Remember the good ol’ days when politicians didn’t use social media and they’d reserve their racists comments for press conferences or government meetings? Those days are long gone.
Well, John Bradford, Republican legislator from Kansas, didn’t actually say anything, he shared this meme, which shows a man in a sombrero, a deformed President and celebrates the ending of Obama’s presidency. Of course, incredibly offensive to both Mexicans and President Obama.
What’s worse is that he didn’t think anything of it and only deleted it two days later, after receiving criticism from his Democrat colleagues: “Kansans should not have to tolerate this type of bigoted mentality from anyone, especially an elected official,” said Melody McCray-Miller, Kansas Democratic Party’s vice chairwoman.
To that, Bradford said: “I did not create the image, but I did share it, which was in bad taste. I regret that decision.”
Listen, we all make mistakes with social media, but the old adage still applies, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all share.”
It was a normal Saturday night for Tequila Kansas City Bar (TKC) bartender, Jose Valdez. He was serving new customers and old when a familiar, unwelcome face walked in at 11 p.m. asking for a drink. Valdez refused to serve the man, recalling the issues he’s caused the bar in the past. The man threw a glass at him and he was promptly escorted out. At 1:30 a.m., the same man walked back into the bar with a friend and handguns. Smoke filled the tiny room as they shot people at random.
Four Latino men were killed and five other victims were wounded. TKC is a private, members-only bar that has always been regarded as a “safe space” for the Latino community. Three of the slain were second-generation TKC patrons. Their parents were also members.
TKC usually staffs a security guard, but he didn’t show up that night.
The owner of Tequila KC Bar told KMBC reporter Matt Evans that the bar scheduled a security guard that night, but “he never showed up.” Kansas City, Kansas Police confirmed that they had arrived on the scene earlier in the night. The suspect had picked a fight with someone as he was being escorted out and the two brawled outside. By the time the police arrived, the fight was over and they left.
Shock and adrenaline allowed the wounded to escape from the bar before the pain set in.
Two hours later, the suspect arrived with an accomplice and handguns. Survivors recall hearing at least a dozen gunshots, and could barely see through the gun smoke.
“They went off so quick I didn’t think it was gunshots,” customer Michael Barajas told the Kansas City Star.
The two gunmen are still at large.
Police have released security camera images of the suspects, in hopes that anyone who recognizes them will come forward. Police have yet to name the suspects, and police spokesman Officer Thomas Tomasic told The Kansas City Star that he doesn’t believe the shooting was racially motivated. “It’s a pretty small bar,” Tomasic told the paper. “You have two guys come in, start shooting, people are just running. People are just running wherever they can.”
Victim Alfredo Calderon had a 6-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter to raise.
While police haven’t released the names of any of the victims, some family members are coming forward to remember their deceased. Juan Ramirez told reporters that his 29-year-old nephew, Alfredo Calderon, died in the shooting. “We’re just in shock and disbelief,” Ramirez told The Kansas City Star, adding that his nephew had “nothing to do with it.”
This wasn’t bartender Valdez’s first shooting either. “I don’t know what to make of it,” he told The Kansas City Star, through tears. “A sad day for everybody who lost their lives and their families. How can you go into a place full of people and just start shooting?” He said he hugged his own niños Sunday morning, saying “pray to God I’m here.”
When a witness’s fiancé was shot, she tried to stop the bleeding and “held him till he took his last breath.”
Shay Celedon was at TKC with her best friend and her fiancé, both of whom have yet to be identified. Celedon said the two were waiting until after her niece’s quinceañera to get down to wedding planning hoping to tie the knot in October 2020. The three were enjoying their night until they witnessed the violent fight outside the bar. Celedon got a sinking feeling and decided to go home for fear that “something bad would happen.”
“None of it really seems real right now,” she told CNN. “We were sitting here yesterday evening having drinks with my best friend’s fiancé. I go home, go to bed, get woken up two hours later that he’s deceased, and she held him till he took his last breath, and tried to bring him back and keep pressure on his gunshot wound. And it was just one fatal shot that took him from us.”
Tequila Kansas City Bar “was a home away from home, you could say.”
Toni Maciel, 36, knew seven of the nine victims personally. While she returned to TKC the following day to be with her “TKC family” and community, she doesn’t feel safe anymore. Maciel knows the wife of the alleged shooter. During a karaoke night just two days prior, she witnessed him physically abuse his wife. Maciel intervened and asked him to leave. “This was a home away from home, you could say,” she told The Kansas City Star. “But after this, I don’t know what would happen with our community.”
