Things That Matter

The Week in Photos: Wait, Salma Hayek Once Had Dreadlocks?

High for the Gold

Cuba pole vault
Credit: Ezra Shaw / Getty

Yarisley Silva of Cuba celebrates after completing the vault that won her a gold medal for Pole Vaulting at the 2015 Pan Am Games. In 2012, Silva was the first Latina to win an Olympic medal (silver) in pole vaulting.

Toma, Trump

Donald Trump protestor in Laredo, Texas
Photo Credit: Matthew Busch / Getty

During a trip to the US-Mexico border, Donald Trump reiterated that he will not apologize for his comments about immigrants. Several supporters tweeted at Trump to “be careful” at the border, but Trump had nothing to be afraid of aside from a throng of protestors at the Laredo, Texas airport.

 Agony in the UK

brazil-bombing
Photo Credit: Carl Court / Getty

Alessandro Pereira leaves flowers at a memorial site for his cousin, Jean Charles de Menezes. Ten years ago, de Menezes was killed by London police after he was mistakenly identified as one of the fugitives involved in the 2005 London subway bombing. He was 27.

More Cash for Blatter

Sepp Blatter money
Photo Credit: Philipp Schmidli / Getty

FIFA President Sepp Blatter reacts after British comedian Simon Brodkin throws cash in his face during a FIFA press conference. Brodkin, who once interrupted a Kanye West performance at the Glastonbury festival, was arrested for trespassing.

Demi Heats Things Up But Stays Cool

Demi Lovato Cool for the Summer
Photo Credit: DemiLovatoVEVO / YouTube

Demi Lovato poses in a sleek bodysuit and fishnet stocking in her latest video, “Cool for the Summer.”

#FBF: Dreadlocks and a Beard

Salma Hayek Dreadlocks

Director Brett Ratner shared an on-set photo of he and Salma Hayek during the production of the 2004 movie After the Sunset. That’s Hayek in the beard and dreads.

Dominicanos Are Dumb? No.

bautista-cowherd

Toronto Blue Jays star Jose Bautista took to Twitter to confront ESPN radio host Colin Cowherd about offensive comments Cowherd made during a recent broadcast. Cowherd said:

I’ve never bought into that, ‘Baseball’s just too complex.’ Really? A third of the sport is from the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic has not been known in my lifetime as having world-class academic abilities.

Cowherd, who was scheduled to leave his job at ESPN for FOX, was let go from ESPN a week early.

Cruz Not Quite in Control

Ted Cruz Code Pink
Credit: Win McNamee / Getty

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz speaks to members of the activist group Code Pink. Cruz, who was attending a rally organized by a group protesting President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, found himself in the middle of a counter-protest led by Code Pink.

Seeing Red

Panama Concacaf
Photo Credit: @rpctvpanama / Twitter

Panama’s soccer team and coaches pose with a banner that reads “CONCACAF LADRONES, CORRUPTOS.” Panama was protesting their controversial 1-2 defeat to Mexico in the 2015 Gold Cup. After losing a player to a red card at the beginning of the match, Panama scored a goal and held on to a 1-0 lead until the final minutes of the match, when Mexico was awarded a questionable penalty. In extra time, Mexico was awarded another penalty and went on to win. Panama coach Hernan “El Bolillo” Gomez said he considered retiring after watching what he described as a “robbery.”

Can Someone Please Tell This Racist Woman Having A Meltdown And Screaming At A Boricua How U.S. History Works?

Fierce

Can Someone Please Tell This Racist Woman Having A Meltdown And Screaming At A Boricua How U.S. History Works?

Before Trump was president, many opponents of the man swore that electing a person with a history of racist behavior would encourage closeted bigots to be more vocal with their hate. This claim has proved to be true basically time and time again in the years since he was elected on nearly a weekly basis. Attacks on Muslim and Latinx people have been sanctioned by government policies but we have also seen disturbingly bigoted behavior from average citizens. Hate crimes have skyrocketed since 2016 and viral videos of racist attacks and abuse are commonplace on the internet.

The latest act of xenophobia comes from Trump’s July Twitter tantrum against Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow freshmen congresswomen. In it, the president insisted that those who don’t like how America currently works should just leave. It’s a command most Black and brown people have heard at least once in their lives and it again invites undercover racists to be bold enough to let their hatred for minorities show. 

One of the latest examples of the freedom racists feel is a video coming out of Abington, Pennsylvania that shows a white woman accosting a Puerto Rican woman at a grocery store. 

Twitter / @jftaveria1993

On June 30th, 2019, Johanny Santana was standing in line at the grocery store when a child came into the line to ask his grandfather a question. The child and grandfather spoke Spanish to each other and this caused a white woman who was also in line to cuss at the boy. Hearing this, Santana started recording with her phone to capture any further encounters. The boy left and came back, only to have another woman object. This is when Santana stepped in and changed the focus to her. 

In a video posted to Facebook, Santana asks the other woman if she had a problem with the individuals speaking Spanish after the white woman loudly complains, “Any century now.” The White woman then told Santana, “Can you stop talking to me? You’re a p*ta.” After Santana told the woman not to say that word, she responded again, repeating, “You’re a p*ta.”

It’s then that the altercation turned overtly racist. 

