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After A Long Recovery, David Ortiz Is Back In The DR For The First Time And His Fans Went Crazy

On June 9 2019, a terrible event shook the baseball world to its core. Retired Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was shot at a bar and almost lost his life. But Big Papi is indeed bigger than life and he pulled through, surviving and becoming even more of a symbol of inspiration for people in his adoptive Boston, the city which he now calls home and which absolutely adores him.

What made the Big Papi shooting even more shocking is the fact that he has always produced a public image that combines brute force with intelligence and a good nature that makes it hard to believe that he would have any enemies (and well, as it turned out he didn’t and it was all an unfortunate mistake). And the city of Boston got behind him with good wishes, cards and love. Ortiz was, for example, one of the unifying personalities in the city following the Boston Marathon bombings. Kids and adults, everyone loves him. 

The emotional and physical scars of the shooting that almost ended Ortiz’s life are still healing, so it came as a surprise that he decided to visit Dominican Republic.

The news devastated Boston Red Sox fan and Dominicans all around the world: Big Papi Ortiz was shot and struggling to stay alive. By now we know that he survived the incident, but he is clearly still shaken by having faced death.

In the first interview since the incident he broke down in tears, telling Univision: “For the first five seconds, I thought I was having a nightmare … I was feeling something that I had never felt before in my life, and that was to try to stay alive”. It has been almost six months since those bullets punctured his impressive physique. Because he has no enemies and an attempt on his life is a ludicrous idea, he was surprised more than afraid.

As he said during the same interview: “‘I wasn’t hurting (at first). I felt like a little burn, but I don’t even look at that. I know that I was hurting because of the impact and the sound. I started hurting later, probably when I was about to walk into the surgery”. 

It has been determined that the incident was a case of mistaken identity!

As bad luck would have it, those bullets were not intended for Ortiz. The authorities have made it official: the attack at the Santo Domingo bar was a nearly fatal case of mistaken identity. Since then a Dominican drug trafficker has been caught and charged.

The real target was Sixto David Fernández, with whom Ortiz was sharing a table and who is cousins with the alleged perpetrator,  Víctor Hugo Gómez, allegedly an associate of Mexico’s Gulf Cartel. So yes, Big Papi got caught in the middle of an international trafficking turf war, and he lost his gallbladder and a big chunk of his intestine, as well as a sense of personal safety, for it. 

Now Ortiz made his first public appearance in the Dominican Republic since he was shot and he received a hero’s welcome.

Credit: Tatiana Fernandez

After he was shot he was taken care of in his adoptive city of Boston, where the slugger has charmed baseball fans and is adored by almost everyone due to his generous spirit and charity worked. Big Papi appeared in front of a cheering crowd when he made a surprise appearance at the Quisqueya Stadium Juan Marichal for the Game of Legends, in which current and past MLB stars from the baseball-crazed country get together for a charity event. 

His words to the cheering crowd: ““Praise God and long live the Dominican Republic.”

Credit: Tatiana Fernandez

There were other stars in the building, of course, including Hall of Famers Pedro Martínez and Juan Marichal, Mets player Robinson Canó and Nationals pelotero Juan Soto. But it was clear that the real rockstar was Big Papi, who was ecstatic about spending time with his people. Dominican fans thought Ortiz would never return to the island que lo vio nacer but that was also the site of the incident that almost took his life.

But Ortiz looked cheerful and was his old generous self, wearing a colorful short-sleeved shirt in the best Caribbean way. But of course he did not participate in the events themselves, as he is still convalescent after multiple surgeries in the Dominican Republic and Boston. As Mail Online reports: “However, he did not participate in any of the events held as part of the Dominican Winter League’s mid-season break”. But his presence is inspiring enough to lift anyone’s spirits and leave the fans happy. 

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One Year Later, The Latino Community Remembers The El Paso Shooting

Things That Matter

One Year Later, The Latino Community Remembers The El Paso Shooting

Mario Tama / Getty Images

On August 3, 2019, a man entered a Walmart in El Paso, Texas and killed 23 customers and injured 23 more. The shooter, Patrick Crusius, went to the Walmart with the expressed purpose of killing Mexican and Mexican-Americans. One year later, the community is remembering those lost.

One year ago today, a man killed 23 people in an El Paso Walmart targeting our community.

The Latino community was stunned when Patrick Crusius opened fire and killed 23 people in El Paso, Texas. The gunman wrote a manifesto and included his desire to kill as many Mexicans and Mexican-Americans he could in the El Paso Walmart. The days after were filled with grieving the loss of 23 people and trying to understand how this kind of hate could exist in our society.

