Things That Matter

After The Shooting In El Paso, Beto O’Rourke Calls On Media To Call Out Trump’s Dangerous Rhetoric

Democratic Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke is arguably taking the strongest stand against Trump’s blatant racism out of any other Democratic candidate. O’Rourke is a third-generation El Pasoan, with roots deep in the El Paso community. In the wake of a mass shooting perpetrated by someone who espoused white supremacy talking point, O’Rourke is holding Trumps’ feet to the fire. 

While O’Rourke has been calling Trump a racist and a white nationalist for several years now, this week he called Trump “the most racist president since Andrew Johnson.” He not only called Trump a white supremacist but tweeted, “You cannot leave it up to me. Members of the press: You too have to call him out for being the most racist president since Andrew Johnson.”

The President of the United States took to Twitter to mock the Latino influence El Paso has had on O’Rourke.

Credit: @realdonaldtrump / Twitter

O’Rourke is pure Irish-American, but he grew up in El Paso, a border community that is majority Latino. Growing up, friends gave him the nickname “Beto,” short for Robert, and it stuck. Just three days after the deadliest attack on Latinos since the Mexican-American War, Trump decided to attack O’Rourke.

O’Rourke took to Twitter to let the president know that he believes that Trump’s racist dog-whistles led to the attack.

Credit: @BetoORourke / Twitter

O’Rourke makes no claim to be Latino, but he has represented Latinos in his career as a public servant to El Paso. The shooter idolized Trump on his social media accounts and used much of the same rhetoric in the white supremacist manifesto he posted online. Like Trump, he used words like ‘invasion,’ ‘animals,’ and ‘infestation.’

In an interview with CNN, O’Rourke called on media to “call him out for being the most racist president since Andrew Johnson.”

Credit: @BetoORourke / Twitter

After CNN asked him to comment on Trump’s condemnation of white supremacy, O’Rourke responded by saying, “This is the same man who called white nationals and klansman and Neo nazis ‘very fine people.’ This is the most racist president we’ve had since perhaps Andrew Johnson, in another age, in another century. He is responsible for the hatred and the violence that we see right now. You cannot leave that just to me to say that. It’s gotta be you.”

O’Rourke is so frustrated with reporters skirting around bigger questions that he actually responded with “I don’t know, like, members of the press, what the f*ck?”

Credit: @MSNBC / Twitter

On Sunday, a reporter asked O’Rourke if there’s anything President Trump could do to “make this any better” and O’Rourke lost it, and reasonably so. 

“What do you think? You know the sh*t he’s been saying. He’s been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. I don’t know, like, members of the press, what the f*ck? Hold on a second. You know, I — it’s these questions that you know the answers to,” he put bluntly.

“I mean, connect the dots about what he’s doing in this country,” O’Rourke continued. 

Credit: @Indi_Tx27_4Beto / Twitter

“He’s not tolerating racism, he’s promoting racism. He’s not tolerating violence, he’s inciting racism and violence in this country,” he fumed. “So, you know, I just — I don’t know what kind of question that is.”

This political moment is offering folks a sense of relief and hope.

Credit: @JoyAnnReid / Twitter

Relief that someone is holding Trump to task. Hope that someone will do more than simply respond to his racism diplomatically.

O’Rourke is in El Paso offering his personal cell phone number to survivors of the shooting.

In a touching moment, we see O’Rourke asking survivor Sean Nixon, 20, if he’s been able to get some professional counseling or a therapist. “Talk to me,” O’Rourke tells a grief-stricken Nixon.

“It’s too much. El Paso was great. I don’t know why this dude was doing this to us,” Nixon cries out while weeping. 

O’Rourke gave him his personal cell phone number and a promise to connect him with therapists, and anything else he might need.

Credit: @ericbradner / Twitter

O’Rourke gives him a long hug and tells him, “I’m with you. I’m with you. This is my cell phone. It goes directly to me. There have been a number of people who have reached out to me–counselors, therapists who want to be helpful. If that additional help would be good for you, let me know and I’ll put you in touch.”

READ: Here’s How One 11-Year-Old El Paso Resident Is Trying to Bring Some Positive Light After A Horrible Mass Shooting

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Here Are The Executive Actions That President Biden Is Signing His First Day In Office

Things That Matter

Here Are The Executive Actions That President Biden Is Signing His First Day In Office

Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool / Getty Images

President Joe Biden has a lot of work ahead of him and he is hitting the ground running. On his first day in office, President Biden has a series of executive actions he is signing to reverse a lot of the damage created by the Trump administration. Here are some of the things President Biden will do with these actions.

The border wall on the southern border is done, y’all.

President Biden is saving the taxpayers billions of dollars by halting the construction of President Trump’s border wall. The border wall is one of former President Trump’s several unfulfilled promises at the expense of the taxpayers.

Despite his unrelenting campaign, Mexico never paid a dime to the wall. President Biden’s action to halt the border wall is a humanitarian and conservationist move that will save billions of tax dollars. According to estimates, there would be $3.3 billion in unused funds in the projects accounts.

The emotionally devastating Muslim ban will finally come to an end.

