson in the parking lot of the Walmart. She stopped to smile for a photo and tell him what her shopping experience means to her. “It’s about standing up to our fear. We aren’t letting this beat us.” Willard quoted her in a tweet.

The City of El Paso began removing the makeshift memorial behind Walmart earlier this week to prepare for its reopening.

Credit: @tornandra / Twitter

Journalist and El Paso resident Andra Litton tweeted a photo of the makeshift memorial behind Walmart the evening before the City of El Paso started removing the items, along with the fencing, “making it visible from I-10 for the first time since the Aug 3 shooting,” she tweeted. “It still hurts. #ElPasoStrong”

The items have been moved to Ponder Park, across the street from Walmart.

Credit: @nachoguilar / Twitter

Next to the memorial are “Temporary Memorial Site” signs in both Spanish and English. They read, “The City of El Paso invites the public to honor the victims of the August 3, 2019 tragedy at the Temporary Memorial at Ponder Park. The public may leave memorial items at the site. The public is encouraged to tie an orange ribbon in remembrance of those lost on August 3, 2019.” Along the fence, traditional Mexican sombreros hang next to a green star that says, “God cares!” “Pray for El Paso” and “#FronteraStrong,” along with Día de Muertos images of Frida Kahlo pepper the memorial.

A permanent memorial is under construction in the Walmart parking lot.

Credit: @265rza / Twitter

The ‘Grand Candela’ will be 30 feet tall, and projected to be unveiled by the end of the year. A month after the El Paso shooting, Walmart announced its plan to phase out certain types of ammunition from its stores, reducing its market share of ammunition from 20 percent to less than 10 percent. 

Still, some feel Walmart’s reopening, with the memorial or not, is a “slap in the face” to the victims. “It’s disrespectful to the people who died in the shooting,” college student Brandon Flores, 19, told CNN. “Anyone would be able to walk over the place where their bodies were laying and it would be just like nothing happened.”

READ: El Paso Artists Joined Together To Commemorate El Paso Gun Violence Victims With A Mural That Highlights Community Strength