Things That Matter

Border Patrol Found $4 Million On An Abandoned Boat In Puerto Rico And People Want It Used For The Migrant Crisis

While Mexico was beating the U.S. in soccer and Brazil was taking home a Copa América trophy Sunday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents were chasing a boat off the coast of Puerto Rico. Authorities noticed that the boat was traveling without any lights on, and they found that suspicious enough to tail. The boat was traveling from Puerto Rico to the US Virgin Islands.

Then, the boat made a sudden turn back towards the east coast of Puerto Rico, Fajardo. The boat docked near Rio Fajardo, and authorities watched, in the dark, several people unloading bags. Border Patrol decided to approach the vessel, and as they closed in, the unidentified people fled the boat.

They left behind $3.7 million in cash.

Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Customs and Border Protection released a statement on Monday detailing the events of the seizure, which is now in the DEA’s authority. “We remain committed to working with other federal and local law enforcement partners to detect and deter smuggling attempts throughout the Caribbean,” stated Johnny Morales, Director, Air and Marine Operations for the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch. 

The agents had to call for a Marine Patrol Aircraft to help with the chase.

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The aircraft helped to maintain surveillance of the suspect vessel. The currency was seized under failure to declare and bulk cash smuggling laws. The suspects are still at large.

A loaded Taurus .40 caliber pistol and 63 rounds of ammunition were also found.

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As miraculous as it seems to stumble upon $3,700,000 U.S. dollars, clearly something shady was going on here. Given the DEA’s current involvement, it seems the U.S. government suspects a drug operation.

That said, most folks don’t trust that it was just $3.7 million found.

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Americans’ trust in law enforcement is weak. Many folks don’t trust that the agents wouldn’t skim some money off the top of what was found. Ultimately, only the suspects really know how much money was abandoned on deck.

In fact, there are quite a few conspiracy theories floating around already.

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Everyone has a different mathematical calculation for corruption. Some folks suspect police would skim the top 20 percent while others think they’d only leave 10 percent into federal government hands. We’re sure someone has dedicated their life’s work to this calculation. DM us.

Since the fortune has been found, calls for Puerto Rican aid have resurfaced.

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We say resurfaced as if Puerto Rico hasn’t been screaming for help for years now. The truth is that this feels like another opportunity to give back to Puerto Rico what it has lost, both in infrastructure and in lives as a result of government negligence.

The student loan debt crisis in America is so real that it’s hard not to find someone talking about their debt.

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You better believe that an old white man responded to her comment telling her off for not working for her money. Politics. It’s like everyone gets to pretend that nothing has changed in this country, including the rise in student tuition and decline in high-paying jobs. We digress, but we also see you.

Some of us are taking this moment to talk about the efficiency of border walls.

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They’re just not efficient. Militarizing borders isn’t the source of solution to end drug crimes or the gang wars that are causing Central American migrants to flee their homes. In this case, Border Patrol likely destabilized a drug cartel. That’s a job we can give a round of applause for.

Real talk, most of us are just wondering what we would do with $4 million if we found it.

@GeniusJester / Twitter

Would you turn it in? Pay off your student loan debts first? Buy your padres a nice casita? Send it all to the border to buy kids some freaking soap and toothpaste? 

If you have a little extra cash to spare, consider donating to the Trans Latina Coalition, which is working on creating safer, more dignified conditions for trans Latinas in immigrant detention centers. 

READ: Sickening Screenshots Show Border Patrol Agents Laughing About Migrant Deaths

Could The Cultivation Of Ethnic And Racial Minority Communities Yield Positive Outcomes For People Within Those Communities?

Things That Matter

Could The Cultivation Of Ethnic And Racial Minority Communities Yield Positive Outcomes For People Within Those Communities?

@fairhousing / Twitter

The human race is no stranger to segregation. In the United States, Jim Crow laws and “separate but equal” doctrine kept people racially separated for decades. In Germany, there were the Nuremberg Laws. In South Africa, Apartheid. Today, segregation in our country takes a different form—no longer supported by law, it is pervasive yet subtle, an intersectional issue rooted in gender, race, and socioeconomic status. While legally dividing people based on their differences is indisputably wrong, a complex question emerges: Could the cultivation of ethnic, religious, and racial minority communities actually yield positive outcomes for the people within those communities? Many signs point to yes.

