Things That Matter

A 19-Year-Old Maid Was Convicted Of Stealing Jewelry, But The Jury Felt So Bad They Paid Her Fine

Sandra Mendez Ortega, an undocumented 19-year-old single mother with a baby on the way, works as a maid – a tough job that affords little pay and is mostly held by women of color. According to The Washington Post, she cleaned houses for just $60 a day.

While cleaning the home of Lisa Copeland, Mendez Ortega stole three rings worth $5,000, reports The Washington Post. Police investigated the theft and questioned three women that all cleaned the home of Copeland family. Though all three initially denied the the theft, eventually Mendez Ortega confessed, which led to her arrest.

Mendez Ortega, who claims she didn’t know how much the rings were worth, spent eight days in jail and was released on $1,000 bond. Police made Mendez Ortega write an apology letter to Copeland. She wrote in Spanish: “Sorry for grabbing the rings. I don’t know what happened. I want you to forgive me.”

credit: PressFrom

During her trial, which ended last week, the jury was moved by Mendez Ortega’s story. She dropped out of school after sixth grade, was pregnant at 15 and again at 19, and did not have a job. Copeland called it a “sob story” and was angry to not only hear the jury and others feel compassion for Mendez Ortega, but that they’d give her such a small sentence for her crime.

Mendez Ortega’s punishment was a day’s pay — a $60 fine. According to the Washington Post, the jury felt terrible for convicting the single mother, and they felt even worse for making her pay that fine, so they did something extraordinary. They took up a collection to pay her fine.

The general sentiment was she was a victim, too,” said jury foreman Jeffery Memmott to The Washington Post. “Two of the women [jurors] were crying because of how bad they felt. One lady pulled out a $20 bill, and just about everybody chipped in.”

credit: InformationLiberation

The juror then went to her home and gave her the entire collection of $80.

Copeland was not happy to hear about the jury’s giving nature.

“The punishment was she didn’t get paid for the day she stole from us,” Copeland told The Washington Post. “But then she did get paid for it. That’s changed my whole view of it.”

“She made $20 out of it, too,” she added.

So what did Mendez Ortega say when she was informed that the jury wanted to pay her fine?

“I became happy when I heard they wanted to give me that [money],” she said. “Thank you very much to all of them. God bless them.”

H/T: First the jury convicted this 19-year-old maid for stealing. Then they took up a collection to pay her fine.

READ: Latino Man Wins $20,000 Settlement After He Was Wrongfully Detained By ICE

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From COVID To Elections, Here’s Why Misinformation Targets Latinos

Things That Matter

From COVID To Elections, Here’s Why Misinformation Targets Latinos

One of the big surprises of the 2020 election was how even though most Latino voters across the U.S. voted for Joe Biden, in some counties of competitive states like Florida and Texas, a higher-than-expected percentage of Latinos supported Donald Trump. One factor that many believe played a role: online misinformation about the Democratic candidate.

Another important subject that’s been victim of a massive misinformation campaign is the Coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing vaccination program. But why does #fakenews so heavily target the Latino community?

Since the 2020 campaign, a large misinformation campaign has target Latinos.

Although fake news is nothing new, in the campaign leading up to the 2020 elections it morphed into something more sinister – a campaign to influence Latino voters with false information. The largely undetected movement helped depress turnout and spread disinformation about Democrat Joe Biden.

The effort showed how social media and other technology can be leveraged to spread misinformation so quickly that those trying to stop it cannot keep up. There were signs that it worked as Donald Trump swung large numbers of Latino votes in the 2020 presidential race in some areas that had been Democratic strongholds.

Videos and pictures were doctored. Quotes were taken out of context. Conspiracy theories were fanned, including that voting by mail was rigged, that the Black Lives Matter movement had ties to witchcraft and that Biden was beholden to a cabal of socialists.

That flow of misinformation has only intensified since Election Day, researchers and political analysts say, stoking Trump’s baseless claims that the election was stolen and false narratives around the mob that overran the Capitol. More recently, it has morphed into efforts to undermine vaccination efforts against the coronavirus.