Tequila Kansas City Bar hosted a vigil for the victim Sunday night at 7 p.m.
As we report on this story, the community is gathering around TKC to pay vigil to the deceased. Kansas Governor Laura Kelly released a statement saying she continues “to be frustrated that these mass shootings and killings occur with regular frequency. Our nation has an obligation to address this ongoing public health crisis.”
While Hollywood still has a lot of work to do when it comes to diversity both in front of the camera and behind it, but the tide has begun to turn. Mexican actors and audiences are pushing for more representation in television and movies. Although on-screen representation remains low, it’s changing like never before —especially when it comes to portraying complex characters that do more than meet a diversity quota and appeal to a dated stereotype.
In the last few years, a wave of Mexican artists has charmed Hollywood. They are finally claiming roles that portray well-rounded people with complex storylines and life experiences. These 13 Mexican stars are currently pulling up a seat at the table in Hollywood for all Latinos.
1. Eiza Gonzalez
The young actress started her career in Telenovelas and is now making a name for herself in Hollywood. The Baby Driver star has also appeared in films Alita and Welcome to Marwen.
2. Salma Hayek
The actress and producer is a powerhouse in Hollywood and the film industry worldwide. To add to her resume, ‘Monarca’ a tv show produced by Hayek hit the #1 most viewed show in Mexican Netflix this month.
3. Karla Souza
After the huge success of “Nosotros los Nobles” in Mexico, Karla decided to try her luck in the U.S. and secured a role in ‘How to Get Away with Murder”, a legal drama starring Viola Davis, available on Netflix.
4. Gael García
The 39 year old actor has been taking parts in film since the early 00s. In 2015 he won a Golden Globe for the comedy-drama “Mozart in The Jungle”. He’s participated in huge blockbusters like Babel in 2006 and more recently in Disney’s Coco.
5. Diego Luna
It’s hard —if not impossible— to talk about Gael García and not mention his oldest friend Diego Luna. The actors charisma has earned him several roles in important films in the US. such as Rogue One, Elysium, or Salma Hayek’s Frida. Not to mention his recent success playing prominent drug lord Miguel Angel Féliz Gallardo in Narcos:Mexico.
6. Demian Bichir
The fifty-five year old worked alongside none other than Quentin Tarantino in the movie “The Hateful Eight” in 2015. Most recently, he stars in this year’s new spin-off of The Conjuring, “The Nun”.
7. Alfonso Cuarón
His most recent film, Roma, was a huge hit in film festivals around the world. He’s already taken home an academy award for “Best Director” in 2013 for the film “Gravity”, starring Sandra Bullock.
8. Eugenio Derbez
The comedian is already one of Mexico’s most popular actors. But now, Derbez has crossed over to the U.S. in films like “Overboard” next to Anna Farris, “How to be a Latin Lover” and most recently; “Dora and the Lost City of Gold”, the live-action adaptation of Nickelodeon’s Dora The Explorer.
9. Luis Gerardo Méndez
After his involvement in “Mystery on Board” starring Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler, Méndez attracted international producers. His latest venture in film, the reboot of the classic comedy-drama, “Charlie’s Angels” doesn’t drop until November, and we can’t wait to see who he’s playing next.
10. Chris Pazcal
The young actor secured his first major part in an international movie alongside famous stars such as Leah Seydoux and Collin Firth. The Mexican made his debut in film playing Niko, the techy marine in “Kursk”, based on the 2005 sinking of a nuclear-powered submarine. Pazcal is not new to the acting world though, he comes from a family of famous actors in Mexico. Magda Guzmán, his great-grandmother, was an actress during the golden age of Mexican cinema and his grandmother, Karina Duprez, was a producer and director. So naturally, we’re expecting to see great things from him in the near future.
11. Diego Boneta
This actor’s career only seems to rise. Since his debut in Hollywood playing Drew in the classic Rock musical, “Rock of Ages”, Diego has secured more and more important roles, as evidenced by his part in the new Terminator film. Shwarzenegger’s return to one of his most iconic roles is expected to hit cinemas on November 1st.
12. Guillermo del Toro
This director has been dazzling crowds around the world for a few years now. His masterpiece “The Shape of Water” earned him an Academy award for “Best Picture” last year. Other big hits of his have been Blade II and Hellboy I and II.
13. Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu
González has taken home, not one, not two, but three Oscars. First in 2015 to “Best Picture” and “Best Director” for film Birdman, and then in 2016 to “Best Director” for The Revenant. We’re pretty sure this makes him film royalty.
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