things that matter

Latina Girl Slapped For Allegedly Not Putting Hand Over Heart During National Anthem

This whole “respect the flag/pledge!” thing has got to stop.

On Sunday, a young Latina from Coral Springs, Fla., was slapped in the arm at a 9/11 remembrance 5k run for allegedly not putting her hand over her heart during the national anthem. The girl, by the way (pictured above), was wearing a shirt that prominently featured the red, white and blue of the American flag.

According to Coral Springs Talk, Rachel Gonzalez-Howard, her husband, and her 11-year-old daughter Jessica volunteer every year at the event. During the national anthem, an unidentified woman allegedly approached young Jessica and asked if she was an American citizen. The lady then told the girl that she was being disrespectful and then slapped her. Gonzalez-Howard, of course, had some things to say to this old lady.

“If my daughter wants to sit down, kneel or show total lack of respect, she can because this is a country where men and women fought for our freedom,” she said. “However, my daughter was showing respect –  as she was taught.”

Instead of escalating the incident, Gonzalez-Howard calmed herself down and then told a cop present at the event. It was for naught because the old lady bounced before she got in trouble. Eventually, that woman’s daughter approached Gonzalez-Howard and gave a half-assed apology, saying that her mother was 75 years old.

This whole incident makes us feel some kind of way. For starters, you just know that the unidentified old lady is white and probably a Trump supporter. (Proof: Who else would ask “are you a citizen?” to a little brown girl? Oh also, this happened in Florida.) And that this woman’s daughter defended her mom, citing her age, as if being old AF entitles her to be a POS and physically abuse a child being patriotic and doing her civic duty because she somehow isn’t doing it the right way? GTFO. Here’s the silver lining, though: As salty as this old lady is, it doesn’t change the fact that a) she’ll probably die soon because that’s what old people do, and b) the United States is becoming increasingly non-white and there’s nothing this lady or any other angry white people can do about it.

READ: This is A Latino Brain On Trump

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Latino USA Asks Whether Quinceañeras Can Be A 'Radical Expression Of Brown Girl Self-Love'

things that matter

Latino USA Asks Whether Quinceañeras Can Be A ‘Radical Expression Of Brown Girl Self-Love’

Courtesy of Latino USA

While every culture has its own coming-of-age ritual, quinceañeras are quintessentially Latinx, with various Latin American countries holding on to their own distinct (and sometimes very sparkly) take on the festivities. Because it’s such a rich topic, Latino USA has devoted an entire episode to quinceañeras, and poses an interesting question about this coming-of-age party: “Is it a more radical expression of brown girl self-love than we give it credit for?”

Here’s a little teaser of what you can expect:

Credit: YouTube / Latino USA

In the episode, producer Antonia Cereijido follows Hailey Alexis and her family as they prepare for her party:

We go to the LA fashion district to buy the perfect dress, hear from family friends who are struggling to decide whether to give their own daughter a quinceañera, and hear from the self-proclaimed quince lord whose videos blow up on Instagram. In the process we hear about how the quinceañera is seen as a status symbol, a form of female empowerment, a statement about Latinx identity and also just a really fun party.

With so much discussion and dissenting opinions on whether quinceañeras are outdated relics of another or time or a meaningful cultural practice, wastes of money or an empowering coming-of-age event, it’s definitely worth diving into what they represent not only for Latinx culture as a whole, but for the individual teen girls at the center of the festivities.

Latino USA’s quinceañera episode premieres Friday, September 16 on NPR.

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