The misinformation campaign could have major impacts on our politics.

Several misinformation researchers say there is an alarming amount of misinformation about voter fraud and Democratic leaders being shared in Latino social media communities. Biden is a popular target, with misinformation ranging from exaggerated claims that he embraces Fidel Castro-style socialism to more patently false and outlandish ones, for instance that the president-elect supports abortion minutes before a child’s birth or that he orchestrated a caravan of Cuban immigrants to infiltrate the US Southern border and disrupt the election process.

Democratic strategists looking ahead to the 2022 midterm elections are concerned about how this might sway Latino voters in the future. They acknowledge that conservatives in traditional media and the political establishment have pushed false narratives as well, but say that social media misinformation deserves special attention: It appears to be a growing problem, and it can be hard to track and understand.

Some believe that Latinos may be more likely to believe a message shared by friends, family members, or people from their cultural community in a WhatsApp or Telegram group rather than an arbitrary mainstream US news outlet; research has found that people believe news articles more when they’re shared by people they trust.

Fake news is also impacting our community’s response to the pandemic.

Vaccination programs work best when as many people as possible get vaccinated, but Latinos in the United States are getting inoculated at lower rates.

In Florida, for example, Latinos are 27% of the population but they’ve made up only about 17% of COVID-19 vaccinations so far, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. And Latinos are relying on social media and word-of-mouth for information on vaccines — even when it’s wrong. There’s myths circulating around the vaccine, whether you can trust it and the possible the long-term effects.

And it’s not just obstacles to getting information in Spanish, but also in many of the native Mayan indigenous languages that farmworkers speak in South Florida.

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JLo Celebrates 20 Years Of “Love Don’t Cost A Thing” By Perfectly Recreating The Iconic Music Video

Entertainment

JLo Celebrates 20 Years Of “Love Don’t Cost A Thing” By Perfectly Recreating The Iconic Music Video

It’s been twenty (20!) years since Jennifer Lopez’s iconic album J.Lo debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. Since then, a lot has happened for the “Let’s Get Loud” international pop icon, not to mention the world.

But to help us all take a stroll down memory lane, J Lo recreated the music video for “Love Don’t Cost A Thing” and it’s honestly perfection. And perhaps kinda strange, since honestly, Lopez doesn’t look any different!

Jennifer Lopez celebrates the 20th anniversary of her album J.Lo in the best way possible.

JLo took us back over the weekend, all the way back to 2001, in honor of her second album J.Lo, which just celebrated its 20th anniversary. The singer re-created a moment from the “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” music video to celebrate the last two decades.

J.Lo specifically re-created the scenes on the beach where she discards her possessions and most of her clothes. This time around, she even threw her bracelet into the sand. And while she stopped short of replicating the original video’s ending in which she took her shirt off while walking into the sea, J.Lo ended her micro-update of the clip with a fake-out nodding to that original ending.

“As I reflect on the fact that it’s the #JLo20thAnniversary, I just wanted to say thank you to all of you for being with me, loving me and supporting me through all the ups and downs,” Lopez captioned a second post. “Thank you so much for all the love over the past 20 years!! I love you so much!!”

It’s obvious that JLo herself knows just how iconic the song is – which is why, in another Instagram post she ended her caption with the hashtag #MyLoveDontCostAThing.

And, in case you were wondering, this is the original video from 2001.

The original music video was also a work of heart that did justice to the now and forever iconic song.

Her new take on the classic video has also spurred the #LoveDontCostAThingChallenge on social media.

While some tried their best to meet J Lo’s challenge, others pointed out that this must be a rich person’s challenge. I mean, not many of us are going to be ripping off our non-existent diamond jewelery and throwing it into the ocean or sand.

Lopez has a big year ahead of her and we can’t wait to follow along.

It’s been twenty years since J.Lo hit the charts so obviously a lot has happened for the pop star. Most recently, she performed “This Land Is Your Land” at the 2021 presidential inauguration. But she’s just getting started. This year, we can expect so much more, including a new rom-com called Marry Me with Maluma coming out on Valentine’s Day 2021.

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