Fierce

Texas Official Under Fire For Telling Latina County Judge To “Speak English”

After a massive fire burned for several days at a petrochemical facility in suburban Houston, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo delivered updates to constituents in English and Spanish, prompting criticism from a Republican commissioner in a neighboring county.

“English this is not Mexico,” Mark Tice of Chambers County commented on a video posted on CBS affiliate KHOU’s Facebook page of Judge Lina Hidalgo — the first Latina elected as the county’s top executive — addressing the public and reporters of the blaze in both languages.

The Colombian-born judge responded to English-language media in English and Spanish-language journalists in their tongue in order to reach as many viewers who might be impacted by the combustion as possible.

In Harris County, which includes Houston, more than 4.6 million people — or 43 percent — identify as Hispanic or Latinx. Additionally, more than 40 percent of the population there speaks a language other than English at home.

But Tice, who also called Hidalgo a “joke,” continued with his disparaging remarks, saying: “It’s real simple. This is the United States. Speak English.”

His comments garnered backlash quickly, with fellow Facebook users reminding him of Houston’s vast Spanish-speaking population and that the US does not have an official language.

Hours after his initial comments, Tice issued an apology.

“I apologize to Judge Hidalgo, the citizens of my County, and most importantly the entire Hispanic community for hastily acting out with transgression on social media,” he said. “I recognize how my response could have been interpreted in a derogatory manner and for that I am sorry. I immediately regretted my choice of words. I’m not proud of my behavior, that is not the example I wish to lead by. I can only hope, in time, that my actions can be forgiven.”

Hidalgo’s office also issued a response to Tice, explaining that as county judge, Hidalgo is in charge of her region’s safety and would do anything in her power, including utilizing her bilingual skillset, to prioritize their well-being.

“As the Head of Emergency Management, Hidalgo is directly responsible for the safety of all 4.5 million residents of Harris County, a third of whom are Spanish speakers,” Kiran Khalid, Hidalgo’s director of communications, said. “Judge Hidalgo represents all of Harris County and given the county’s composition and her bilingual skills, she will continue to communicate as broadly as possible especially when public safety is at stake.”

Hidalgo, 28, was one of several Democrats who won elected office in Texas in November.

Read: In Texas, These Latina Girls Produced A Virtual Reality Documentary On Gentrification In East Austin

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A 70-Year-Old Mexican-American Woman Was Attacked Because Her Assailant Thought She Was Asian

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A 70-Year-Old Mexican-American Woman Was Attacked Because Her Assailant Thought She Was Asian

Photo via @the_asian_dawn/Instagram

In another incident that highlights the anti-Asian sentiment that is on the rise in recent months, a 70-year-old California woman was attacked in Eagle Rock, earlier this month. According to news reports, a young woman attacked her while she was exiting the bus to pick up groceries.

The elderly woman, who goes by Becky, is Mexican-American. But her attacker yelled an anti-Asian slur at her before physically assaulting her.

According to AAPI news site Asian Dawn, Becky’s attacker was a 23-year-old woman who was also riding the bus with her. The woman did nothing to provoke the attack. The young woman ended up dragging the older woman from the back of the bus to the front of the bus. Becky ended up in the hospital with a broken nose, a concussion, two severely swollen eyes, and chunks of her hair torn from her head.

According to Becky’s son, who only goes by Pete, while the family are Mexican-American, people often mistake their family for being of Asian descent. According to Pete, no one intervened to stop the young woman from attacking his mother.

“Nobody would help. Not even the bus driver,” the woman’s son told The Eastsider.

Finally, the young woman stopped her attack after a fellow passenger called 911. The police were able to apprehend the young woman after issuing a bulletin for her arrest.

According to Pete, his mother has a long road of recovery ahead of her. Already suffering from lupus and arthritis, her mother is having trouble walking. Her leg is badly bruised from the assault.

The fact that the victim was Mexican-American serves to illustrate how ignorant and hateful these racist attacks are. There is no rhyme or reason to hate.

Many are linking the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the virus originated in Wuhan, China. The violent racists that have been attacking people who appear to be of Asian descent believe that Asian-Americans are somehow personally responsible for the pandemic.

If you to support the #StopAsianHate cause, donate to organizations like gofundme.com/AAPI or the Asian American Legal defense fund here.

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Here’s How You Can Help Daunte Wright’s Family After He Was Killed By Police

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Here’s How You Can Help Daunte Wright’s Family After He Was Killed By Police

Police have taken another Black man’s life, this time it’s 20-year-old Daunte Wright. Protests have broken out in cities across the country as the nation reacts to the killing of yet another young Black man.

But as the nation reacts to the murder, Wright’s family – his mother and child – need all the support they can get right now and thankfully there are many ways that we can all be better allies while helping support the family that Wright leaves behind.

Daunte Wright is the third high-profile police murder in Minneapolis.

Daunte Wright was driving to his older brother’s house with his girlfriend on Sunday afternoon, when police pulled him over for expired tags. Police said they found an existing warrant for Wright’s arrest and attempted to handcuff him.

Bodycam footage revealed Officer Kim Potter shot Wright when she claimed to be reaching for her taser. He died on the scene, just 10 miles from where former police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial for the death of George Floyd.

According to CNN, Daunte’s death is at least the third high-profile death of a Black man at the hands of police in Minnesota in the last five years. And Daunte Wright’s death comes less than a year after the police killing of George Floyd, which sparked protests around the world.

Daunte Wright leaves behind a family still struggling with such an immense loss.

Daunte’s mother, Katie Wright, spoke out about the fear he experienced before his death. Daunte called her after the police pulled him over, at the suggestion of his older brother. “I know my son was scared. He’s afraid of the police, and I just seen and heard the fear in his voice. But I don’t know why, and it should have never escalated the way it did,” Katie told Good Morning America on April 13.

According to Katie, Daunte believed he was getting pulled over for his hanging air fresheners, then she heard “scuffling” and an officer told him to hang up the phone. “I tried to call back three, four times and the girl that was with him answered the phone and she said that they shot him and he was lying in the driver’s seat unresponsive.”

If you’d like to help support Daunte’s family and demand justice, below are a few resources and action items:

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