Things That Matter

Dakota Access Pipeline Halted For Now, But Trump May Change That Soon

After months of being on the receiving end of tear gas, rubber bullets, and water cannons in sub-freezing temperatures, Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) protesters finally have a reason to rejoice. On Sunday, President Obama effectively halted plans to build the pipeline under the Sioux’s Missouri River reservoir, putting an end to the contentious standoff between authorities and protesters. In the aftermath of President Obama’s verdict, activists, celebrities, and politicians took to social media to express their joy.

America’s favorite politician, Bernie Sanders, used Facebook to express his trademark common sense and compassion.

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CREDIT: U.S. SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS / FACEBOOK

Bernie reminds us that we’re celebrating something that shouldn’t have even been an issue in the first place, saying, “In the year 2016, we should not continue to trample on Native American sovereignty.”

Mark Ruffalo sent a very heartfelt “thank you” to those who had engineered the protester’s victory.

Dakota Access Pipeline Denied by Army Corps of Engineers! No win is ever permanent but we can rejoice today because together we created greater justice in the world, we opened the door to heal the old wounds sustained by our indigenous people. President Obama will leave the White House as a great chief of America for this. We must all thank the Native Youth who started this movement who started the camp and ran all over the USA to stop this from happening. It is for them, the unborn and the voiceless that we persist in the struggle. We must also have compassion for the Police who were on the other side of this struggle but are still our brothers and sisters.

Posted by Mark Ruffalo on Sunday, December 4, 2016

Posted by Mark Ruffalo on Sunday, December 4, 2016


Not only is Ruffalo green in the movies, playing the Hulk, he’s also green IRL.

Rosario Dawson, one of DAPL’s most outspoken critics, was understandably excited.


For the last few months, Dawson’s Twitter feed was always up to date on the latest news coming out of DAPL.

Author Naomi Klein posted a video of 13-year-old Tokata Iron Eyes, one of the originators of the DAPL protests.

“I feel like I have my future back.”
Celebrating victory with Tokata Iron Eyes, 13 year old water protector, Standing Rock

Posted by Naomi Klein on Monday, December 5, 2016

CREDIT: NAOMI KLEIN / FACEBOOK 

The joy on Iron Eyes’ face, as she says, “I feel like I have my future back,” is exactly why these protesters fought so hard to keep the pipeline away.

Current fave for the DNC chair, Keith Ellison, was “inspired” by the victory.


In an official statement, Ellison echoed Bernie Sanders’ sentiments, saying, “We have a responsibility to respect the sovereignty of the Standing Rock Tribe, and to ensure their voices are heard.”

Pharrell Williams saw the protest as proof that change comes when people work together.

Speaking of the people, the joy was quick to spread on Twitter.

A victory for Standing Rock is a victory for democracy.

On the other hand, many people aren’t convinced that the DAPL struggles are over.

For many, this is just the eye of the storm.

President-elect Trump has already stated that he is in favor of the pipeline.

Not to mention, Trump has stock in Energy Transfer Partners, the company responsible for the pipeline’s construction.

This fact hasn’t escaped social media’s radar. Many are convinced that this victory will fall when Trump takes office.


These claims aren’t the result of conspiracy theorist’s over-active imagination.

Kelsy Warren, CEO of the DAPL’s parent company, ETP, is confident Trump will approve the pipeline.


In an interview with CBS This Morning, Warren stated that the protesters would lose in the end, saying, “They will not stop our project. That’s naïve. They’re not stopping our project.”

In an official statement released by Warren’s company:

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CREDIT: ROLLING STONE / INSTAGRAM

As stated all along, ETP and SXL are fully committed to ensuring that this vital project is brought to completion and fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe. Nothing this Administration has done today changes that in any way.

Standing Rock is well aware of Trump’s interest in the pipeline. The chairman hopes to talk to him about the potentially harmful consequences of DAPL.


Standing Rock Sioux chair, Dave Archambault told Reuters, “The current administration did the right thing and we need to educate the incoming administration and help them understand the right decision was made.”

As uncertainty looms, victory brings hope to those who have fought so hard for what was already theirs.