Twitter / @CasaDeDre

The woman launched into a bigoted diatribe aimed at Santana. In the video, she can be heard saying: 

“You shouldn’t be in this country. I hope Trump deports you. I was born here, you don’t belong here, go back to your own country. You don’t belong here, you came here illegally. You should be deported.” 

The unidentified white woman then accused Santana of using “drug money” to buy her groceries. In the video, she is seen flashing cash at the Boricua and telling her that her money was legal, unlike what Santana was using. 

In the video, Santana can be heard retaliating with her own insults.

Credit: @Prohillarynyc / Twitter

In response to her own words, Santana told NBC News that she felt ashamed and powerless.

“I regret it because I didn’t want to tell her that. I felt powerless because I didn’t speak English well enough to be able to properly respond to her.”  

The community that Santana lives in only has a population of 55,310 according to the 2010 Census. Of that population, almost 80% is white and only 3% of residents are Latinx. According to the Pew Research Center, Puerto Ricans are the second-largest Latinx group in the United States. Since Puerto Rico is a United States territory, citizens of the island — including Santana — are also US citizens. Still, even if they weren’t, this attack would remain grossly racist. 

Twitter reacted with outrage in response to yet another recorded attack on people of color by racists. 

Twitter / @sahluwal

Twitter users were quick to share the video thousands of times online. Many pointed out how ridiculous the woman was and how quick she was to jump into racists insults — as if she had them queued up and ready to rip. Others called on the social media site to do its thing and expose the woman pictured in the video. She is still unidentified as of now but one thing remains clear: There are far more people who feel this way in our nation than most are willing to admit. Until racists are exposed and called out in every community, racism will continue to be an ugly part of American life. 

Watch the video below!

READ: Two Women In Montana Were Approached By A Border Patrol Agent While At A Gas Station For Speaking Spanish

Olympic Gold Medalist Laurie Hernandez Just Bragged So Hard About Her Parents And It’s The Cutest Thing

Entertainment

Olympic Gold Medalist Laurie Hernandez Just Bragged So Hard About Her Parents And It’s The Cutest Thing

@lauriehernandez / Instagram

In 2016, a group of five young athletes went to the Summer Olympics in Rio Janerio with big dreams. There, the Olympians competed to be named the best in the world in their individual and group categories. Nicknamed the “Fab Five,” the women went on to earn silver and gold medals at the international games; proving that the gymnasts were the best of the best.

That same year, Laurie Hernandez — a member of the five — also earned gold on the TV dancing show, “Dancing with the Stars.” The athlete then focused her attention on the literary world. In 2017, she published her New York Times bestselling memoir, “I Got This,” and, in 2018, released her children’s picture book, “She’s Got This.” Hernandez even has a new hosting gig on “American Ninja Warrior” to keep her busy.

It seems that with every challenge she takes on, she succeeds.

Now the gymnast has her eyes set on 2020 and her next shot at Olympic greatness.

Twitter / @LaurieHernandez

Recently, Hernandez sat down with REFINERY 29 and shared her thoughts on power. Specifically, the Olympian explained what makes her feel powerful and what she does in those occasional times when she’s left feeling a little bit powerless.

Unsurprisingly, the athlete explained that she feels most powerful when moving and active. She discussed her workouts, saying:

“Sometimes it’s just gymnastics, but sometimes it’s doing other things, too — like cycling. But just testing how my body works makes me feel most powerful.”

Hernandez went on to elaborate that — to her —  power isn’t just about physical strength. The Latina believes that power also lies in having a strong spirit and mind. She added:

“Gymnastics can be more mental than physical sometimes. So throughout training, going through different tests — whether that’s competing with a lot of people or just with yourself can build your mental strength. So, just learning how to calm myself down; I think that’s pretty powerful.”

The Olympic medalist admitted that it’s her relationship with her parents that brings her back when she’s feeling less than powerful.

Twitter / @Variety

Hernandez explained that even though she and her family are living on two separate coasts, her mom and dad are still the people she goes to when she needs a pep talk. She admitted:

“The first thing I do is reach out to my family and close friends. Sometimes I feel like they know me better than I know myself. Especially my mom and dad; they’ve been supporting me since day one. I feel like they have all the answers. Right now I’m training in California and my family is in New Jersey, so there’s a lot of FaceTime going on.”

Not only do her parents help her when she’s feeling powerless, but they are also her role models when it comes to strength.

Twitter / @OKMagazine

The Latinidad is very family-oriented so we can relate to this. Hernandez doesn’t just look to her parents to revitalize her when she feels powerless. She also considers them her examples when the athlete thinks about what power looks like. After asking if she could pick her mom and dad as her power icons in the interview, Hernandez continued:

“My icons are my parents. After having to raise three kids, they’ve gone through a lot of different struggles. My siblings and I have been able to do so much in our lives because we had a really good foundation. There’s only so much your parents can give you, and yet it feels like our parents really gave us the world.”

She went on to explain that the example that her parents provided her and her siblings early on setting them up for the rest of their lives.

“I think without that foundation and without the things they taught us when we were little, we wouldn’t be where we are today. They’re so kind to other people, and that’s something that I want to follow their lead on. So, they’re my power icons.”

Hernandez ended the interview by saying that her power anthem is Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Know” and it only seems too fitting because it looks like nothing can stop the Latina athlete from achieving her dreams. We will be rooting for more gold for the gymnast in her return back to competition at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

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