Things That Matter

Female Janitors Who Suffered Abuse Score A Big Win In California

Credit: Seiu Usww / YouTube

“I am that woman that you raped 9 years ago on that night.”

When everyone goes home from work, school or church, the space becomes the janitors domain. Many of these working class janitors tend to be women, they tend to be immigrant mujeres, and for years they have been vulnerable to the worse kind of abuse.

Leticia Soto, a janitor in Los Angeles, was raped nine years ago while working a night shift. In a letter to her attacker, she recounts in graphic detail what happened to her, and the fears she had after (Para español, leer aquí):

I lived for nine years in silence. And I didn’t report you to the authorities. I never went to hospital for fear that they would call the police. I never went to the police for fear that they would call immigration. And we all know what happens when they call immigration on you: separation from your children and deportation. You never paid for your crime. And I never had a day in court to read you this letter. Unfortunately, I am not a student at a prestigious school. I don’t wear the uniform of a profession that is considered important. I am still a janitor on the night shift.

In California, female janitors are getting some help. Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1978 on Thursday, September 15, making official a law that would protect women in janitorial services that would otherwise be vulnerable to sexual abuse and rape. The bill creates a requirement that janitorial businesses register with the state and the workers undergo training to address sexual harassment and abuse.

For five days, 18 women, most all of them survivors of rape or abuse, fasted in front of the state capitol of California in hopes of getting the attention of Gov. Brown to sign AB 1978.

PBS Frontline reported about this issue a year ago in their segment “Rape on the Night Shift.” In the story, rape victims recounted graphic stories of abuse, how their attackers would threaten to report them to ICE, and how their supervisors would turn a blind eye toward the abuse. In some cases, their supervisors were the abusers.

I got to see firsthand both the passion these women had and the toll the fast had on them. (I managed the SEIU USWW Twitter and Facebook accounts during the fast). The female janitors came from Sacramento, San Diego, Santa Ana and Los Angeles; were predominantly middle-aged Latinx mothersand it was their first time fasting.

While the women stayed off of their feet throughout the fast, OG visitors like Dolores Huerta, Maria Elena Durazo, and others came out to support the women.

On the last day of the fast, the women broke the fast ceremonially with a piece of bread, and released doves into the air. Georgina Hernandez, another janitor and survivor, with dove in hand said: “I want to throw (this bird) up because it’s very special; it ends our pain.”


READ: A New Documentary Tells the Story of Latinas Who Were Sterilized Without Knowing It

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Santiago, Chile Is The World Capital Of Dembow: According To Spotify, No Other City Listens To As Much Reggaeton As This One

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Santiago, Chile Is The World Capital Of Dembow: According To Spotify, No Other City Listens To As Much Reggaeton As This One

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According to Spotify, Santiago, Chile is the world capital of reggaeton. Panamá and Puerto Rico may have been the birthplaces of the genre, and Colombia it’s biggest producer, but Chile’s capital city, Santiago, is the indisputable capital of the genre right now, with over 400 million plays per month. 

Every single song in J Balvin and Bad Bunny’s collab album ‘OASIS’ made it into Chile’s Top 50.

credit Instagram @jbalvin

This year’s biggest reggaetón collaboration saw two icons of the genre, Bad Bunny and J Balvin, drop OASIS, an eight-track album which was pretty much the soundtrack to the summer of 2019. Every single song from the album dubbed “la joya del género urbano” by many critics, made it into Chile’s Top 50 on the very first day of being released (!!!). Surprising no one here, given that both J Balvin and Bad Bunny are trailblazing icons of the Latino genre and some might even argue that their influence in mainstream fashion and culture is reaching ‘icon’ status as well. “What we are seeing with reggaetón in Chile is a great testimony to the absolute powerhouse that is Latin America when it comes to building and delivering audiences for Latin artists,” said Mia Nygren, Managing Director for Spotify in Latin America.

With over 400 million plays per month, Santiago, Chile is the biggest reggaetón listener in the world.

credit Twitter @spotifynews

Twice as many reggaeton songs are played in Santiago as they are in the second biggest reggaetón loving city: Mexico City — which has nearly double the size of its Chilean counterpart. To put that into perspective, Santiago, Chile is responsible for 10% of all reggaetón streams in the world. In this city, the average reggaetón listener will play 126 songs a month, which is more than double the average amount of songs listened to by fans in orther cities where the genre is also popular. The artists who are getting the most streams in Santiago are worthy of a reggaetón hall of fame: Bad Bunny, Anuel AA, J Balvin, Ozuna, Daddy Yankee, Nicky Jam, Karol G, Don Omar. The giants of the genre are joined by newer artists such as Sech, Lunay, Myke Towers, Rauw Alejandro, Jhay Cortez, Tainy, Zion y Lennox and Dalex.