Read: ‘You Told Us To Our Face That As Long As You’re In The White House You Had Our Back’

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All About Michelle Obama’s ‘Vote’ Necklace And Where To Get It

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All About Michelle Obama’s ‘Vote’ Necklace And Where To Get It

Handout / Handout

There’s no denying that Michelle Obama wowed viewers when she appeared at the Democratic National Convention earlier this week. The former First Lady delivered a pointed and compelling speech about the future of our country and the importance of voting and did so while donning perhaps one of the chicest outfits of the decade paired with hoop earrings and a sweet necklace that spelled out the word “VOTE.”

While there’s a lot to take away from Obama’s message, particularly because our lives literally depend on it, fans haven’t been able to keep their eyes off of Obama’s “vote” necklace.

Obama’s necklace was designed by Chari Cuthbert for her line BYCHARI as part of her boutique jewelry line which is based in Los Angeles.

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You all know me by now. You know that I tell you exactly what I’m feeling, and that I’m no fan of politics. But you also know how much I love this country and how much I care about all our children. And right now, I’m deeply troubled by what our kids are witnessing—a nation that’s underperforming not just on matters of policy, but on matters of character. In our hearts, we know that so much of what’s happening is just not right. It’s not who we want to be. And if we want any chance to end the chaos, the division, and the nastiness; if we want to keep alive the possibility of progress on the issues we hold dear, we’ve got to elect @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris like our lives depend on it. Joe Biden is a profoundly decent man, guided by his faith. He knows what it takes to rescue an economy, beat back a pandemic, and lead a country. Kamala Harris is a dedicated public servant who has committed her life to fighting for those who can use a hand up. Together, they will listen. They will tell the truth and trust science. And they will make smart plans and manage a good team. Because Joe Biden has served this nation without ever losing sight of who he is, but even more than that, he’s never lost sight of who we are—all of us. And he will channel that same grit and compassion to pick us up, help us heal, and guide us forward. To everyone who has given so much this summer to awaken our consciences and shout out for justice—I could not be more proud of you. Keep it up. Because progress isn’t an either/or proposition. If we want to move forward, we’ve got to march. We’ve got to kneel. We’ve got to protest. And we’ve got to vote—and make sure everyone we know does, too. So vote early, in-person if you can. Request your mail-in ballots right now—tonight—and send them back immediately, and follow up to make sure they were received. And when Election Day comes, get prepared to wait in line overnight if you have to. Because if we want to be able to look our children in the eye after this election, if we want to realize the progress that we seek, we’ve got to do everything we can to elect Joe Biden as the next President of the United States.

A post shared by Michelle Obama (@michelleobama) on

The Black designer has produced and designed custom pieces since 2012 and sold her designs via her website, word of mouth, social media, and a few influencers. According to Cuthbert, her business was already doing well pretty recently but sales for her designs skyrocketed this week thanks to a visual endorsement from Obama at the Democratic Convention. Cuthbert told CNN that 12 hours after Obama’s address on Monday night, almost 2,000 orders for her VOTE necklace came rolling in.

The necklace sells for $295.

“I was at my office, and I just sat there as my phone was going crazy, and I started to cry,” Cuthbert told CNN.

Obama’s stylist has said that the vote necklace inspired the writer’s entire look for the evening.

Meredith Koop who has worked as a stylist for Obama for the last decade told CNN, “I built all of the outfit options I offered to Obama around the necklace. When I commissioned it, I knew it had to be the centerpiece When the speech started, you had to squint a little to read it. I love that. It pulled the viewer in.”

The VOTE necklace was crafted for Obama earlier this summer in July when Koop messaged Cuthbert on Instagram. The designer and stylist had never met or worked with Koop but found herself impressed by Cuthbert’s designs on social platforms like Instagram. Of course, this isn’t the first time Cuthbert has created the VOTE necklace. In 2016, she made a small supply of the necklaces for herself and friends. In 2018 she promoted the necklaces once again to raise awareness about the primaries.

“I try to keep politics and business separate,” Cuthbert told CNN, “But in these times, with what’s happening in the world, I felt like I needed to use my platform. So when Meredith reached out we knew how important it was to do this, and do it now.”

Cuthbert is a Black business owner who has been waiting for a break for her small business for some time.

Like millions of small business owners and entrepreneurs, she’s worked hard to pursue her dreams.

