Texas, a state whose origin story is pretty much white supremacy fan fiction, will likely become majority Latino (read: Mexican-American) by 2020. That’s one presidential election away. That means that given the Latino community’s penchant for voting Democrat, Texas is as few as four years away from becoming a swing state. Let that fact sink in. I’ll wait.
That’s the upside. The bad news? Instead of adapting to the inevitable browning of Tejas (Oh, didn’t you hear? We agreed at the last Latino meeting to go back to the OG name), Republican politicians are doing everything in their power to prevent us from voting. That includes whack voter ID laws that have repeatedly been struck down because lol the U.S. Constitution. But despite justice getting in the way, Republicans have still been successful in making it really hard for Latinos and other minorities to register to vote. Proof: the video above from Vice. The news organization went down to Houston, Texas, to speak to Daniel Ybarra, an organizer trying to get as many Latinos registered. Spoiler alert: the state makes his job very difficult.
Unfortunately for the Tejanos among you, it’s too late to register to vote if you haven’t done so already (the deadline was October 11). But for those of you living elsewhere, you might still have time. New Yorkers (October 14), Floridians (October 18), and Californians (October 24), get registered. Your vote does matter.
Meryl Streep’s nephew, Charles Harrison Streep, faces felony assault charges after a violent road rage altercation gave a Latino teen permanent brain damage.
The teen, whose name is David Peralta, 18, claims that Streep is “racist” and hurled racial slurs at him before attacking him in a Chase Bank parking lot in East Hampton, New York, on August 24th. Peralta’s family hails from Ecuador but he has lived in the U.S. all his life.
According to Peralta, the altercation began when Streep allegedly ran a stop sign and almost hit Peralta’s car.
Surveillance video obtained by The Daily Mail (which can be seen here) shows the two men pulling into a parking lot and appearing to exchange words out their car windows. The footage then shows Peralta getting out of his car. Streep exits his car and quickly approaches Peralta. Peralta puts his hands up in a defensive position and Streep appears to attack him.
Peralta–who was a high school wrestler–responds by grasping Streep, lifting him up, and throwing him to the ground. Streep quickly gets up and begins to strangle Peralta, lifting him up in the air in turn and throwing his body to the ground, where he begins to drag his apparently unconscious body. Streep then leaves Peralta on the ground before getting into his car and driving away.
Peralta claims that before Streep attacked him, he made racist remarks about him.
“He starts coming at me, pushing me,” Peralta recounted to The Daily Mail. “[Streep] said: ”You’re just Spanish I’m going to slam you to the ground…” Peralta says after that, he went unconscious.
In the video, Peralta stands up after the assault, holding his head and appearing dazed. According to court documents, he refused medical attention at the scene. It was only later that he was airlifted to the nearby hospital. When he arrived at the hospital, he was told that he had a brain bleed that could lead to permanent brain damage or even death. He then went into emergency surgery.
According to Peralta’s family, the teen was forced to drop out of school, where he had been studying criminal justice.
“He is staying in his room. He doesn’t want to go out,” Peralta’s mother told The East Hampton Star. “He is sad. His life is not easy now. He’s frustrated because his life changed.”
Three days after the incident, Streep was arrested on charges of second-degree assault and second-degree strangulation. Streep’s lawyers insist that it was Peralta who was the aggressor, but the footage clearly shows Streep initiating first contact.
“The level of violence is really shocking,” Peralta’s lawyer told The New York Post. “For him to take this young man’s limp body, after he had choked him unconscious and slam him on the ground…it just rises to the level of obscenity in my view.”
The East Hampton community has rallied around Peralta, with a group of his supporters appearing at the court hearing on October 8th. Streep, it should be noted, was a no-show. One of Peralta’s supporters was Alexandria Preston, 27, who believes the incident is racially motivated.
“This can easily just be viewed as just a road rage incident, or just an incident happening within the Latino community,” she told The East Hampton Star. “But no, it’s a racial incident, and it’s systemic racism.”
Another supporter told the East Hampton Star that Streep is the prime example of what unchecked privilege can do to a person. “This is a man who represents an ill in our community here of ultra-rich people, of ultra-famous names, who feels that he is above the law,” said the woman.
Prince Harry continues to shed his upper crust image by tackling important social issues head-on. On Monday, the Duke of Sussex sat down with UK Black Lives Matter activist Patrick Hutchinson for a conversation with GQ. In the conversation, Prince Harry admitted that he “had no idea” unconscious bias existed before he experienced it firsthand through the treatment of his wife, Meghan Markle.
The GQ conversation focused on hot-button topics like structural racism, unconscious bias, and the responsibility of white people to educate themselves on the aforementioned topics.
Prince Harry started the conversation of by commending Hutchinson for his activist worth and adding that there’s still “lots of work to do” when it comes to dismantling racism worldwide. The conversation turned personal when the two began to discuss unconscious bias, with Hutchinson broaching the subject.
“There are a lot of people who either don’t think that [racism] exists or they don’t want change and they’re fighting against it. And I don’t know what these people are afraid of,” said Hutchinson.
Prince Harry became personal, revealing that his background as the literal Prince of England had made him ignorant to the widespread nature of racism before.
“Unconscious bias… having the upbringing and the education that I had, I had no idea what it was. I had no idea it existed.” He then admitted: “Sad as it is to say, it took me many, many years to realize it [existed], especially then living a day or a week in my wife [Meghan]’s shoes.”
Since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle started dating in 2016, Markle has been on the receiving end of vicious media attacks–many of them fueled by racism.
At the time, Prince Harry condemned the British press for their treatment of Markle. He released a statement decrying the “racial undertones of comment pieces” and the “outright sexism and racism of social media trolls” that Markle has to deal with. Recently, Meghan spoke about the hate her and Harry receive for being in an interracial marriage.
Prince Harry described unconscious bias to Hutchinson as largely beyond people’s control, but worth addressing once you’re aware of it. “No one’s blaming anybody,” Prince Harry said.
“You can’t really point fingers, especially when it comes to unconscious bias. But once you realize or you feel a little bit uncomfortable, then the onus is on you to go out and educate yourself, because ignorance is no longer an excuse.”
Both Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been on the receiving end of criticism for their vocal support of the Black Lives Matter movement and their video campaigns urging people to vote in the upcoming election.
About dismantling structural racism, Prince Harry said, “It’s going to take every single one of us to really change things and anyone that’s pushing against it really needs to take a long, hard look at themselves in the mirror.”
He continued: “This isn’t black versus white…This is a global movement. The train has left the station. If you’re not on it now, then get on it because there’s so much that we can do.”