Things That Matter

A Texas Lawmaker Called ICE On Protesters — And All Hell Broke Lose

On Memorial Day, while most of us were kicking back, more than 1,000 protesters gathered in the public gallery of the Texas House to loudly voice their disdain for the new anti-immigrant law known as SB4. Protestors wanted answers about the new law, which requires local police to follow federal procedures concerning undocumented people.

One Republican lawmaker was not happy that protesters were disrupting their session.

CREDIT: Credit: Matt RinaldiTX / Twitter

On the House floor, Texas Republican Rep. Matt Rinaldi was so annoyed with protesters that he told his democratic colleagues that he called ICE to arrest non-citizens who were protesting, the New York Times reports.

With protesters outside and inside the gallery, and Rinaldi losing it, things just escalated from there.

Democrat Rep. César J. Blanco also said that Rinaldi used an obscenity on the floor.

Blanco claims that Rinaldi actually said: “I called I.C.E…Fuck them!”

That’s when all hell broke lose on the floor between Rinaldi and democrats.

Credit: Mark F / YouTube

“We were in shock,” Blanco told The New York Times. “He assumed that because they were brown, in the gallery and protesting that they were here illegally.”

The protesting wasn’t just happening inside the public gallery.

There was music and dancing…

… but back inside, lawmakers were at each other’s throats.

The drama continued to unfold as Democratic Rep. Poncho Nevárez alleged that Rinaldi threatened to shoot him.

“There was a subsequent exchange between my brother Poncho and Representative Rinaldi and there was a threat made from Rinaldi to put a bullet in one of my colleague’s heads,” Rep. Justin Rodriguez told reporters after the incident, The Texas Observer reported. “That kind of threatening language, he needs to be called out and held accountable for.”

The GOP politician doesn’t dispute that he’d shoot Nevárez but claimed he only said it as self-defense.

It’s also not clear if anyone will press charges, but according to a press release, Republican House speaker Joe Straus said, “There is no excuse for members making insensitive and disparaging remarks on the floor of the Texas House.”

READ: John Leguizamo Calls On Latino Celebs To Boycott Texas Because Of New Anti-Immigrant Law

Do you think it’s right that ICE was called to arrest protesters? Share this story and comment in the section below!

Just Weeks After All Children Were Finally Removed From Florida’s Homestead Facility, Reports Show It Will Reopen In October

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Just Weeks After All Children Were Finally Removed From Florida’s Homestead Facility, Reports Show It Will Reopen In October

V Kilpatrick / Pinterest

You’d be forgiven for thinking that maybe the Trump administration was reconsidering the way it was treating migrant children who are crossing the boarder. Especially since earlier this month, we’d reported that the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children in Miami, Florida, was to close. However, it looks like Homestead is set to reopen again – as soon as this October.

Well, that didn’t last long.

Pinterest / Jordan Malone

The beginning of the month saw the last of the children, who were detained at the facility, removed. While it’s difficult to say exactly how many children were originally housed at the detention center due to the overcrowding that’s taken place across holding facilities nationwide, it’s thought that there were between 2700 to 3000 children staying at Homestead. Part of the reason why Caliburn International, the company that runs Homestead, was instructed to reduce its detainees in the first place was due to government compliance issues. That is, the government had introduced new standards in preparation for hurricane season.

We still don’t know where the previous group of children went after leaving Homestead.

Pinterest / Chance Vintage

Even though the children were removed, it’s not clear what happened to the children once they’d left Homestead. The fact Caliburn International is a for-profit company and still required staff to show up for work, despite there being no detainees, has also clouded the issue. At the time of writing, reports say that while 1,700 employees had been dismissed due to the center officially closing, more than 2,500 kept their jobs. It’s not clear what they’re doing at Homestead while they await new inmates.

And because Homestead is an influx center, it doesn’t require a state license. 

Twitter / @marwilliamson

Typically speaking, influx centers are essentially designed to house a large number of inmates, in case the government suddenly finds itself inundated by asylum seekers. These centers are only intended for short stays, which is why they can legally hold a larger number of detainees. Otherwise, Homestead’s population would be capped at 500 children. And while we’re on the subject of numbers – temporary facilities like Homestead are actually more expensive, in the long run. They cost the government around $775 a day per child, while permanent shelters run at about $250 per day per child. Nice to know everyone’s tax dollars are being spent wisely.

Is this all starting to should kinda familiar to you? Yea, us too.

Pinterest / PolitcusUSA

If you’ve been paying attention to the news, it should. The US government recently argued in federal court that it shouldn’t have to provide things like toothbrushes and soap to detainees, since they were only being temporarily housed in the facility in Clint, Texas. Spoiler alert: the judges didn’t buy that argument, since inmates are being held for months at a time at these facilities. Again, these places that don’t provide basic necessities for inmates are more expensive to run than a more permanent facilities. 

But, we digress.

Pinterest / Chance Vintage

Oddly enough, even though Homestead is set to open again in October, Caliburn’s contract expires November 30. At this stage, it’s unclear whether the company will see the contract renewed, or whether a new contract will be opened up to competitive bidding. Apparently the original contract with Caliburn was awarded without competition, which was done so around the same time John Kelly, Trump’s ex-chief of staff, joined the company’s board of advisers. Bueno.

All of this shows that it’s still business as usual.