“I reached out to friends in the jewelry industry last night and this morning and have just said, ‘Um, I’m going to need some help,’ in the best possible sense,” Cuthbert explains. “This is it. This is the dream come true.”

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Barack Obama Added Latin Music Stars To His Annual List Of Things He Enjoyed In 2019

Entertainment

Barack Obama Added Latin Music Stars To His Annual List Of Things He Enjoyed In 2019

barackobama / Instagram

President Obama has become a strong and lasting pop culture figure. He is often referenced in tv shows. movies, late-night talk shows, and a myriad of other moments. He has even become a tastemaker in some pop culture rounds. Namely, Obama releases an annual list of favorite things in entertainment and pop culture. It is a list that people have come to expect and look forward to as Obama has often highlighted the most influential people of the year. This year’s list is no different and there were some notable Latino additions to the list that people definitely paid attention to.

Former President Barack Obama released his culture list of 2019, and he included some of our favorite Latino creatives. 

Credit: @barackobama / Twitter

Obama’s recommendation lists have been a part of our lives since he began his presidency. Every year, he releases a list of his favorite books, music, and movies, and we’re always so excited because he typically is into things that we’re into as well. Not just that, but he also turns us onto new creatives because if he’s into it, we know for a fact it’s good. 

Oh, the music front, Obama did not disappoint. His favorite music of 2019 surprised many because while we know he has impeccable taste, we didn’t realize he could get down like that. 

For starters, in 2019, Obama listened to “Baila Baila Baila” by Ozuna featuring Daddy Yankee, J Balvin, Farruko, Anuel AA. 


We need a second to absorb this awesomeness. Not only does Obama give a list of entertainment to make your year better, he included one of the Latin music’s biggest bops of the year.

People could not get over the fact that Obama gets down to Ozuna just like we do. 

Credit: @bianncaaaa_ / Twitter

We truly want to know who put Obama onto Ozuna. Was it his kids? Was it a friend? Maybe it was Michelle! We know she does love to dance. Way to go, Obama.

We see Obama in a whole new light now. 

He was cool before, but now it’s on another level. We really love seeing the things that Obama enjoys.

Obama also listened to Angelica Garcia’s “Jícama”

The bilingual singer who’s based in Richmond, Virginia but was born in Cali and is of Mexican and Salvadoran descent got the break of a lifetime by getting a shoutout by the former president.

For those of you who don’t know her, now you know. 

Credit: @als_baretoes / Twitter

Garcia tweeted, “I am tearing up right now. My grandma has kept your picture on her piano for 5 years. Thank you for listening @BarackObama.” We’re tearing up now too!

Like the rest of the world, Obama could not resist Rosalía’s “Con Altura.”


Rosalía was undeniable on the culture hit list for 2019 and there’s no way Obama could avoid her. She was everywhere with her new music this year.

Obama surprised many with his choices this year, but his Latin music artist picks blew us away. 

Credit: @nathalyHenriq11 / Twitter

We stan Obama for life!

Now, on the movie front, Obama didn’t choose any Latin films. We know there were slim pickings, but we guess he didn’t watch “Knock Down the House” — the documentary about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s rise to Congress. Or “The Infiltrators” another powerful documentary about what it’s like to be detained by ICE. Perhaps that last film hits too close to home for the former president. 

As for books, Obama chose some incredible reads, including Valeria Luiselli’s “Lost Children Archive.”

Credit: @crimmigration / Twitter

The Mexican writer tweeted that she was speechless over being on Obama’s list. She tweeted, “Happy, though of course bewildered, that @BarackObama read Lost Children Archive. Curious about what, in those pages, spoke to him, and wondering what thoughts left an echo.” She also added that she wants Rep. Ocasio-Cortez to read her next book! “And now here’s a wish for 2020: that @AOC reads Tell Me How It Ends and pushes for some major reforms!” It’s all about envisioning to bring it to light!

Okay, now that we know Obama gets down as we do, we’re going to play some Ozuna now. 

Thanks, Mr. Obama for reminding us why we love you and more importantly why we miss you even more!

READ: More Than 360,000 People Have Signed A Petition Calling For Trump Tower’s Address To Be ‘President Barack H. Obama Avenue’

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