politics

Jeff Flake Called For An FBI Investigation Into Kavanaugh After Two Latinas Confronted Him With Their Stories

Since Dr. Ford came forward about her experience of sexual assault, women all over the country have been forced to vicariously relive their own experiences of sexual violence. In solidarity with the bravery of Dr. Ford, and second accuser Deborah Ramirez, the collective consciousness of women survivors have reared its head, and many women are sharing their stories.

I have my own story. Two Latina survivors went viral recently after cornering Arizona Senator Jeff Flake in an elevator and demanding his attention. They had never told their story before and their raw emotion in the video got the attention of millions of Americans and Sen. Flake. Here’s how things went down.

Jeff Flake mattered because he was undecided until moments before the Senate hearing vote.

CREDIT: @jfoosg / Twitter

Flake had already announced that he was retiring because he felt bipartisanship in the Senate was lacking and disrupting the ability to get any work done. He isn’t vying for Republican votes, therefore, he’s a bit of a wild card.

He was also the only Republican Senator on the Judiciary committee, which determines whether or not a nominee advances to the full Senate for a vote, who was undecided.

Ana Maria Archila and Maria Gallagher met just minutes before their now infamous elevator encounter with Sen. Flake.

CREDIT: @MaketheRoadAct / Twitter

Archila had been showing up to protest Kavanaugh every day since the allegations came out. Gallagher is a 23 year old recent Northeastern University graduate who impulsively showed up to his office. The two had a common goal and quickly met it together.

Moments before the hearing, Sen. Flake published a statement that he would vote yes on Kavanaugh.

CREDIT: @MaketheRoadNY / Twitter

In an interview with Anderson Cooper, Archila said, “I had gone to his office because I thought that he might be willing to take a step beyond his party.” In a sense, he was the only shot anyone had of ensuring due process would be had to investigate Dr. Ford and other accuser’s claims before a Senate vote.

Just after the two read his statement, they heard him coming down the elevator and were filled with rage.

CREDIT: @MaketheRoadAct / Twitter

In one momentous emotional impulse, Archila told the world what came over her: “All of the emotions we had been holding for the last several weeks just came out pouring. He needed to understand that women feel incredibly enraged about the thought of our stories of surviving sexual violence being dismissed, laughed at, disbelieved. I felt a great sense of urgency.”

Gallagher spoke through tears for the very first time of her sexual assault.

CREDIT: @MaketheRoadAct / Twitter

Reportedly, Gallagher’s own parents found out for the first time after the video went viral. She has not gone public about her experience, and has been respectfully private since the incident.

Sen. Flake kept averting his eyes from the women demanding answers and justice.

CREDIT: @MaketheRoadAct / Twitter

But Gallagher wouldn’t have it. “Don’t look away from me. Look at me and tell me that it doesn’t matter what happened to me, that you will let people like that go into the highest court of the land and tell everyone what they can do to their bodies.”

Preach.

Archila said, “He kept pressing the button in the elevator to try to close the door.”

CREDIT: @MaketheRoadAct / Twitter

All Flake could do was respond with “sorry” and “thank you.” Unlike Ted Cruz, it seemed that Flake would receive these women’s experience. We’ve all known that Flake has struggled with his decision more than any other male Republican on the council, and perhaps what we saw was remorse for his decision.

“Do you think that he’s able to hold the pain of this country and repair it?”

CREDIT: @MaketheRoadAct / Twitter

She continued, “Do you think that he’s able to hold the pain of this country and repair it? That is the work of justice. The way that justice works is you recognize hurt, you take responsibility for it and then you begin to repair it.”

The two have since been hailed as heroes after Sen. Flake announced that he would vote yes on the condition of a one week FBI investigation, halting the proceedings.

CREDIT: @AnaMariaArchil2 / Twitter

Flake himself has said that his experience in the elevator truly made him believe that these hearings were “ripping our country apart.” From the elevator, he walked straight into the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting and spoke with his friend, Senator Coons about his moral dilemma.

Behind closed doors, Coons then gathered more Democratic senators to join them, and soon enough, it became a private meeting of the entire committee seeking to sway Sen. Flake.

Folks have responded with unending support for la Marias that demand justice.

CREDIT: @eltarantula10 / Twitter

The last time a Supreme Court nominee was accused of sexual harassment, the Senate essentially ignored Anita Hill’s experience of inappropriate behavior from Clarence Thomas, who still sits on the Supreme Court today.

Flake has given women hope that we will be heard. Men can no longer get away with subverting women’s dignity for their own pleasure, without consequence.

