Things That Matter

Artists In San Diego And Tijuana Projected Activist Art Onto Trump’s Border Wall Prototypes

Video credit: Jorge Nieto

Donald Trump has worked steadily to realize his promise of building a bigger, more enforced wall along every state that borders the U.S. and Mexico. The biggest step in this plan has been the construction of eight border wall prototypes, erected in San Diego and built by contractors from around the country hoping to win government contracts for the project. The prototypes, which are 30 feet by 18 feet big, cost between $300,000 and $500,000 to build.

A group of artists and immigration rights activists from both sides of the border came together to protest the wall by literally shining a light on what it represents.

By mocking the prototypes, Holslin says the group sees an opportunity to “demystify and deflate the rhetoric of power that tyrants like Trump use to cast a spell on the public.” And for the group, creating art that injects “a laugh, fart or inappropriate comment” into a serious issue serves to disrupt their power.

READ: The Border Wall Prototypes Are Up In San Diego. Here’s What That Means

What do you think of these prototypes? Let us know and share this story with your friends! 

Fort Worth Teacher Wins Appeal To Get Job Back After Tweeting Trump To ‘Remove’ Undocumented Students

Things That Matter

Fort Worth Teacher Wins Appeal To Get Job Back After Tweeting Trump To ‘Remove’ Undocumented Students

Fort Worth ISD

In the past couple of years, we’ve seen several instances in which school staff made racist comments either toward students or behaved in a discriminatory manner on the school campus. Typically, not much is done about it. In some cases, the school will conduct an investigation, a teacher may be perhaps suspended for a day or so, but for the most part, it is back to business as usual. The students affected by their racist words and behavior must continue to be taught by them or abide by their authority. It’s an unjust situation. But at least one school district did fight back against a racist teacher and will continue to do so. Here’s how it all went down. 

A teacher in Texas was fired after she made public statements on Twitter that she wanted to report undocumented students at her school.

Credit: @Rebecca1939 / Twitter

The incident in question happened in May in which Georgia Clark, a then English teacher in Fort Worth, Texas, tweeted directly at President Donald Trump that she not only wanted to report undocumented students but also requested assistance to combat the undocumented community in the area. 

“Mr. President, Fort Worth Independent School District, is loaded with illegal students from Mexico,” Clark tweeted back on May 17, 2018. “Anything you can do to remove the illegals from Fort Worth would be greatly appreciated.” Her account has since been deleted but the screenshots remain forever.”

Clark sent the tweets to the President, but she believed her tweets her private messages. Her comments were indeed public, and that’s how the entire school and community were made aware of her remarks.

Credit: @_SJPeace_ / Twitter

While the school board members voted unanimously to fire Clark this spring, she fought back and appealed her case. Now a Texas commissioner has ruled that the school district either gives her back her job or pays her a year’s worth of her salary. 

“The day the petitioner would have been reinstated is the day respondent tenders petitioner payment in full,” the commissioner of the Texas Education Agency, Mike Morath, wrote in the ruling, according to the New York Times

An independent examiner also reported that Clark’s series of tweets to the President was a form of “free speech.”

Credit: @natashaaa_ / Twitter

“Clark’s tweets are statements of a citizen on a matter of public concern protected by the United States Constitution and do not contravene or impair policies or proper performance of the district’s functions,” the report said, according to the Times

Despite the fact that the report’s finding’s that her tweets were considered “free speech,” what type of parent would want Clark teaching students who are undeniably discriminatory against Latino kids? 

“I’m very surprised and concerned that this cruel woman has been berating our precious children for years,” a woman earlier this year, according to the Washington Post

“Her comments were hurtful, irresponsible, misleading, and distrustful to the students she is supposed to protect and educate,” another woman said to the board in June.

The school district said they stand by their decision to fire Clark and will appeal to the commissioner’s ruling.

Credit: @briiianaaa14 / Twitter

“The Commissioner’s decision was not based on the merits of the case but rather a procedural technicality with which the District does not agree,” the school district said in a statement. “Mr. Morath said, in his ruling, that the board did not adopt a finding that good cause exists to terminate Ms. Clark’s contract. Yet, the Board of Trustees did, in fact, do just that in its decision on September 17. Accordingly, the Fort Worth ISD will appeal this decision and will do so in the next 20 days.” Furthermore, Superintendent Kent P. Scribner said: “We stand by our decision because we firmly believe this is in the best interests of all students.”

Clark said she wants her job back, and that she can still be a good teacher despite her political point of view.