Representative Veronica Escobar, who represents El Paso, is honoring the victims today.

Rep. Escobar was on the scene shortly after the shooting to be there for her community. The shooting was a reminder of the dangers of the anti-Latino and xenophobic rhetoric that the Trump administration was pushing for years.

“One year ago, our community and the nation were shocked and heartbroken by the horrific act of domestic terrorism fueled by racism and xenophobia that killed 23 beautiful souls, injured 22, and devasted all of us,” Rep. Escobar said in a statement. “Today will be painful for El Pasoans, especially for the survivors and the loved ones of those who were killed, but as we grieve and heal together apart, we must continue to face hate with love and confront xenophobia by treating the stranger with dignity and hospitality.”

El Pasoans are coming together today to remember the victims of the violence that day.

Latinos are a growing demographic that will soon eclipse the white communities in several states. Some experts in demographic shifts understand that this could be a terrifying sign for the white population. These changing demographics give life to racist and hateful ideologies.

“When you have a few people of color, the community is not seen so much as a threat,” Maria Cristina Morales, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas at El Paso, told USA Today about the fear of changing demographics. “But the more that the population grows – the population of Latinos grow for instance – the more fear that there’s going to be a loss of power.”

The international attack is still felt today because of the constant examples of white supremacy still active today.

“It doesn’t occur to you that there’s a war going on, and there’s always been a war going on—the helicopters the barbed wire—but you just kind of didn’t see it,” David Dorado Romo, an El Paso historian who lost a friend in the shooting, told Time Magazine.

The sudden reminder of the hate out there towards the Latino community was felt nationwide that day. The violent attack that was planned out revealed the true cost of that hate that has been pushed by some politicians.

“El Paso families have the right to live free from fear, and I will continue to honor the victims and survivors with action,” Rep. Escobar said in her statement. “Fighting to end the gun violence and hate epidemics that plague our nation.”

READ: As El Paso Grieves Their Loss, Here Is Everything We Know About The Victims Of The El Paso Massacre, Which Were Mostly Latino

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People Are Using Social Media to Highlight Racism On The Islands

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People Are Using Social Media to Highlight Racism On The Islands

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

The world is paying attention to racism in the world right now. The Black Lives Matter movement has gone international and people are starting to call out racism everywhere they see it. This means shining a light on racism on social media to really highlight the issue.

Afro-Caribbean people are using #AquíNoExisteElRacismoPero and #PeroNoSomosRacists to highlight racism.

Social media users are sharing their experiences with racism on the Caribbean islands and the hashtags speak volumes. The hashtags translate to #ButWeAreNotRacists and #ThereIsNoRacismHereBut are being used to highlight racism in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

There is an understood in the Latino community that racism runs deep but it is often ignored. Culturally, it has plagued the Latino community for generations with microaggressions about hair and “bettering the race.” It is something that we need to address and these hashtags are calling it out.

Some Dominicans are highlighting the microaggressions that have existed for as long as time.

Microaggressions are some of the most common and annoying moments of racism around. They are little but when there are enough they really add up fast. They are all around and are said so often that people often ignore them when they are said. “Pelo malo” one of the most common examples of racist microaggressions in the Latino community. It is always Afro-Latinos who have “pelo malo.”

The hair microaggressions are some of the earliest.

Twitter users are coming forward with stories of having their hair relaxed and chemically treated to be “better.” The focus on Euro-centric beauty within the Afro-Latino community is toxic and instilling it in children so young is a traumatic and hurtful experience.

Some people have been able to use the experience to empower themselves.

People who can take a moment like this ad grow from it are the kind of people you want to know. You go with your self-acceptance and love. There is nothing more beautiful than being yourself and learning to love all of you is a journey so many have to make.

There are so many microaggressions that have become far to familiar in our community and we have to fight against them.

Cosas que escuché en mi entorno mientras crecía :"En nuestra familia no hay negros""Mijito tienes que mejorar la raza…

Posted by Stefano Navarro on Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Things I heard in my surroundings growing up:
“There are no black in our family.”
“Mijito you have to improve the race.”
“Marry a white girl.”
“You’re not black, you’re tricky, don’t say that again.”
“I’m not black, I’m brunette.”
“You mean the black I was selling….”
“You work like black.”
“You sweat like black.”
“Your kids came out happily white.”
“You smell like black.”
#PeroNoSomosRacistas

READ: 8 Racist Habits Latinos Seriously Need To Drop

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