Maria Gallagher has given the world one message since: take care of yourself.

CREDIT: @mgallagher822 / Twitter

Before Sen. Flake even shared his vote, she tweeted “I feel relieved that @JeffFlake seems to have heard my and @AnaMariaArchil2’s voices in the Senate elevator today. We absolutely need an FBI investigation and for him and all Senators to vote NO. #StopKavanaugh”

Thank you, Maria. Thank you for your courage.

Ann Coulter, on the other hand, did what she does and tried dismissing the moment.

CREDIT: @AnnCoulter / Twitter

It should be more upsetting to hear someone say things like this about immigrants. However, Coulter has built her career by hating immigrants and spreading lies to defame an entire community.

Archila legally emigrated from Colombia when she was 17 years old.

CREDIT: @NYDailyNews / Twitter

Today, she serves as the Co-Executive Director of non-profit Center for Popular Democracy, where she pushes for racial and economic justice alongside immigrant rights. For the last 13 years, Archila helped transform the once “Latin American Integration Center” into the “Make the Road New York” available to all low-income immigrants that come to the U.S.

She is a hugely successful activist and lobbyist for labor laws and immigrant rights.

CREDIT: @AnaMariaArchil2 / Twitter

In her bio for Popular Democracy, we know that Archila has helped “put millions of dollars in the pockets of low-wage workers by winning increases to the minimum wage, paid sick days, and strong protections from wage-theft; and they have led the ambitious campaigns to win public policies that make New York City one of the leading Sanctuary Cities in the country.”

Archila stands and fights for Puerto Rico.

CREDIT: @AnaMariaArchil2 / Twitter

She is intimately plugged into the conflicts that continue to arise in Puerto Rico, from the recent incident of police pepper spraying peaceful activists, and the continued lapses in aide after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

Archila experienced sexual violence when she was just 5 years old.

CREDIT: @AnaMariaArchil2 / Twitter

It doesn’t matter how long ago it happened, once a woman has been assaulted, it stays in her consciousness forever. There’s truly no going back. You heal, but you never recover.

She had to tell her story, because our stories matter. Thankfully, they mattered to Flake. The New Yorker reported that after leaving the elevator, Flake “looked more withdrawn than ever, eyes wet, voice a little frayed, chin tucked down in the somber knot of his tie.”

Since then, Archila has been outspoken demanding a woman’s basic right to be heard.

CREDIT: @AC360 / Twitter

“I was so enraged that all these men in the Senate Judiciary Committee basically forced a woman to tell the story of the most traumatizing experience of her life and then proceeded to say, ‘Well thats fine we still like our guy.’ I just could not believe that was happening and really I wanted Senator Flake to look me in the eye and feel my pain and rage, and really it was the pain and rage of women across the country who could not believe this was still happening today.”

She wants you to help.

CREDIT: @senatorcollins @lisamurkowski / Twitter

If you have money: Donate alongside hundreds of others who have raised over $27k to the Center for Popular Democracy to help fund other survivors’ to tell their stories (i.e. transportation costs, etc.).

If you would rather share a story: “People across this country should take the opportunity to continue to share their stories, especially with @SenatorCollins and @LisaMurkowski: they must listen to our voices, look us in the eye, and #BeAHero.”

No matter what, remember how your Senators voted and vote this November.

CREDIT: @womensmarch / Twitter

In an interview with The New York Times, Archila shared her favorite literary sentence, “We cannot understand slavery or any great injustice by thinking about the masses. We have to think about it in the experience of one person.” She went on to ask, “What was this enslaved woman thinking when she woke up in the morning. Who did she miss that morning? Who did she talk to when she felt sad? How did she feel when her child was stolen from her? We have to think about…and especially the people who are creating laws in our country… have to think about the impact of their decisions by thinking about one person. How is that one person going to be shaped by me?”

Your vote matters. Make it count.


READ: Here’s How People Are Coming Together To Support Brett Kavanaugh’s Accusers After They Came Forward

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Here's How People Lol'd During President Trump's Presidential Alert

politics

Here’s How People Lol’d During President Trump’s Presidential Alert

@selfishmarco / Twitter

We all got the Presidential Alert test. What you might not know is that the text wasn’t Donald Trump’s idea. However, now that it’s Donald Trump in the White House, Americans are already beginning to sue the government for a violation of free speech rights.

Here’s the backstory and lo mejor reactions the Twitterverse had to the text.

On Oct. 3, you should have gotten a “Presidential Alert.”

