Things That Matter

We Have Latinos To Thank For Some Of America’s Biggest And Strongest Businesses

Latinos may have given us Hot Cheetos and Zumba Fitness but there are so many more companies, products, and businesses that were created and influenced by Latinos as well.

In fact, a lot of successful American brands and products you love and use on a daily basis were in fact founded by Latinos. From beauty products, clothing brands, and Fortune 100 companies, the influence of Latino’s is endless.

According to a report from Fortune, 73 percent of senior executives in Fortune 500 companies are white. “The rest are 21 percent Asian, 3 percent Latino/a, 2 percent Black, 0.6 percent two or more races, 0.2 percent Native American and 0.1 percent Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.”

While there’s still a long way to go in regards to the Latino community earning as much money as their white counterparts and holding positions of power within a company, we’ve rounded up 10 Latinos that have paved the way for future generations to thrive.

Check out these 9 companies and brands you didn’t know were influenced by Latinos.

1. Facebook

Latinos

CREDIT: Photographer: Nicky Loh for Bloomberg.com, December 6, 2017

Yes, you’re reading that right – Facebook was co-founded by a Latino.

Brazilian born entrepreneur and investor, Eduardo Luiz Saverin is one of the co-founders of Facebook and as of this year, he owns 53 million Facebook shares. According to Forbes, he has a net worth of $11.1 billion.

Currently, Saverin lives in Singapore after moving there to become a venture capitalist. He renounced his U.S. citizenship which might have been in part because he wanted to avoid paying taxes.

It’s also been reported that he had gotten into disputes with Mark Zuckerberg over shares of the Facebook company, according to Bloomberg.

All in all, however, we have the successful 36-year-old to thank for bringing us one of the most popular companies and social media networks.

2. Hot Cheetos

Hot Cheetos Inventor
CREDIT: Amazon / RPMontanez / Twitter

Of course, this is by far the best invention in the history of the humankind.

Without further ado, the mastermind behind the iconic red bag that has us lickin’ our fingers clean is Richard Montañez. You’ve probably heard this story before, but if you haven’t, here’s a little refresher: he worked as a janitor at a Frito-Lay plant for years before becoming the Executive Vice President of Multicultural Sales and Community Activation for PepsiCo.

Now, Montañez might finally be able to tell his story on the big screen. We can’t wait to sneak Hot Cheetos into that theatre.

3. Instagram

CREDIT: mikeyk / Instagram

Thirty two-year-old, Mike Krieger is a Brazilian entrepreneur and software engineer who co-founded Instagram along with 34-year-old Kevin Systrom.

Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Kriger moved to California in 2004 and attended Stanford University. That’s where he met Systrom as well. Six years later, the two co-founded one of the fastest-growing mobile apps.

According to Industry Leaders Magazine, within two years of Instagram’s launch, the social media platform was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012.

Now, Instagram is currently valued at $50 billion.

4. Zumba Fitness

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CREDIT: zumbabeto / Instagram

The Colombian dancer and choreographer Alberto “Beto” Pérez created the fitness program Zumba in the 1990s. If you’ve never taken a class, you’ve probably heard of someone who’s done Zumba.

The aerobic and dance exercise is accompanied by music from various genres such as hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, tango, flamenco, merengue, and mambo.

Zumba is a high-energy, fun, and kick-ass workout that involves martial arts moves, squats, lunges and other aerobic techniques.

So if you ever want to get some cardio in or simply polish up your dance moves, make sure to book a class ASAP.

5. Shazam

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CREDIT: productivelives / shazam / Instagram

From 2010 to 2013, Mexican businessman Carlos Slim was ranked the richest person in the world by Forbes.

Slim is a Mexican business tycoon, engineer, investor and philanthropist. The 78-year-old has derived most of his fortune from his holdings and control in various Mexican companies through his conglomerate, Grupo Carso.

Mexico, however, isn’t where his influence begins or ends.

In July 2013, he invested $40 million in Shazam – the music recognition app – for an undisclosed share.

As of June of this year, Slim has been ranked the seventh-richest person in the world, according to Forbes.

6. Budweiser

latinos
CREDIT: corona / Instagram

Ever heard of Anheuser-Busch InBev? It is one of the world’s largest beverage and brewing companies.

If you’ve ever popped open a cold Budweiser, Corona, or Stella Artois then Anheuser-Busch InBev is where these beverages come from.

Anheuser-Busch InBev is based in Belgium but also has locations in São Paulo, New York City, London, Mexico City, and more.

Aside from brewing beverages that are popular in Latino households, one of AB InBev’s investors is Brazilian. Marcel Hermann Telles is a board member of the company and increased their equity by one billion dollars, according to Forbes.

7. Heinz

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CREDIT: heinz / Instagram

Born in Brazil, Carlos “Beto” Sicupira is a businessman and a partner in 3G Capital.

