Fierce

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor Married A Gay Couple And It Was The Sweetest Thing

Catherine Pino and Ingrid Duran are not your typical Washington, D.C. bureaucrats. Not only are these powerful women two of the only Latinx women to own their own consulting firm, but they are definitely some of the only women to do so while being married to each other. Pino and Duran founded D&P Creative Strategies in 2004, long before the wave of acceptance of LGBTQ  swept the American consciousness. “We created our company in 2004 because we both really wanted to strengthen and advance the relationship between the LGBTQ and the Latino communities because at the time it was very different than it is today,” Duran said in an interview with Affinity magazine. “It was important for us to build a strong bridge between the two and change the narrative.”

Duran and Pino’s mission is one that doesn’t get enough attention within the Latinx community.

But according to Duran and Pino, they have methods to tackle that. Their consulting firm specifically aims to “[increase] the role of corporate, legislative and philanthropic efforts in addressing the concerns of Latinos, women, and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) communities”. When they founded their firm, they made waves for deciding to take the D.C. political world head-on as an out lesbian couple. “If businesses don’t want to work with us because we’re gay, then we don’t want to work with them,” said Duran to LGBTQ Nation.

But back in 2004, although Duran and Pino were out-and-proud, they were not legally allowed to authenticate their bond in the United States because, at the time, same-sex marriage was illegal. But in 2015, that all changed. Their friend Justice Sonia Sotomayor invited them to hear the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges case at the Supreme Court–the decision that ruled that marriage was a fundamental right of all Americans–including for gay couples. Four months later, they reunited with Justice Sotomayor. This time, however, the honorable judge was officiating their wedding.

Although they appear so comfortable with their identities now, navigating their identities as lesbian Latinas has not always an easy journey for Duran and Pino.

@LatinosLead / Twitter

When they were younger, their families’ struggled to come to terms with their daughters living a “non-traditional” lifestyle. Pino’s family, in particular, had trouble coming to terms with her sexuality. Raised in a conservative Catholic family, the idea of having a lesbian daughter was “unheard of,” according to Pino. 

As for Duran, while she thought her family would be understanding by virtue of them being progressive Chicano activists, their reaction was not as open-minded as she had hoped. Her mother believed that she had “done something wrong” in raising Duran and “struggled with what will people think”. “It was a journey for my mom to come around,” said Duran. “But when she did, she came full circle”. 

Perhaps their families’ ultimate changes-of-heart gave these women the confidence to believe the Latinx community was capable of change as well. These women are nothing but optimists about the future of America and the possibility of change. Speaking about the current administration’s policy towards Latinos, Pino doesn’t seem to be worried in the least. “Now is not the time to take the foot off the gas,” she said to LGBTQ nation. “I firmly believe in my heart that this too shall pass…We just both very much feel that we need to do as much as we can where we can and just keep working hard on these issues.”And working on the issues, they have. 

In 2015, the couple partnered with The Freedom to Marry initiative to create the campaign “Familia es Familia”. 

The campaign was “a national public education campaign” targeted towards the Latino community with the goal of normalizing the idea of marriage equality. According to the women, it is some of the work they are most proud of. As for what’s next, D&P Creative Strategies appears to be actively involved in campaigns promoting Digital Literacy, net neutrality, Latinx media representation, and supporting Latinx businesses. In this day and age of political grandstanding and empty promises, it’s inspiring to see Catherine Pino and Ingrid Duran walking the walk. 

Pino and Duran also use their platform to educate the Latinx community about issues that are close to their hearts. They created the production company “Brown Beauty Productions” as a means to “invite Latinos in the United States to tell their innovative and inspiring stories”. They have produced numerous documentaries for HBO regarding POC and LGBT issues like “The Latino List” “The Out List” and “The Trans List”. All of these happen to be projects providing information, insight, and a human angle to stories that aren’t always told in mainstream media. In other words, these ladies are working at changing the culture from every angle. They are an inspirational example to every queer Latinx person out there that the sky is the limit. 

A Black Man Says A Group Of White People”Attempted Lynching” Him And It Was Caught On Video

Entertainment

A Black Man Says A Group Of White People”Attempted Lynching” Him And It Was Caught On Video

Vauhxx Booker / Getty

In Indiana, the culture of white supremacy remains alive and well. According to RTV6 Indianapolis, Indiana at the Ku Klux Klan’s peak, the governor of Indiana, over half of the state’s legislature and nearly 30 percent of all white men born in the state were members. That culture, while not totally alive and well in Indiana revealed itself recently when authorities in Indiana shared that a Black man said he was attacked by a group of white people who attempted to lynch him.

The incident, which went viral on Sunday, was captured in a series of videos posted to Facebook.

The Black man involved in the incident, Vauhxx Booker, is a member of the Monroe County Human Rights Commission and described the incident which took place in Bloomington’s Lake Monroe saying that five men took him, pinned him to a tree, and beat him while pulling out his hair. The incident happened after Booker said he had mistakenly trespassed on private property “At one point during the attack one of the men jumped on my neck,” Booker in the post shared to Facebook. “I could feel both his feet and his full bodyweight land hard against my neck.”

In his post, Booker said that bystanders attempted to help him and yelled for the men to let him go.