On college campuses, this question underscores the phenomenon of “affinity housing”—spaces where minority students can live alongside peers who share important aspects of their identities.

credit: vassar.edu

The debate around affinity housing has spanned the past 50 years, beginning with active calls for change from students at numerous institutions in 1969 (Williams College, Vassar College, and Wesleyan University, to name a few). At Williams College, the discussion began when members of the Williams Afro-American Society occupied Hopkins Hall until the school president responded to a series of requests, including the development of a residence hall specifically for Black students. While that demand wasn’t met at the time—leading to a reemergence of the issue last year—students at Vassar and Wesleyan were more successful, resulting in Wesleyan’s “Malcolm X House” and Vassar’s “Kendrick House”—dorms specifically designated to Black students, which still exist today.

Now, in 2019, a wide number of colleges and universities offer affinity housing for a highly diverse spectrum of students, including women of color, Asians and Asian-Americans, Latinx populations, and LGBTQ groups. Proponents of affinity housing argue that these communal residences provide minority students with a sense of safety and security, especially at institutions with largely white student bodies. However, many people believe that affinity housing hearkens back to a darker epoch of American history, reviving segregationist tendencies that are fundamentally harmful to our progress as a society. Without a doubt, our country’s fraught past has definitely made the legal aspects of affinity housing a bit sticky.

According to the federal Fair Housing Act, it is illegal to discriminate against tenants based on their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and family status. 

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So, if a university offers affinity housing for Black students, it could get in trouble if white or Asian students were explicitly prohibited from living there. To avoid this, colleges provide students with the choice to reside in these spaces, using careful language to define their role on campus—for example, California State University’s website describes its Halisi Scholars Living Learning Community as having been “designed to enhance the residential experience for students who are a part of or interested in issues regarding the Black community.” While it focuses on fostering a sense of community for Black students, the Halisi Scholars LLC is available to any student invested in issues of Black culture. Thus, as long as the option to join an affinity housing residence is inclusive to all, there is nothing illegal about it.

Although it can make affinity housing tricky to navigate, the Fair Housing Act protects folks all over the country. In certain states and cities, the protections expand even further to include factors like age, sexual orientation, marital status, gender, and citizenship status. Given the diversity of the U.S. population, these measures are absolutely essential to maintaining liberty and preserving our rights; yet history reveals that in spite of this legislation, marginalized communities are still most affected by housing discrimination, which perhaps points to affinity housing as a productive response to a long and unsavory trend.

Netflix’s “Dear White People” touches on the topic of affinity housing, illustrating the polemic nature of this issue through its characters’ divergent opinions. 

credit: Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images

While some characters, like Coco Conners—a Black economics student who serves as treasurer for Winchester University’s Coalition of Racial Equality—do not support the new Armstrong-Parker dorm (a residence hall for students of color), several other characters find community there. Yvette Lee Bowser, executive producer of the series, describes this point in the show as a “renaissance” for the predominantly white, fictional Ivy League school.

“Everyone wants to have a sense of community, no matter what their cultural background is,” says Bowser. “That’s really what Armstrong-Parker is about—a built-in sense of community.” As a woman of color, Bowser attended Stanford University, which also offers affinity housing. She reiterates that the housing assignments at Winchester are not meant to segregate, but to do the very opposite: the Amstrong-Parker dorm is designed to maintain connectivity within students’ own, preexistent communities. “You don’t choose to go to a predominantly white institution only to be with black people,” she says. “You want the diverse experience, but you also want to feel those creature comforts and culture comforts.”

