Things That Matter

I’m A Latino High School History Teacher And This Is Why I Went To D.C. To Attend Trump’s Inauguration

Early last fall, before the election, I arranged for myself and a small group of students from the small Catholic school I work for to attend the 45th Presidential Inauguration. At the time, we had no idea who the newly inaugurated president would be, but that did not matter to us.

Standing in front of the National Mall just past 4 a.m. on January 20, 2017, I realized I was about to witness the peaceful transition of power.

Oscar Fabian
CREDIT: Oscar Fabian with colleagues two days before inauguration

As I explained to my students, family members, and followers on social media, the inauguration is an important moment because it is a symbol of the strength of American Democracy. This was a tumultuous election, but unlike in many countries, we were able to witness the successful transfer of power without violence, bloodshed, or military coups. Regardless of my political affiliations, culture, or personal beliefs, I stood alongside the thousands of primarily White Americans around me and listened to President Trump as he presented a general array of goals and issues that he hopes to tackle during his term in office.

Though the inauguration is meant to raise spirits and confidence in the new administration, I listened and soaked everything in with caution (maybe it was because I was so damn cold).

Oscar Fabian
CREDIT: Oscar Fabian

The crowds cheered at his every word. At that point I told myself, whether I liked the president or not, it’s a done deal and the office of the President of the United States should be respected. Americans are currently divided with issues ranging from immigration reforms to gender equality. We all have something at stake, the world just has to wait and see.

Less than 24 hours later, it seemed like millions of people came to march on Washington. Yet, unlike the day before, I didn’t see airport-type security, no barricades, no bomb-squad canines, no military presence or sea of red hats.

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CREDIT: Oscar Fabian

There were more people present for the Women’s March on Washington D.C. than the inauguration, and it felt like there were also more people there than at former President Obama’s inauguration.

Countless Americans (mainly women) came out to speak out against the abuses of their rights. There were politicians, celebrities, and special interest group speakers. My personal favorite was Kamala Harris, California’s newest Democratic Senator, who spoke of President Trump’s speech not as promising but “dark” – a stark contrast to the mood the day before. The crowds could be heard roaring from every corner.  It was difficult to walk, move, or even stand still without being swept into the crowds.

There were thousands of makeshift signs with slogans such as “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” and the popular “We the People: Defend Dignity.” My personal favorite was “Nasty Woman.”

The overall sense was one of solidarity; everyone marching was there to fight some sort of oppression. I left that afternoon in awe, feeling blessed that I witnessed true democracy at work those two days.

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CREDIT: Oscar Fabian

I closed this trip in the same manner that I close every academic school year. I told my group:

“History you learned, but my goal as an educator was to instill in you the belief that all individuals are deserving of respect and should be treated with dignity. I hope that you will always remember to be tolerant and loving of all human beings.”

Oscar Fabian is an 11th grade United States history teacher


READ: This Latina Immigrant Gave This Contest “A Shot” And Now Has Tickets To Trump’s Inauguration

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AOC Wants Coronavirus ‘Reparations’ For Minority Communities

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AOC Wants Coronavirus ‘Reparations’ For Minority Communities

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For minority groups, there’s no denying that COVID-19 has had extreme effects.

According to reports COVID-19 deaths have appeared at disproportionate amounts in African-American and immigrant communities. In New York, where COVID-19 deaths have reached all highs, nearly a third of New York City’s infections are in Queens- a city with one of the most diverse populations in the world. More alarming is the fact that the hardest-hit neighborhoods are ones populated by undocumented and working-class people. In a recent interview with Democracy Now! Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called out Trump’s response to the pandemic for its part in the many deaths occurring across the United States highlighting them “deaths of incompetence,” “deaths of science denial” and “deaths of inequality.”

In her recent interview, Ocasio-Cortez called for coronavirus reparations for minorities.