Former President Trump famously put an end to travel from predominantly Muslim countries. The order arbitrarily excluded a group of people based on their religion. The order that has kept families apart for years is finally coming to an end thanks to President Biden.

President Biden’s ation will bring families together and safeguards the rights of religious freedom. The ban has kept spouses separated, children apart from parents, and caused real damage. There is more to be done to make up for the stain on American history and the action is the first step.

The Keystone XL Pipeline is toast.

We all remember the terrifying scenes of Native people being brutalized by federal officials under Trump’s command. President Biden will make sure that the permit for the pipeline is revoked and put an end to a project that has been devastating the Native community. Activists have been fighting for years to get this done.

Undocumented people will have to be included in census counts.

President Biden is getting rid of the Trump administration’s terrible policy of ignoring undocumented people in the census. There have been several arguments by officials that the move would work to undermine certain states. The policy would take federal money away from states that did not support the former president and have high undocumented populations.

President Biden is going to preserve DACA.

More than 600,000 people benefit from the Obama-era program. Former President Trump waged a war against DACA and Dreamers for political points. Most Americans support DACA and a pathway to citizenship for DACA beneficiaries. With the new executive action, President Biden will instruct the federal government to restore the program to its fullest.

There is still a lawsuit the Biden administration will have to fight. The lawsuit challenging DACA’s legality was filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

In total, President Biden will sign 17 executive actions that will roll back several issues created by the previous administration.

“Today, hours after taking the oath of office, President-elect Biden will take a historic number of actions to deliver immediate relief for families across America that are struggling in the face of converging crises. He will sign a combination of executive orders, memoranda, directives, and letters to take initial steps to address these crises, including by changing the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing economic relief, tackling climate change, and advancing racial equity,” reads a statement from the Biden-Harris Transition Team. “President-elect Biden will take action — not just to reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration — but also to start moving our country forward. These actions are bold, begin the work of following through on President-elect Biden’s promises to the American people, and, importantly, fall within the constitutional role for the president.”

READ: President Joe Biden’s And Vice President Kamala Harris’ Inauguration Represented America

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Mexico’s AMLO Wants To Launch New Social Media Network For Mexicans After Twitter Banned Trump

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Mexico’s AMLO Wants To Launch New Social Media Network For Mexicans After Twitter Banned Trump

Hector Vivas / Getty Images

Love him or hate him, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has long called himself the voice of the people – and many Mexicans agree with him. That’s why his latest announcement against social media companies has many so worried.

In the wake of Twitter and Facebook’s (along with many other social media platforms) announcement that they would be restricting or banning Donald Trump from their platforms, the Mexican president expressed his contempt for the decisions. And his intention to create a Mexican social network that won’t be held to the standards from Silicon Valley.

Mexico’s AMLO moves to create a social media network for Mexicans outside of Silicon Valley’s control.

A week after his United States counterpart was kicked off Facebook and Twitter, President López Obrador floated the idea of creating a national social media network to avoid the possibility of Mexicans being censored.

Speaking at his daily news conference, AMLO instructed the National Council of Science and Technology (Conacyt) and other government departments to look at the possibility of creating a state-owned social media site that would guarantee freedom of speech in Mexico.

“We care about freedom a lot, it’s an issue that’s going to be addressed by us,” he told reporters. He also added that Facebook and Twitter have become “global institutions of censorship,” sounding a lot like the alt-right terrorists that stormed the U.S. Capitol.

“To guarantee freedom, for freedom, so there’s no censorship in Mexico. We want a country without censorship. Mexico must be a country of freedom. This is a commitment we have,” he told reporters.

AMLO deeply criticized the moves by Twitter and Facebook to ban Trump from their platforms.

Credit: Hector Vivas / Getty Images

AMLO – like Trump – is an avid user of social media to connect with his constituents. He’s also been known to spread falsehoods and boast about his achievements on the platforms – sound familiar?

So, it came as little surprise when he tore into social media companies for ‘censoring’ Donald Trump, saying that they have turned into “global institutions of censorship” and are carrying out a “holy inquisition.”

Nobody has the right to silence citizens even if their views are unpopular, López Obrador said. Even if the words used by Trump provoked a violent attack against his own government.

“Since they took these decisions [to suspend Trump], the Statue of Liberty has been turning green with anger because it doesn’t want to become an empty symbol,” he quipped.

So what could a Mexican social media network be called?

The president’s proposal to create a national social media network triggered chatter about what such a site would or should be called. One Twitter user suggested Facemex or Twitmex, apparently taking his inspiration from the state oil company Pemex.

The newspaper Milenio came up with three alternative names and logos for uniquely Mexican sites, suggesting that a Mexican version of Facebook could be called Facebookóatl (inspired by the Aztec feathered-serpent god Quetzalcóatl), Twitter could become Twitterlopochtli (a riff on the name of Aztec war, sun and human deity Huitzilopochtli) and Instagram could become Instagratlán (tlán, which in the Náhuatl language means place near an abundance of something – deer, for example, in the case of Mazatlán – is a common suffix in Mexican place names.)

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