When the men assaulting him replied to the protesters they said “We’re going to break his arms,” and yelled, “Get a noose.” While the comments were not captured on video, Booker has described the attack as a hate crime. He also claimed that he was “almost the victim of an attempted lynching.” “With me still pinned underneath them they kept telling onlookers to leave the ‘boy’ and that everyone else (all white) could go,” Booker wrote in his post.

In response, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources confirmed in a statement that they had responded to a report of a battery in the area on Saturday “on private property adjacent to Monroe Reservoir property.”

According to BuzzFeed News, a spokesperson for the FBI said that they were “aware of the incident and is monitoring the situation.”

Video captured of the incident reveals a group of white men holding Booker against a tree.

I don’t want to recount this, but I was almost the victim of an attempted lynching. I don’t want this to have happened…

Posted by Vauhxx Rush Booker on Sunday, July 5, 2020

In one of the videos, when the person who is filming moves closer to the assailants he says “Please, let him go,” and one of the white men replies “You go.” “You go and we will let him go,” one of the women replies.

In another video posted to Facebook by Booker, a man without a shirt can be seen calling Booker a “nappy-headed bitch.” “We were having a great time and you invaded us,” another man yells in the video “You stupid f******* liberal f****.”

In his post about the incident, Booker wrote that he and a friend were heading to the beach at the lake to attend a lunar eclipse gathering. A man with a Confederate that followed him on an ATV and told Booker and his friend that they were on private property.

“We relayed to him that we believed the organizers had received permission from the property owners to cross, but apologized and went on to our beautiful site just off the water without any further incident. When we arrived we told the event organizer of the encounter and it was relayed that the individual wasn’t the actual property owner and the organizer apologized. Even still, we advised our folks still en route to use the public beach way to avoid any possible conflict arising,” Booker wrote in the Facebook post. “We later found out that these individuals had blocked off the public beach way with a boat and their ATVs claiming that it was also their land. When folks tried to cross them, the assailants yelled, “white power” at them. Honestly, we thought it might just be the one drunken individual with the confederate hat we had encountered earlier who might be instigating the conflict. We decided to just walk back and attempt to simply have a conversation with some of the more sober seeming group members and see if we could smooth things over a bit. We were calm and polite, but looking back now, it’s apparent that these individuals began targeting our group the moment they saw myself, a Black man and were looking to provoke a conflict.”

Booker said that once they came across the people on ATVs they initially seemed calm but “quickly became aggressive” so he and his friend attempted to leave.

Booker claims the group then followed them and then two “jumped me from behind and knocked me to the ground,” Booker said. “Yet DNR refused to arrest any of these individuals, even with multiple the witnesses several who filmed the event and collaborated our accounts. Instead, the officers stated they contacted the Prosecutor’s office who relayed there was no immediate need to arrest anyone, and that the officers would simply file a report. To reiterate, this attack occurred on public land and was recorded by numerous individuals who made statements against the attackers for assaulting them and me. I’m gravely concerned that if any other people of color who were to cross their path they could be killed.”

Booker’s attorney told the Indianapolis Star that no one has been arrested in connection to the incident.

Donald Trump Taunts NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace And Promotes The Display Of Confederate Flags

Things That Matter

Donald Trump Taunts NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace And Promotes The Display Of Confederate Flags

Chip Somodevilla / Getty

As of late, many a user on Twitter are convinced that the President of the United States is attempting to stoke the fires of a race war. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen but there’s no doubt that at the core of Trump’s recent messages of hate, he has no desire at all to help our country heal during this time. Let alone assuage the current culture wars.

Recently, in another one of Trump’s twitter rants, he made a slew of racist attacks and defended the Confederate flag.

During a rant, he unleashed on Twitter, President Trump defended the display of the Confederate flag, attacked former Vice President Joe Biden, made false claims about coronavirus, and said he was victorious in his pandemic response. 

After putting blame on China for the coronavirus, Trump spat out a series of racist attacks which included his defense of the Confederate flag.

Included in his tirade was a verbal attack at Black NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace. Recently, Wallace was involved in an incident in which FBI investigated a potential hate crime against him. The FBI investigation ultimately found that a noose found by his car’s stall wasn’t a racist attack against Wallace. It turned out that the noose had been hanging in the garage for months before he was moved to it.

About the incident, Trump wrote, “Has @BubbaWallace apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX?”

Trump went on to rail NASCAR for its “politically correct” decision to ban Confederate flags from events.

Trump lampooned NASCAR for inciting its “lowest ratings EVER” because of the decision. Hours later, Trump made more callous comments, when he referenced recent announcements that the Washington Redskins and the Cleveland were considering changing their team names. Trump said American Indians “must be very angry.”

Later that same day, he attacked media outlets for their reporting on the coronavirus.”Deaths from the China Virus are down 39%, while our great testing program continues to lead the World, by FAR!” Trump wrote in a tweet that was untrue. “Why isn’t the Fake News reporting that Deaths are way down? It is only because they are, indeed, FAKE NEWS!”

While outlets like The New York Times recently reported that COVID-19 deaths in the United States are down to nearly 600 per day which is much better than the U.S.’s peak of 3,000 per day in April and May, Trump overlooked the fact that new infections continue to climb. According to CNN, “Public health experts say the increase in new cases and a simultaneous decrease in deaths and the death rate is likely a function of the virus infecting a higher percentage of younger people, who are less likely to be killed by COVID-19, improved disease treatment and expanded testing.”