In an interview with WFAA, Clark was asked how she would be able to do her job properly and teach Latino students. To that, she responded by saying, “If you need someone to help your child graduate, you’re looking at her right here.”

What do you think? Should Clark return to her job or should the school district pay her a year’s worth of her salary?

READ: This Texas Teacher Thought She Was Private Messaging Trump About ‘Illegal’ Students And It Got Her Fired And People Are Laughing Way Out Loud

Joe Biden Wants You To Remember His Was Obama’s Vice President Until You Talk About Their Deportation Record

Things That Matter

Joe Biden Wants You To Remember His Was Obama’s Vice President Until You Talk About Their Deportation Record

joebiden / Instagram

The Latina hired to facilitate outreach to Latinos, African-Americans, and women for Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign has resigned out of frustration, according to two anonymous sources at Politico. Vanessa Cárdenas was Joe Biden’s most senior Latina staffer up until last week when she resigned and changed her Twitter bio to say she was “formerly with @joebiden.” According to Cárdenas’ friends, who anonymously spoke with Politico, Cárdenas grew frustrated that her continued reflection of Latinos’ policy concerns around immigration did not affect or change Biden’s policies at all. In response, Biden told the Associated Press that he will make Latino issues a priority for his 2020 campaign, and called Cárdenas “very, very good.”

Cárdenas reportedly was frustrated over Biden’s “hyperfocus” on white and Black voters in Iowa, erasing the importance of the Latino community.

CREDIT: VANESSA CARDENAS / LINKEDIN

“The campaign is just hyper-focused on whites in Iowa and African-Americans and it placed less value on Latino outreach,” an immigration activist and friend paraphrased Cárdenas to POLITICO. “Vanessa kept banging her head against the wall trying to get them to take the community more seriously and Biden just really won’t change when it comes to the way he talks about immigration,” the friend told the outlet. “It became too much.” Latinos are projected to make up 18.3 percent of the electorate in 2020, surpassing African Americans as the largest minority group in the United States. 

Soon after Cárdenas quit, Biden lost his patience with an immigration activist, Carlos Rojas, and interrupted him to tell him, “You should vote for Trump.” Rojas is just one among many immigration activists who have pressed Biden to talk on Obama’s deportation numbers, which are much higher than Trump’s. Rojas had volunteered for the Obama campaign and was horrified to see how the man he believed in went on to become the “Deporter-in-Chief.” Biden’s response to his story? “No. I will not stop all deportations. I will prioritize deportations, only people who have committed a felony or serious crime,” Biden responded.

“Biden just refused to talk about the issue in a compassionate way,” one of Cárdenas’ friends told POLITICO.

Credit: @CHRIS_1791 / TWITTER

“What happened last week was a perfect example of what Vanessa was dealing with,” a second friend of Cárdenas told POLITICO. “Biden just refuses to talk about the issue in a compassionate way.” It seems as if Biden still doesn’t quite understand Cárdenas’ frustration, even though he told the Associated Press that he could “understand her frustration in terms of the number of days” the campaign spends in certain states. “I’m getting the same thing, and I’m sure every candidate is — no matter what state you’re in — why you’re not spending more time in other states,” he told the outlet. “I wish her well. I’m sorry she was frustrated,” he added.

It should be unsurprising that Biden continues this trend of talking around the bush about Latinos and immigration issues, but we feel frustrated for Cárdenas. Cárdenas allegedly wanted him to acknowledge Latinos in his policies, and he’s even euphemizing the word “Latinos” for “other states.”

Biden has repeatedly avoided political events that might focus on his immigration policies, leading him to skip political forums where Latinos or immigrant rights activists have the strongest voice.

CREDIT: @CDNNOW / TWITTER

Biden received a lot of flack for skipping a Miami forum of Latino elected officials in June. In the week leading up to Cárdenas’ resignation, Biden received more negative press for avoiding California’s Democratic Party convention where he would be likely to be held to account for his immigration policies. While a campaign official, who asked to remain anonymous, told POLITICO that the campaign simply wants “to speak to the voters at our events that have real engagement,” we’d like to remind Biden that Latinos are real. They’re also real fed up, and demand to be heard. 

Biden’s understanding of Cárdenas’ concern about not spending more time in certain states is, at face value, true. To talk about California and Miami voters as “skewed” is to imply that the standard is white, and Latino voices are outliers. While Latinos poll as divided between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, a lot can happen in just a few months. Biden, we’re waiting for you to meaningfully acknowledge Latinos’ concerns over your immigration policy.

READ: Joe Biden’s Campaign Announced Their Latino Outreach Before They Secured The URL And Twitter Account