Pinterest / V kilpatrick

At the same time, even if the contract for Homestead was open to competitive bidding, it’s unlikely that much would change at the facility for the children who will be staying there. Companies and non-profits that promote asylum seeker’s rights and would likely provide safe and comfortable facilities have little interest in bidding for such contracts, since the very policies motivating them are diametrically opposed to the espoused values of these organizations. 

At the end of the day, this is all semantics. Because while it’s definitely important that we examine the ways that we detain migrants, and ensure that everyone receives due process, we’re not asking the most important question of all: should we even be detaining children for seeking asylum?

A Viciously Racist Video Has Gone Viral In Which Two Girls Call For The Return Of Slavery And The KKK

Things That Matter

A Viciously Racist Video Has Gone Viral In Which Two Girls Call For The Return Of Slavery And The KKK

@mrsmeliwilson / Twitter

Another day, another racist video uploaded to the Internet. In the latest bigoted clip to go viral, two young white women from Illinois chant about how much they hate Black people and call for the return of slavery.

On Saturday, Springfield, Illinois, resident Gabbi Goldsborough posted a video on Facebook of friends Macy Castleman and Jayde Landers going on a wild rant about their deep hatred toward Black people. The 10-second clip, a screengrab of another video posted August 9 or 10 on Snapchat by user Sam Stieren, shows the women outdoors calling for a return to the times when Black folk were not considered human and were enslaved and brutalized. 

“We hate n*****s,” the pair say in unison.

Castleman, who appears in the video wearing a dark-color hoodie, added: “They smell. They don’t work. So we should bring back slavery to whip them n*****s. Bring back the KKK! Wooooo!”

Landers, who is seen in a light-color sweatshirt, then says, “Shh. People like Black people sometimes.”

The video, as can be expected, has validly angered many on the Internet.

“Love how people sit around and act like racism isn’t still a thing. Macy Castleman and Jayde Landers, you have a lot of explaining to do,” Goldsborough writes in her video post on Facebook. “You can say it’s an inside joke or think it’s funny, but it’s not.”

Along with the clip, the young woman, who is biracial, also published private chats she had with Castleman, which shows her unapologetic about video and calling it a joke that she doesn’t have much recollection of.

“That was like three years ago and, if I’m being honest, I don’t remember that at all,” Castleman responds when Goldsborough inquires about the contents of the video through a Snapchat message.

After Goldsborough calls it “fucked up,” Castleman gets defensive. 

“I have Black people in my family. Clearly, I don’t feel that way … so you can chill. Also, it was an inside joke with my best friend. But feel however you want about it,” she says.

While the video’s timestamp shows it was posted last week, it could have been recorded previously and added to Snapchat as a “throwback” or “memory” more recently.

In her post, Goldsborough points out that the timing of the recording is nonessential; what the young women say in the video is what’s damning.

“Honestly, I don’t care when you said it. I don’t care if you said it five years ago. The N-word still came out of your mouth, and there’s no excuse. Period. On behalf of my Black side, we’re hurt and so disappointed people still think and believe this,” she said, adding that if Castleman’s claims of having Black relatives are true, they would be really disappointed in her.

In addition to the public outcry, both Castleman and Landers are beginning to also face real-life repercussions for their racist rant. 

Castleman, who is seen in the video yelling most of the vile commentary, has been fired from her job at an assisted living facility. On Facebook, the Concordia Village and Lutheran Senior Services addressed the video and their former employee’s involvement twice. 

In a post made on Monday, they announce that Castleman was dismissed.

“A disturbing video posted on a personal social media account by a former employee over the weekend has come to our attention. We are disappointed by the personal views expressed by this former employee and regret the adverse attention it has brought upon our community. We have addressed the situation with the employee according to our personnel policies and that individual is no longer employed by Concordia Village or Lutheran Senior Services,” they wrote.

When commenters asked if the company had fired Castleman, they responded that they had.

Both institutions where the women attend, or were previously registered in, have also commented on the videos.

Auburn High School, where Sanders is a senior, made a brief statement on its Twitter account.

“The behavior of the two individuals in the video does not represent the views of our school or our community – what we teach or how we act in our school. There are policies and procedures in place, which will be followed for any students involved,” the school noted in the statement made on Sunday.

One community member, Eileen P McLaughlin, isn’t satisfied. She suggested that the teen be suspended or expelled, noting that not giving the young woman consequences to her actions would leave a “dark stain on your school.”

The Auburn Community Unit School District #10 said it has started an investigation into the video but indicated that the process has been difficult because the video was released publically while school is still on summer break.

Similarly, Lincoln Land Community College, the school where Castleman was enrolled as a nursing student, posted a statement on Sunday to their Facebook.

“In light of a situation brought to the attention of the college administration, I would like to assure our community that Lincoln Land Community College is committed to maintaining a learning and working environment that is free from all forms of harassment and discrimination,” President Dr. Charlotte Warren on Sunday. “LLCC values diversity. We respect and celebrate the differences among people, cultures and ideas. We recognize the inherent dignity and worth of everyone throughout the college community. We promote a safe and inclusive environment for all.” 

Warren added: “… If this situation involved a current student at LLCC, then it would be investigated and adjudicated per the policies and procedures of the College.”

Both Castleman and Landers have either set their social media to private or deactivated their accounts.

Read: Two Racist Florida Women Are Caught On Video Telling A Puerto Rican Man To ‘Go Back To Mexico’ If He Wants To Speak Spanish

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