Speaking about the enormous racial and ethnic disparity in the Coronavirus cases appearing in hospitals across the country, particularly the deaths that are occurring, Ocasio-Cortez emphasized the need for government intervention. Particularly when it comes to Queens, New York. “This is one of the most working-class and, as you mentioned, blackest and brownest communities in New York City. It is extraordinarily dense. Even for New York City, it is a very dense and densely populated community,” Ocasio-Cortez explained. “It’s no surprise that, you know, in the wake of this pandemic, right after the Trump administration announced its public charge rule, which basically said, if you are undocumented and seek public services, public healthcare, SNAP, WIC, etc., then you will be essentially put on a fast track to either denial of citizenship or outright deportation — and so, now that we have this pandemic and it is hardest-hitting in communities that are heavily immigrant and also with strong historically black communities, as well, that people are either afraid to go to Elmhurst Hospital out of the cost or out of sheer fear that they will be put in the public charge list.”

Since the rise of the pandemic, Ocasio-Cortez has eagerly pointed out the higher numbers of COVID-19 fatalities in low-income communities and its roots in underlying inequality.

“COVID deaths are disproportionately spiking in Black + Brown communities,” Ocasio-Cortez expressed her outrage in a Tweet last Friday. “Why? Because the chronic toll of redlining, environmental racism, wealth gap, etc. ARE underlying health conditions,” the Bronx-born lawmaker added. Inequality is a comorbidity. COVID relief should be drafted with a lens of reparations.”

Bernie Sanders Drops Out Of 2020 Presidential Race Clearing Path For Joe Biden

Things That Matter

Bernie Sanders Drops Out Of 2020 Presidential Race Clearing Path For Joe Biden

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After a long and valiant fight for Democratic presidential nomination, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has dropped out. Sen. Sanders led an energized campaign among young voters offering a future of closing economic inequality, Medicare for all, and affordable college for anyone who wants it. His ideas have forever changed the Democratic party and are pushing the platform to be one of the most progressive platforms in history.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has officially ended his campaign to be the Democratic presidential nominee.

“I wish I could give you better news, but I think you know the truth and that is that we are now some 300 delegates behind Vice President Biden and the path towards victory is nearly impossible,” Sen. Sanders told his supporters in a video. “So while we are winning the ideological battle, and while we are winning the support of so many young people and working people throughout the country, I have concluded that this battle for the Democratic presidential nomination will not be successful. So, today, I’m announcing the suspension of my campaign.”

Sen. Sanders is calling on his supporters to join the larger fight for Democratic causes.

Now that Sen. Sanders has left the presidential race, Biden is the presumptive nominee. The former vice president has been leading in delegates since Super Tuesday with African-American voters showing up in large numbers to support Biden.

Sen. Sanders supporters are saddened by the news that their favorite abuelo will no longer be in the race.

Sen. Sanders tapped into emotions that have long bubbled under the political landscape. People want change and they want the kind of change that is going to positively impact their life. This means making healthcare, education, and social support more accessible. For millions of voters, Sen. Sanders was the candidate to make that happen.

His supporters felt seen by Sen. Sanders.

Sen. Sanders undoubtedly ran a campaign that spoke to the people who felt forgotten by politicians. Young voters, especially young Latino voters, flocked to Sen. Sanders because of his message of fighting for everyone to give America the best of what the people deserve.

Democratic candidates who have already left the race shared messages of support and appreciation for Sen. Sanders.

Beto O’Rourke was one of the many Democratic candidates fighting to become the Democratic presidential nominee. Recently, O’Rourke joined a handful of Democratic politicians who threw their support behind Biden after Super Tuesday and it seemed he would be the nominee.

Despite the politics and the global pandemic, people are grateful for Sen. Sanders and his fight for the common people.

Thank you, indeed Sen. Sanders has stayed true to his beliefs for decades and has bee able to energize a voting bloc that is often left out due to a lack of participation. Now, young voters are able to understand the importance of their input in politics.

READ: Latino Voters Deliver Bernie Sanders Major Victory In California Primary