The city has been home to hardcore reggaetón fans since the genre’s early days. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3M6pFYD3b4/

Reggaetón was born in the late 90s and early 2000s. What’s now referred to as “old school reggaetón,” emerged as an iteration of reggae, dancehall and hip-hop but with Afro-Latinx roots. Santiago has been home to some of the genre’s most loyal fans since the old days. In the early days of reggaetón or, ‘reggae en español’ as it was called for a while, a specific subculture of Chilean youths emerged. The genre was most popular amongst working, middle class teenagers known as Pokémones.

Pokémones are the original Reggaetón fans, their loyalty to the reggae-inspired beat goes back to the early days of the genre.

Credit Instagram @yotambienfuipokemon

Self-proclaimed ‘Pokémomes’ called themselves that for the way they wore their hair. Long and spiky and swept to the side like a character of the anime series. Pokémones had idiosyncratic music choices that were complemented with a particular aesthetic and unique style. In Santiago, reggaetón-loving teenagers would come together in parties of around 4,000 people to listen to their preferred music. Back in the day, pokemones would dance to the dembow of Jowell & Randy, Wisin & Yandel and Acrangel, the original OGs.

Only last year, Mexico City held the top spot as the “world’s music-streaming Mecca”.

Credit Twitter @cheriehu42

Before Santiago was crowned ‘the world capital of reggaetón’,  Mexico city held Spotify’s “largest listener base worldwide”. According to the streaming service, in 2018, a lot of major artists owed their high figures to Chilangos and their love of streaming music. Adele for example had nearly 5 hundred thousand listeners in Mexico City, making it her top city even ahead of London (which only recorded 323 thousand listeners). Another surprising artist to have Mexico City as his top for Spotify listeners was Ed Sheeran with nearly 9 hundred thousand listeners.

A Woman Lost Her Job At A Panera Bread After She Posted A Viral Video Of Her Warming Up Frozen Mac And Cheese

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A Woman Lost Her Job At A Panera Bread After She Posted A Viral Video Of Her Warming Up Frozen Mac And Cheese

Social media is a wonderful tool when it comes to connecting with friends across large distances and finding a community. However, social media can also come with its own downfalls. Take the recent lesson learned by TikTok user @briannaraelenee. She posted a video on TikTok from work and it went viral eventually leading to her losing her job. Here’s what went down.

A viral video about Panera Bread’s macaroni and cheese took on a life of its own after it was posted.

The video shows an employee preparing the macaroni and cheese for a customer. The food is frozen in a plastic bag and is dropped into boiling water to warm up. The video isn’t anything revelatory in itself since a lot of restaurants warm up frozen foods that are shipped to locations to insure consistency.

Her next video was dedicated to explaining how the food was still good.

It didn’t take long for the video to go viral. As of the time of this writing, the video had almost 1 million views. Despite the text on her first video of “exposing Panera,” @briannaraelenee told people to keep eating at Panera because the food is delicious.

She quickly followed up with a video near tears apologizing to an Anthony.

The TikTok user really wanted to keep her job. She is making it clear that she likes her job and was not trying to tarnish or attack Panera Bread. One can only assume that she made the video without thinking about it.

She kept her fans, new and old, completely up to date on her journey from Panera employee to unemployed.

She was all smiles when she explained that she was told that she was let go. As she puts it, they were parting ways, like a breakup. She then explained that she is not being fired for the video. Instead, she is being fired because she had her phone out and her nails were too long, both violations of health safety regulations.

The next video showed her in tears as she drove away.

It’s hard to lose a job so unexpectedly. However, it seems that @briannaraelenee saw it coming when her video of the macaroni and cheese started to go viral. It was only a matter of time before people at Panera Bread saw the video.

While some might think she’d be full on clout, she is letting everyone know that it is not the case.

LOL. It’s like becoming famous. As soon as it happens, everyone you ever met is going to come out of nowhere to hit you up. Obviously, they think you are going to do them some kind of favors or will help give them their own social media clout.

The woman took to Twitter to address all of the concerns from followers.

Credit: @BriiRamirezz / Twitter

She is really holding herself up here. Not only is she taking responsibility for what she did, but she is also telling everyone else to calm down.

Not everyone is buying that her tweet was not coerced.

Credit: @SassmastatT / Twitter

You can’t really blame them. Social media is filled with lies and questionable moments. It isn’t too shocking that the Panera employee’s sincere responses to the scandal are being questioned.

Other people are just genuinely impressed with her composure throughout the whole thing.

Credit: @mikegstowe / Twitter

It really is impressive. She took responsibility for her actions and took the consequences in stride.

She does want to leave everyone this one special PSA about phone usage at work.

Solid advice. Hopefully, people can learn from her mistake.

READ: This Man Is Using TikTok To Bring Younger People To Old-School Jams And His Fans Are Loving It