Most of his wealth, however, comes from his shares in Anheuser-Busch InBev – the world’s largest brewer – where he owns about 3 percent of stakes.

As a partner of 3G Capital, he also owns and has major stakes in companies and brands like Burger King, H.J. Heinz Company and Lojas Americanas.

8. New York Times

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CREDIT: nyccallsyou / productivelives / Instagram

It’s no surprise that one of the richest men in the world, Carlos Slim, would make this list twice. It’s clear that his influence and mark in successful American brands and companies will continue to be.

The 78-year-old owns stakes in Mexican construction, mining, and real estate companies, and he also owns 17 percent of The New York Times. Mexico’s richest man acquired shares to The New York Times in 2015 and became the largest shareholder of the paper.

As of April of this year, Slim started to sell his New York Times stock and shares which lowered his stake in the company to about 15 percent. That’s still about 24 million in shares. Not too shabby.

9. Amazon

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CREDIT: jeffbezos / Instagram

Amazon’s chief Jeff Bezos’s net worth is $149.3 billion.

He was also the first person to top $100 billion as number one on the Forbes list of World’s Billionaires.

You might be wondering why he’s on this list since Bezos was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and raised in Houston, Texas. He was raised by Cuban engineer Miguel Bezos who arrived in Miami in 1962.

Jeff Bezos’s mother remarried Miguel Bezos after divorcing his biological father. Together, they raised the richest person in the world.


READ: Latino Veterans Who Are Changing The Game In Business

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Push For A Bernie Sanders Presidency Might Just Be The Fight We Need

Things That Matter

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Push For A Bernie Sanders Presidency Might Just Be The Fight We Need

@realDailyWire / Twitter

As the 2020 presidential election draws ever nearer, the stakes are growing significantly higher for the candidates of both major parties—and quickly. In the case of the Democrats, the top four candidates (Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg) are all closely ranked in New Hampshire and Iowa, and it’s no secret that Iowa is a particularly important state when it comes to forecasting election season. This week, the Des Moines Register poll showed Sanders with a mild lead in this Midwest state, a stat that bodes well for him in the coming months—well, at least, it might. At this point in the game, it’s really impossible to guess what’s to come, especially in the midst of the chaos surrounding our military conflict with Iran and the impeachment of President Trump.

In addition to a millennial-friendly position on a wide range of issues—from healthcare reform to student loan forgiveness—many folks are speculating about Senator Sanders’ success resulting from his endorsement by none other than AOC herself.

Credit: J Pat Carter / Getty Images

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Sanders back in October, and ever since, she’s stood alongside him in several early-voting states, drawing major crowds in Nevada, California, New York, and, of course, Iowa. Sanders’ approach to policy may already pique the interest of the millennial generation, but AOC is, herself, a millennial—she speaks to this age group from her own perspective as a progressive young person, appealing to her peers with firsthand knowledge of what matters to them most. She’s impassioned, savvy, likeable. And she’s not just exciting the millennial demographic—she’s appealing to all kinds of Democrats.

“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a leader in the progressive movement,” said Jeff Weaver, longtime adviser to Sanders. “She is broadly popular, frankly, among Democratic voters. She is particularly strong with young voters, voters of color. She’s an important national voice and adding her weight to the political revolution is a real coup for us.”

It’s definitely clear that AOC and Sanders are making waves across the country, establishing powerful connections with legions of unlikely and diverse Democratic constituencies. And as they continue to generate energy and excitement, people are starting to wonder: Will AOC ultimately inherit the progressive movement headed by Sanders? Will she occupy the White House one day?

Credit: Kevin Kuo / AP Photo

Again, no one can answer these questions right now. But in the meantime, the political duo is leaving a powerful imprint on enthusiastic delegates, paving the way for what might end up being a highly productive race for the Democratic socialists. With that said, it’s important to remember that Joe Biden is currently favored in Nevada and South Carolina, placing him and Sanders in a sort of limbo, hovering at a similar point  in the race. But if one of them ends up gaining early momentum, either candidate could potentially emerge as a singular favorite by the time Super Tuesday arrives in March.

Waleed Shahid, a former aide to both Sanders and AOC, acknowledged the pair’s recent visit through California, saying that Sanders would benefit from further establishing himself within the Super Tuesday state—a move that would allow him to expand his already strong position among Latino voters. (In surveys of Latino Democrats, Sanders typically polls first or second.) And AOC is, without a doubt, boosting his ratings among this demographic: to make sure their message is being heard, she’s been delivering campaign speeches entirely in Spanish to Latino crowds.

Even if there’s no way to predict AOC’s future role in the Democratic party, there have been hints as to what might come to pass if Sanders is chosen as the Democratic candidate for this year’s election.

