Fierce

A News Agency Faces Well-Deserved Backlash After Reporting That Veladoras Are Actually Causing Cartel Activity

Local Atlanta news station WSB-2 garnered a firestorm of criticism on social media after they tweeted out a promo to a story they were airing that night that sensationalized the emergence of veladoras in the Atlanta-metro area. The news station claimed that the Catholic prayer candles devoted to saints were tools used largely by “cartel traffickers” to keep themselves from being captured by the police.

The news station claimed in their Tweets that they would be “investigating” the surge of prayer candles on the streets of Atlanta.

“Cartel traffickers pray to their own set of ‘narco saints’ that make them more dangerous,” the news station tweeted. “@MarkWinneWSB goes undercover to see just how common they are and where they are on display in metro Atlanta”.

They went on to post an equally-alarmist follow-up tweet. “Statues and candles worshiped by drug dealers are popping up across Georgia”. They then posed the question as to if the candles were “making our streets more dangerous”.

Spotting the misleading reporting for what it was, many Twitter users spoke out against what they believed was groundless fear-mongering.

One Twitter user in particular, political expert and British historian Dr. Jennifer Wunder, quickly took action to have the Tweets taken down. Dr. Wunder condemned the Tweet for what she called “irresponsible” reporting.

“Stop this irresponsible nonsense, WSB,” she said in a Tweet responding to the news story. “You are showing pictures of common prayer candles, yet using language & suppositions that evoke both fear & discriminatory behavior from people who don’t know any better.”

She went on to criticize the news outlet for erroneously painting all people who purchase and own veladoras as “dangerous drug traffickers”.

Contrary to the misleading Twitter posts, veladoras, or votive candles, are widely used across Latinx and the larger Catholic community as a way to honor and express devotion to a chosen saint.

Naturally, some common-sense Twitter users called the news station out on their yellow journalism.

The truth is, media coverage like this negatively impacts the way the general population thinks about Latinx communities.

This woman gave the news station a much-needed history lesson.

Anyone who has a basic knowledge of Latinx and Catholic communities know that lighting candles in honor of Saints is not a practice reserved for narcos.

This woman made a very accurate point about the widespread and harmless use of Saint-worship as part of spiritual life in the US.

What’s next? A regular ceremonia de confirmación being reported as a Satanic ritual?

This Latina pointed out the very-likely lack of representation behind the scenes at WSB.

Media content like this is the reason the Latinx community is rallying for more equal representation behind the scenes as well as in front of the camera–without an insider’s perspective on stories that portray Latinx life, it is much more likely that stories will continue to be inaccurately reported.

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Latino Man Whose Wife Died In Atlanta Spa Was Handcuffed, ‘Treated Like A Suspect’

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Latino Man Whose Wife Died In Atlanta Spa Was Handcuffed, ‘Treated Like A Suspect’

As we continue to learn more about the attack on Atlanta’s Asian-American community that left eight dead, we also are learning about Mario González – a survivor of the attack who was treated like a suspect by the Cherokee Sheriff Department.

Despite having lost his wife in the gunfire, police refused to share that news with González as he was handcuffed for hours amid the chaotic scene that was unfolding in the Atlanta suburbs.

A survivor of the Atlanta spa attacks says he was treated like a suspect instead of a victim.

The Latino man and husband who survived the Atlanta spa shootings that killed his wife says cops treated him like a suspect instead of a grieving victim — keeping him handcuffed for hours without telling him his spouse was dead.

“They had me at the police station for all that time until they investigated who was responsible or what had happened,” Mario González said during an interview with the Spanish-language news site Mundo Hispanico. “In the end, they told me my wife had died.

“They knew I was her husband,” Gonzalez said. “Then they told me she was dead when I wanted to know before. I don’t know, maybe because I’m Mexican,” he said. “Because the truth is that they treated me very badly.”

Law enforcement hasn’t responded to the allegations but are already facing severe backlash.

Representatives for the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment on Sunday, but the accusations leveled by Mr. González come after the agency had already faced scrutiny after a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office described the gunman as having “a really bad day.”

The spokesman, Capt. Jay Baker, was no longer the office’s public representative on the case, and the sheriff, Frank Reynolds, apologized and defended Captain Baker as not intending to disrespect the victims or their families. “We regret any heartache Captain Baker’s words may have caused,” Sheriff Reynolds said.

González and his wife had been on a date night when the massacre took place.

The couple had arrived to Young’s Asian Massage for a fun date night, where they’d both enjoy a relaxing massage. They arrived shortly before the shooting started, Mr. González said in the video interview, and they were ushered into separate rooms for their massages.

Mr. González had met Ms. Yaun at a Waffle House restaurant, where he was a customer and she was a server. Ms. Yaun had been a single mother, raising a 13-year-old son. The couple married last year and had a daughter, who is now 8 months old. “What I need most right now is support,” Mr. González said in the interview.

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Here’s Why The Attack On Atlanta’s Asian-American Community Is A Crime Against Us All

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Here’s Why The Attack On Atlanta’s Asian-American Community Is A Crime Against Us All

Although the United States is seeing a growing movement for racial equality and justice, thanks in part to a growing national Black Lives Matter movement, racial minorities in this country continue to face violence.

We don’t yet know the exact motives behind the recent attack on the Asian-American community in Atlanta that has left eight dead, but it comes amid a recent wave of attacks against Asian Americans that coincided with the spread of the coronavirus across the United States.

Atlanta is mourning the loss of eight locals after gunman attacks Asian-American community.

A series of shootings over nearly an hour at three Atlanta-area massage parlors left eight people dead and raised fears that the attack was yet another hate crime against Asian-Americans.

The attacks began Tuesday when five people were shot at Youngs Asian Massage Parlor about 30 miles north of Atlanta. Two people died at the scene, and three were taken to a hospital where two died. About an hour later, police responding to a call about a robbery found three women dead from apparent gunshot wounds at another spa, near Atlanta’s Buckhead area. While there, the officers learned of a call reporting shots fired at another spa across the street, Aromatherapy Spa, and found another woman apparently shot dead.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden has been briefed on the “horrific shootings” and administration officials have been in contact with the mayor’s office and the FBI.

“Our hearts are breaking for the victims and their families, and we’re certainly keeping them in our prayers,” said Gov. Brian Kemp. “We’ll let the investigation continue, but it was a tragic night in our state.”

The gunman was apprehended by authorities and taken into custody.

Robert Aaron Long, a white man, 21, was apprehended in South Georgia Tuesday night and has been charged with eight counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault.

“A motive is still not clear, but a crime against any community is a crime against us all,” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “I have remained in close contact with the White House and APD as they work with federal, state and local partners to investigate the suspect who is responsible for this senseless violence in our city.”

Long told investigators he frequented the types of businesses targeted in the Tuesday shootings, calling them a “temptation he wanted to eliminate.”

The attack highlights the growing threats that the Asian & Pacific Islander community faces in the U.S.

The killings came amid a recent wave of attacks against Asian Americans that coincided with the spread of the coronavirus across the United States.

We don’t yet know exactly what motivated the alleged killer, but we do know that hate crimes against Asian Americans have been on the rise since the start of the Covid pandemic in the US.Asian Americans have reported being targeted at least 500 times in the first two months of this year, according to the organization Stop AAPI Hate with a total of 3,795 complaints received over the past year. The majority of these — 68% — were verbal harassment, while 11% involved physical assaults.

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