Things That Matter

Minor League Baseball Team Calls Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez An ‘Enemy Of Freedom’

A minor league baseball team got in trouble after it aired a Memorial Day video in where Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was depicted among “enemies of freedom.” California’s Class AAA Fresno Grizzlies, a minor-league affiliate of the Washington Nationals, showed a 3-minute video that was supposed to be a “moving tribute” to the armed forces. Instead, it showed Ocasio-Cortez with the likes of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and former Cuban President Fidel Castro.

The baseball team released a statement saying that they are “embarrassed” by the video and have called it situation a complete “mistake.”

Credit: @FresnoeGrizzlies / Twitter

As the voice of President Ronald Reagan warned of “enemies of freedom,” a photo of Ocasio-Cortez appeared with Kim and Castro. The Grizzlies issued a statement on Monday that said the video was “misleading and offensive.” The team said the clip was a “pre-produced video from outside our front office.”

“We’re embarrassed we allowed this video to play without seeing it in its entirety first,” the Grizzlies posted on Twitter Tuesday. “We unconditionally apologize to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) in addition to our fans, community and those we hurt. It was a mistake and we will ensure that nothing like it ever happens again.”

Ocasio-Cortez responded to the video in a series of tweets Tuesday, writing that “words matter.”

The New York Democrat voiced her anger and disappointment about the whole situation. Ocasio-Cortez stressed that “words matter” and these incidents have a great effect on her personal life.

“What people don’t (maybe do) realize is when orgs air these hateful messages, my life changes bc of the flood of death threats they inspire,” she wrote Tuesday on Twitter. “I‘ve had mornings where I wake up & the 1st thing I do w/ my coffee is review photos of the men (it’s always men) who want to kill me.”

The baseball team has identified the employee behind the incident.

Credit: Fresno Grizzlies

In a press release on Wednesday, the team is said they are remorseful and the club will likely not broadcast videos from the internet at its games moving forward “in an abundance of caution.”

The employee responsible for the video was identified and “has been reprimanded by the organization.” The team also acknowledged the backlash they have received over the video and say criticism they’ve “received is deserved.”

Ocasio-Cortez has become one of the most prominent politicians in the U.S. and a regular target of criticism by the right-wing.

The freshman congresswoman has been the subject of multiple attacks across social media and on right-wing networks since she rose to prominence last year. She said online that this type of behavior has become too regular and questioned the way some people are using “free speech.”

“It happens whenever Fox gets particularly aggressive + hateful, too. Young interns have to constantly hear hateful messages (far beyond disagreement) from ppl we don’t even rep,” Ocasio-Cortex said on Twitter. “For those who believe in ‘free speech’: whose free speech do you believe in?”

READ: AOC Just Clapped Back At Republicans Using The Power Of The Holy Bible

Mexico is Turning Old Factories Into Shelters to Help Stranded Asylum Seekers at the Border

Things That Matter

Mexico is Turning Old Factories Into Shelters to Help Stranded Asylum Seekers at the Border

A huge story that we’ve been following all year has to do with the thousands of asylum seekers at the border of Mexico and the United States. These migrants have traveled mostly by foot over hundreds of miles from Central America in order to find safety away from dangerous homes. However, instead of being able to seek asylum in America a decades’ old process implemented by the US government these South American immigrants have been stuck in limbo at the border. 

The radical changes to the asylum process brought on by the Trump administration has left these individuals with no home and no hope for one in the near future. Instead, the Border Security Agency has kept thousands of asylum seekers in captivity. These detentions facilities are over packed, lacking basic amenities and separate children from their families. In short, America has truly abandoned these people. However, Mexico is working to clean up the mess left behind by the Trump Administration. 

The Mexican government is converting empty factories near the border to house asylum seekers turned away from the US. 

Twitter / @LatinoUSA

In a report by “Mother Jones,” we are now getting our first look at these facilities. Converted from an old maquiladora, the Leona Vicario Migrant Integration Center now acts as a shelter along the Mexican border. The center opened its doors about 4 months ago as the first of many shelters planned by the Mexican government in order to house displaced migrants. Currently, Leona Vicario Migrant Center provides a temporary home for 600 Central Americans. 

Converting these factories is meant to combat an issue created by the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols program. 

Twitter / @HispanicCaucus

Also known as “Remain in Mexico,” under this new program, asylum seekers are denied entry into the United States and are instead forced to stay in Mexico during their asylum proceedings. The process of seeking asylum can take many months or even years, leaving these migrants without a home or resolution. Since the Migrant Protection Protocols program was began back in January 2019, more than 50,000 asylum seekers have been sent back to Mexico.

The decision to create residential housing out of these old factories came after President Trump threatened Mexico with steep tariffs if the government continued to allow asylum seekers to reach the border. These tariffs would devastate the Mexican economy so their government conceded to the USA’s demands. “Any expense we incur in building shelters like this one will be far less than what the tariffs would cost us,” Mexico’s Labor Undersecretary, Horacio Duarte Olivares, said at Leona Vicario’s opening ceremony.

Though Leona Vicario is obviously a re-purposed factory, there are clear signs that the space is attempting to mimic homes that these asylum seekers have lost.

Twitter / @DocBearOMD

A mural of Central American and Mexican flags adorns one of the center’s walls. This image is bordered by colorful hand prints from Leona Vicario’s first residents in an attempt to bring some color to the concrete floors and cinder block walls. The facility managers’ of the center attempt to bring some joy to the lives of the asylum seekers by organizing holiday celebrations and different workshops. 