Nicky Jam And Daddy Yankee Allegedly Had To Flee Puerto Rico After Death Threats

Entertainment

Nicky Jam And Daddy Yankee Allegedly Had To Flee Puerto Rico After Death Threats

nickyjampr / Instagram

Nicky Jam just confessed to a wide range of shocking statements while on a popular talk show in Spain. The reggaetonero sat down with El Hormiguero to promote his newly released album, Intimo, and Netflix’s “Nicky Jam: El Ganador,” the dramatized retelling of Nicky Jam’s life story, and the launch of reggaeton itself. Those who have seen “El Ganador” know about the artist’s previous drug addiction, but nobody knew about the death threats.

The 38-year-old Grammy winner told El Hormiguero host Pablo Motos that Daddy Yankee and he had to flee Puerto Rico because of death threats. 

Los Cangris only returned to Puerto Rico when the person threatening them died in a street fight.

Credit: @AudienciaSerie1 / Twitter

Nicky Jam and Daddy Yankee first rose to fame as the Los Cangris duo. During that time, they were still in dangerous neighborhoods. Nicky Jam recalls how a music business parter to Los Cangris was murdered, which prompted a slew of threats. Both Yankee and Nicky Jam received a death threat, which Nicky Jam says is the reason they fled to New York City. “Let’s go back and confront that guy who wants to kill us and let’s make music,” Nicky told Yankee. “Porque es que nosotros lo que hacemos es música!”

According to The Dial, that person who continued to threaten the duo ended up dying in a separate street brawl, which effectively ended Nicky Jam and Daddy Yankee’s bar from the island.

Though Nicky Jam made sure his audience knew that Puerto Rico produces “high society” people like Ricky Martin and Marc Anthony.

Credit: @nickyjampr / Instagram

No way Nicky Jam was going to let people think his candid story is a blanket statement on his island. “Don’t go thinking that we’re all from the hood,” Nicky jam assured his audience. “There are Puerto Ricans of high society who do not speak like me…,” he joked. He went onto list Luis Fonsi, Ricky Martin and Marc Anthony as “normal Puerto Ricans.” No te preocupes, Nicky Jam, not even a man armed with paper towels could tarnish the hard-working, resilient and brilliant nature of Boricuas. For good measure, he encouraged the audience to visit Puerto Rico, saying “Puerto Rico is a beautiful country… you can go and enjoy the beaches.”

He acknowledged that the graphic depiction of his childhood in “El Ganador” and subsequent drug abuse was intentional.

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He told Motos that he knew he could have presented a rosy picture of his teenage years, but that it would accomplish nothing for the young people watching. “I wanted them to see that there are two roads,” he said. “If you take the negative, all the bad things that happened to me will happen to you.” He was candid about his drug addiction and how it overtook his family. He told the audience that even his doctor told him that “tienes dos opciones: morirte o quitarte,” you have two options, kill yourself or get clean. He told the cheering crowd that he’s been clean of drugs and alcohol for ten years, “gracias a Dios.”

Nicky Jam said that his sobriety prompted both his parents to get clean as well.

Credit: @nickyjampr / Instagram

I was the one who broke the chains and the whole family got ready,” he said. More than that, he talked about how his mother was a huge driver of his success, but not for the reasons you’d expect. Nick Rivera Caminero was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts to a Dominican mother and Puerto Rican father. When he was ten years old, they moved to Barrio Obrero in Puerto Rico. As Nicky Jam’s addiction progressed to 39 pills a day of Percocet mixed with other drugs, his relationship with his parents disintegrated. By the time he was 30 years old, he didn’t know how to find his mother, and hoped that fame might bring her to him. One day, he said, “I went to do a show in the Dominican Republic and my bodyguard told me that there was a lady outside saying she was my mother.” Both his parents were struggling with their own addictions, and, reunited, he helped them gain sobriety.

Needless to say, the Internet is deeply emotionally shaken.

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“El Ganador” is no longer available on Netflix, though it’s finally been made available to Univision subscribers. You can listen to his new album “Intimo,” streaming worldwide, which was just released to patient fans on Nov. 1. We’re glad you made it out okay, Nicky Jam. Felicidades.

READ: Watch These Celebs And Dancers Take Nicky Jam And J Balvin’s ‘X Challenge’