CREDIT: @thehill / Twitter

The “Presidential Alert” was just a test of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, you know–the one that sends out regional Amber Alerts? The test was meant to be a precursor to any “extreme” circumstances the White House wants to warn us about.

It was not written by President Trump.

CREDIT: @LilBratAn / Twitter

The message was just a test and was not crafted by the president. However, the message was received and was quickly turned into fun memes.

President Obama was the one who decided to take FEMA into the 21st century.

CREDIT: @barrackobama / Twitter

In 2016, cautious President Obama signed a law to protect us all. The system “shall not be used to transmit a message that does not relate to a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster or threat to public safety.”

This happened during the 2016 presidential campaign.

FEMA tweeted out that, by law, you cannot opt out of “Presidential Alerts.”

CREDIT: @fema / Twitter

Tbh, opting out was likely the first thought from millions of Americans when we first learned about the upcoming Presidential Alerts test. Like, I can opt out of notifications from Facebook but not this?

Last week, three New Yorkers sued the federal government over the alert’s test.

CREDIT: @charlieINTEL / Twitter

Since the only way to opt out of the message was to turn off your phone, they’re arguing that it’s a free speech violation that, básicamente, is “an unconstitutional seizure of their electronic devices.”

The text sent some of us spiraling with questions like, “What next?”

CREDIT: @dangermarin / Twitter

Here’s the thing: while Obama’s stipulation is a good one, it’s one that’s open to interpretation. You’ll be able to turn off notifications for the Presidential Alerts, but not for the tests. So, then what would constitute a “test”?

The biggest question of all: why is DJT so ego?

CREDIT: @texasinafrica / Twitter

The text is literally crafted by FEMA, so why does DJT have to put his ego in the most pervasive and invasive government experiment to date? Just stop.

It has become a divisive system already and it is mainly just because of the word presidential.

CREDIT: @jesuslomeli16 / Twitter

After some introspection and thought I have determined that it is because I just don’t trust the president. Many Americans don’t so this kind of power that comes with these Presidential Alerts is what is concerning people.

For years, we’ll be asking each other, “where were you when the Trump text went out?”

CREDIT: @desmuri / Twitter

If you were at a taco truck, please @ me. What was that like? Did you buy more tacos? Was it because of grief or solidarity? Were they delicious?

#NotMyPresident started trending again.

CREDIT: @NEArlyiLLEGAL / Twitter

It was literally Wednesday, October 3rd, a once in 7 years “Mean Girls” holiday and we couldn’t even celebrate it truly.

Mexicans gave us all the jajas today.

CREDIT: @Pappiness / Twitter

I mean, it makes sense right? That’s how DJT learned how business deals are made. How do you build an empire? You get your dad to pay for it. Just anyone else.

Instantly, the memes started flowing.

CREDIT: @selfishmarco / Twitter

Some folks got real creative about what our dystopian reality could look like. What kinds of alerts would you expect him to send 300 million people all at once?

Perhaps Trump thinks his day son Twitter are numbered so he needs a backup.

CREDIT: @__Mauryyy / Twitter

Not everything is about you. The worst part of DJT, and his SCOTUS pick Kavanaugh, is the entitlement to power. I know, this is a fake text but I’m still having feelings about it.

An actual response DJT had from the Oval Desk:

CREDIT: @savinthebees / Twitter

Hilarious. That would be the most interesting Presidential Alert anyone can hope to receive.

People are cheering for the New Yorkers and their lawsuit against the Presidential Alert.

CREDIT: @THEMarissaC / Twitter

These are interesting times. The president of the United States is publicly disparaging reporters, threatening the media, and breaking with 40 year old presidential traditions of financial transparency.

This is not normal.

I’m cringing.

CREDIT: @MaxHBruno / Twitter

I know Santería is low on the list, so my direct family wouldn’t be affected, but let’s never forget our Muslim Latino hermanos.

In lighter news…

CREDIT: @dangermarin / Twitter

People were literally just tweeting at their friends about what a joke they think the Presidential Alert is. That is a ghost if I ever knew one.

There hasn’t been any word of another test but we’ll just have to see what happens.

CREDIT: @realDonaldTrump / Twitter

It has been a very stressful couple of years since the election. Some people just aren’t ready to be getting Presidential Alerts sent directly to their phones.

Take some deep breaths. Hug your family. Go buy some tacos.

CREDIT: @Semere_T / Twitter

It is all behind us. Now we can relax and try to move forward.


READ: The Trump Administration Has Been Blocked From Removing Thousands Of Central American Immigrants

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