About half of the center’s population is made up of children of various ages. A makeshift nursery is communally watched over by the mothers of the migrant group. In another room, a temporary school has been established to help supplement the education that the children are being deprived of. 

Outside the building, a giant camo-painted food truck is run by members of the Mexican military in order to provide meals to those housed at the facility. They even have a second tortilladora truck to pump out the thousands of tortillas eaten every day. 

Centers like Leona Vicario are still an experiment and are not meant to be a long term solution for these families who are returned to Mexico. 

Twitter / @MotherJones

When migrants first arrive at the border, they are usually held for a few weeks before being returned to Mexican land. Usually, they are not even aware of what is happening and still think they are in the United States. The hope with centers like Leona Vicario is that asylum seekers who are returned to Mexico can acclimate themselves to their new surroundings. These centers are only meant to house each group of migrants for two weeks at a time. That is how long it usually takes for the Mexican government to find jobs for the adults. However, they are still allowed to stay a few additional weeks in order to get their affairs in order. The goal is successfully getting the migrant on their feet while waiting out their asylum process. 

The Mexican government is opening two more migrant integration centers by the end of this month with a forth planned in the near future. It isn’t an ideal situation but it’s a far cry from the cages and foil blankets of the detention facilities in the United States. Most importantly, families can stay together and that means everything in uncertain times like these. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUh_wCbaGxo&t=6s

AOC Takes to Twitter to Defend Taylor Swift Against Greedy Music Execs Trying to Keep Her From Using Her Own Music

Entertainment

AOC Takes to Twitter to Defend Taylor Swift Against Greedy Music Execs Trying to Keep Her From Using Her Own Music

@mayadejendela / Twitter

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has used her short career to be a champion of many worthy causes. Before she even entered the political arena, she visited embattled communities like Standing Rock and Flint, Michigan in order to learn more about the environmental crises taking place. She’s since turned that environmentalism into support for the Green New Deal, a legislation that aims to address climate change and economic inequality. AOC has also been a vocal opponent of the Trump administration’s border wall and their oppressive take on immigration. On top of these important causes, the representative from New York is a great advocate for women’s rights. 

It’s with this advocacy in mind that AOC took to Twitter on Friday evening to tweet her support for Taylor Swift during the artist’s latest professional battle. 

Twitter / @taylorswift13

The defense comes from a Thursday evening tweet from Swift. In the tweet, the musician shares that, though she is being named “Artist of the Decade” by the American Music Awards, there’s a damper to her happy news. According to Swift, issues with Big Machine Records’ music executives were keeping her from being able to have access to all of the songs previous to her latest album, “Lover.” 

The two execs, Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun, own the masters to Swift’s earlier works and, as such, can control whether or not to she’s allowed to use them. According to the deal she signed with Republic Records and Universal Music Group in 2018, Swift is not allowed to re-record her earlier songs until 2020. It’s important to note that neither of these men had anything to do with the creation of these songs.

“I’ve been planning to perform a medley of my hits throughout the decade on the show,” the tweet read. “Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun have now said that I’m not allowed to perform my old songs on television because they claim that they would be re-recording my music before I’m allowed to next year.”

Additionally, Swift explained that she had an upcoming documentary about her life in the works with Netflix. 

Twitter / @THR

Just like with the American Music Awards, the musician shared that the executives were again refusing to allow her to use old clips of her performances or any new renditions of these old songs. The note went on to request that fans let Braun and Borchetta know that they’re Team Taylor all the way.

Borchetta reportedly told Swift’s team that she could in fact use these earlier songs on two conditions. One, the musician would loose the right to re-record these songs for the year of 2020. The second condition was that Swift had to stop publicly discussing Braun and Borchetta. 

This is when AOC got into the mix with her response to Swift’s tweet. 

Twitter / @AOC

A longstanding opponent of major corporations, the representative likened the situation with Swift’s music rights to private equity groups. AOC responded to the music controversy with a call to action demanding that the music executives be “reigned in.”

“Private equity groups’ predatory practices actively hurt millions of Americans,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “Their leveraged buyouts have destroyed the lives of retail workers across the country, scrapping 1+ million jobs. Now, they’re holding Taylor Swift’s own music hostage.”

If you’re thinking that AOC’s support is proof that she’s a closet Swiftie, it’s actually much deeper than that.

Twitter / @AOC

Since AOC is a champion for middle and low income America, it might seem unexpected for her to back Swift who is a multimillionaire. However, the musician’s problem is one that the representative has been fighting against. As Ocasio-Cortez explained on Twitter, millions of Americans have been impacted by private equality firms. These firms buy businesses and liquidate them in order to squeeze out all of the profitability they can without concern for their employees. This results in employees being laid off, having to make due with reduced pay and/or hours and losing benefits like insurance and severance packages. 

By relating the two problems together, AOC was able to make a series of tweets about an important policy go viral and reach a huge audience. In fact, her initial tweet in response to Swift earned nearly 80K likes and almost 15K retweets. 

Whether it was thanks to Representative Ocasio-Cortez’s attention or the public pressure, this story now has a satisfying ending. 

Twitter / @THR

The music execs at Swift’s former record label and Dick Clark Productions, producer of the American Music Awards, have come to an agreement. In the press release issued by Big Machine Records, details of the agreement were laid out so all of the label’s artists are cleared for performance. 

No word yet if AOC will be tuning into Swift’s American Music Award appearance but hopefully she knows that she helped to make that performance a reality.