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This Mexican-American Teacher Has Been Put On Leave For Comparing Trump To Hitler

He said he would do it again.

A history teacher from Mountain View High School in Mountain View, Calif., has been placed on paid leave after comparing President-Elect Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler during a history lesson. Frank Navarro has been a teacher at Mountain View High School for 40 years and is a Holocaust expert, according to The Mercury News. Navarro studied at the International Center for the Study of the Holocaust in Jerusalem and was a Mandel Fellow for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1997. Navarro claims that the history lesson, that was reported by a parent and student via email, was not based on his own personal opinion or political leanings. Instead, Navarro says that his lesson was based on historical fact.

The Mexican-American schoolteacher sees no problem with the lesson he taught to his students.

Credit: CBS SF Bay Area / YouTube

“This feels like we’re trying to squash free speech,” Navarro told The Mercury News. “Everything I talk about is factually based. They can go and check it out. It’s not propaganda or bias if it’s based on hard facts.”

Navarro also says that he was never shown the email that was sent by a concerned parent nor did the school take their own look at the history lesson in question.

The Holocaust scholar and expert didn’t set out to present Trump as a modern-day Hitler. Instead, he spoke about both candidates and drew parallels to 1930s Germany.

Credit: CBS SF Bay Area / YouTube

Navarro also drew parallels between Hitler’s attack on Jews and Poles, to Trump’s attack on the Muslim-American community.

“I said [to school officials], ‘I’m not pulling these facts out of my hat. It’s based on experience and work and if I’m wrong, show we where I’m wrong,'” Navarro told The Mercury News. “And there was silence.”

Navarro was touched after learning some of his students started a petition to get him back into the classroom. When asked if he would teach the same lesson again, he said:

Credit: CBS SF Bay Area / YouTube

“I’ve had Mexican kids come and say, ‘Hey, Mr. Navarro, I might be deported,'” Navarro told The Mercury News. “Is it better to see bigotry and say nothing? That’s what the principal was telling me. In my silence, I would be substantiating the bigotry.”


READ: Here’s How This Michigan School Reacted To Students Chanting “Build That Wall”

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Today, Puerto Rico Celebrates Emancipation Day–the Day When the Island Officially Abolished Slavery

Things That Matter

Today, Puerto Rico Celebrates Emancipation Day–the Day When the Island Officially Abolished Slavery

Photo via George W. Davis, Public Domain

Today, March 22nd marks Día de la Abolición de Esclavitud in Puerto Rico–the date that marks the emancipation of slaves in Puerto Rico. In Puerto Rico, enslaved peoples were emancipated in 1873–a full decade after the U.S. officially abolished slavery. But unlike the U.S. mainland, Puerto Rico celebrates today as an official holiday, where many businesses are closed.

The emancipation of Puerto Rican slaves was a very different process than the United States’. For one, the emancipation was gradual and over three years.

When the Spanish government abolished slavery in Puerto Rico 1873, enslaved men and women had to buy their freedom. The price was set by their “owners”. The way the emancipated slaves bought their freedom was through a process that was very similar to sharecropping in the post-war American south. Emancipated slaves farmed, sold goods, and worked in different trades to “buy” their freedom.

In the same Spanish edict that abolished slavery, slaves over the age of 60 were automatically freed. Enslaved children who were 5-years-old and under were also automatically freed.

Today, Black and mixed-race Puerto Ricans of Black descent make up a large part of Puerto Rico’s population.

The legacy of enslaved Black Puerto Ricans is a strong one. Unlike the United States, Puerto Rico doesn’t classify race in such black-and-white terms. Puerto Ricans are taught that everyone is a mixture of three groups of people: white Spanish colonizers, Black African slaves, and the indigenous Taíno population.

African influences on Puerto Rican culture is ubiquitous and is present in Puerto Rican music, cuisine, and even in the way that the island’s language evolved. And although experts estimate that up to 60% of Puerto Ricans have significant African ancestry, almost 76% of Puerto Ricans identified as white only in the latest census poll–a phenomenon that many sociologists have blamed on anti-blackness.

On Puerto Rico’s Día de la Abolición de Esclavitud, many people can’t help but notice that the island celebrates a day of freedom and independence when they are not really free themselves.

As the fight for Puerto Rican decolonization rages on, there is a bit of irony in the fact that Puerto Rico is one of the only American territories that officially celebrates the emancipation of slaves, when Puerto Rico is not emancipated from the United States. Yes, many Black Americans recognize Juneteenth (June 19th) as the official day to celebrate emancipation from slavery, but it is not an official government holiday.

Perhaps, Puerto Rico celebrates this historical day of freedom because they understand how important the freedom and independence is on a different level than mainland Americans do.

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Yalitza Aparicio Has Landed Her First Role Since “Roma” And We Cannot Wait

Entertainment

Yalitza Aparicio Has Landed Her First Role Since “Roma” And We Cannot Wait

For fans of Yalitza Aparicio from the now iconic film Roma, we have been waiting almost three years to know what’s next for the Oscar-nominated actress. And now, we finally have some answers.

The Roma actress is set to star in an upcoming horror film that’s already started filming.

Anyone who saw Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma immediately fell in love with Cleo, the character played by Oscar-nominated actress Yalitza Aparicio. Her award-winning part in Roma was her very first acting gig and despite her success, she hasn’t acted in anything since, until now.

Aparicio is set to star in an upcoming horror film Presences, a horror film from Innocent Voices director Luis Mandoki. As reported by Mexican publication El Universal, production on Aparicio’s second feature kicked off this week in Tlalpujahua in central Mexico.

According to El Universal: “The film tells the story of a man who loses his wife and goes to seclude himself in a cabin in the woods, where strange things happen.” Production in Tlalpujahua is expected to last for a month.

Although this is only her second role, Aparicio has kept herself busy with several projects.

Aparicio was a schoolteacher plucked from obscurity to star in “Roma,” which resulted in her becoming the first Mexican woman to be Oscar nominated for Best Actress in 14 years and the first Indigenous woman in history. And her Indigenous identity is a major part of her career.

While “Presences” marks the first movie Aparicio has taken on since “Roma,” the actress has remained busy over the last two years, including supporting Indigenous film community efforts in Mexico.

The actress has teamed with projects such as Cine Too to help extend access to cinema to marginalized communities. Cine Too is a one-screen, 75-seat cinema in Guelatao de Juárez, Oaxaca that serves as an educational center for the next generation of Indigenous filmmakers.

“It’s important to save these spaces because they reach places where the arts are often not accessible,” Aparicio told IndieWire. “I come from a community where there’s no movie theater, and as a consequence the population, especially the children that grow up those communities, has less of an interest in the cinematic arts. [Cine Too] has the possibility to reach these children and provide an opportunity to instill in them the passion for cinema and teach them about this art form.”

Aparicio continued, “My objective in my career is to give visibility to all of us who have been kept in the dark for so long. The acting projects I’m working on are moving slowly because I’m putting all my efforts in not being pigeonholed because of my appearance. There are many people who have the disposition to help change things. We’ve had enough of people being typecast in certain roles or characters based on the color of their skin. We have a complicated job, because these things can’t be changed overnight but hopefully we can show people that the only limits are within us.”

“Wherever I go, I’ll always be proudly representing our Indigenous communities,” the actress concluded. “I’m conscious that every step I take may open doors for someone else and at the same time it’s an opportunity for society to realize we are part of it and that we are here.”

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