Credit: Lucas Jackson / Reuters

In an election endorsement interview with The New York Times Editorial Board, Sanders said that it was “a little bit premature” to name a running mate, as the first nominating contest is still weeks away. But he continued by saing, “I think Joe [Biden] has had eight years as vice president: probably enough.” He added, “I believe in diversity. I believe and know that my administration and my cabinet will look like America looks like. I’m not going to tell you who it’s going to be.”

While Sanders may be trying to keep his plans on the down low (he isn’t wrong, after all—it is a bit early to start naming potential running mates), it’s clear that he and AOC have a similar vision and a sincere, collaborative chemistry. Plus, he did tell ABC in November that she would “play a very, very important role — no question” if he becomes president. He has even taken to occasionally citing remarks by AOC during his speeches, reiterating that they share a parallel perspective for the future of our country. At this point, all we can do is speculate about a Sanders/AOC ticket. Ya veremos!

Gina Rodriguez To Speak At Black History Month Event? Apparent Fake Press Release Sets Off Social Media Firestorm

Entertainment

Gina Rodriguez To Speak At Black History Month Event? Apparent Fake Press Release Sets Off Social Media Firestorm

hereisgina / Instagram / @NotLaja / Twitter

There seems to be yet another controversy that has found Gina Rodriguez being slammed on Twitter. However, the actress is the victim of a viral hoax created to anger people and cause injury to Rodriguez’s reputation. On Sunday evening, a fake press release was seen circulating on social media that apparently had the 35-year-old actress speaking on behalf of Black History Month. The false press release allegedly came from the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Black History Month Committee and was originally tweeted out by journalist Yashar Ali, who was invited to cover the event.  

The odd press release set off a firestorm of criticism and confusion about how Rodriguez, who has previously found herself in hot water due to questionable comments on race, could be featured at an event focused on Black History Month. Again, the press release is false and the anger towards Rodriguez is misdirected.

Twitter was in disbelief about a false press release that stated Rodriguez, who hasn’t had the best history when it comes to comments about to Black community, would “take selfies with African American students.” 

The entire press release was odd altogether as it read that Rodriguez would “take selfies with African American students.” “Starting in 2020, the LAUSD will invite celebrities into classrooms to speak to students during this historic month. We thought that Ms. Rodriguez, who has both African and Latina ancestry, would be a great inaugural speaker,” the press release reads.

Twitter users reacted to the press release as if it was real and the attacks on Rodriguez began without users doing their own due diligence and researching the matter.

While there was no date attached to the press release or any mention of a Black History Month event on the LAUSD website or its calendar, the school district did acknowledge the month last year. The screenshot of the press release spread quickly on Twitter and by Monday morning there was still no statement or confirmation from LAUSD of its legitimacy. 

This isn’t the first time Rodriguez has been connected with controversy. In the last few years, she has made questionable comments about the Black community that has raised some eyebrows. This may be why so many people assumed the press release could have been real. 

The validity of the press release didn’t stop people from chiming in on what seemed to be another one of Rodriguez’s tone-deaf comments. She has previously made statements that her dad is “Afro-Latino,” which also raised some eyebrows. Social media users in return posted images that showed otherwise. 

Just last year, she faced some blowback after she posted an Instagram story in which she used the n-word while rapping along with the Fugees’ song “Ready or Not”. While the “Jane the Virgin” star apologized in a follow-up post, many dismissed as insincere. Many social media users used the incident as concrete evidence that Rodriguez has a less-than-respectful attitude toward black people. 

That incident followed another controversial moment from a 2018 panel discussion on pay equity where Rodriguez was criticized for comments that many perceived as anti-Black. She spoke about the pay gaps among women of different races, saying that Latina women made less than white and Black women, on average.

“I get so petrified in this space talking about equal pay especially when you look at the intersectional aspect of it, right? Where white women get paid more than Black women, Black women get paid more than Asian women, Asian women get paid more than Latina women, and it’s like a very scary space to step into,” she said. “Because I always feel like I fail when I speak about it because I can’t help but feel already so gracious to do what I do and I feel like, culturally, I feel like I was raised to just feel so appreciative of getting here.”

The Twitter account for the LAUSD Black History Month Committee has since deleted its tweet and its entire account. Yashar Ali, who originally shared the press release, also deleted her tweet. There has been no explanation of why from either side so far.

The apparent fake press release had social media users putting in their two cents on the issue despite knowing its validity. Public figure Jemele Hill chimed in on the press release as well simply saying “Make it make sense, y’all,” 

“Instead of giving Black women this space, you give it to Gina Rodriguez? The same Gina Rodriguez who has made it a point to discredit every experience a Black woman has spoken about? LAUSD, Fix this decision, Expeditiously.” another Twitter user wrote. 

While mitú has reached out to LAUSD, there has been no response yet verifying if there was ever going to be a Black History Month event featuring Rodriguez. It’s safe to say, from the reaction on social media, it might not be a good idea anyway. 

READ: Conservatives Are Calling For The FBI And CIA To Investigate George Lopez After He Made A Joke About President Trump