Things That Matter

A Colorado Political Committee Apologizes After Mailer Was Called Racist For Changing Latinas’ Names

A political committee has apologized after mailing out an attack ad against two Latinas who have denounced the ad as racist. After Obama’s education secretary, Arne Duncan, endorsed Alexis Menocal Harrigan, Diana Romero Campbell and Tony Curcio in the race to claim a seat in the Denver School Board, independent political committee, Students Deserve Better, sent mailers calling the three “The School Shutdown Squad.”

The mailers depicted white-washed black-and-white photos of the candidates, and shorted Menocal Harrigan and Romero Campbell’s names to “Alexis Harrigan” and “Diana Campbell.” In a joint statement, the two expressed their outrage over the erasure of their Latina identities coupled with a misrepresentation of their stance on school closure.

At first, Students Deserve Better told local papers that the women’s outrage was just an attempt “to distract” the voters from “real issues.”

“Featured-Image Article-img.” Digital Image. Chalkbeat. 21 October 2019.

“When [the Denver Classroom Teachers Association] whitens candidates’ faces and puts our names — or what they have decided our names are — next to blatant lies and misrepresentations, they are lacking the very integrity we hope our students are learning,” Menocal Harrigan and Romero Campbell told Chalkbeat in a joint statement. 

Menocal Harrigan said the erasure is also offensive to the 93,000 Latino students Denver serves.

“Untitled.” Digital Image. Chalkbeat. 21 October 2019.

Romero Campbell called the mailer “an obvious personal attack” on her ancestry. “When you take away my parents’ name that is so much part of my identity — Menocal — you are taking away the lived experience of my parents and the generations before me who came in search of a better education,”  she said

Later, 18 officials of color joined together to issue a statement calling the attack “painful” and a perfect example of structural racism.

Credit: Julie Gonzales / Facebook

Senator Julie Gonzales issued a statement signed by fellow state Senators Robert Rodriguez and Dominick Moreno, state Representatives Alex Valdez, Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, and James Coleman, school board members Cobián and Lisa Flores, and Denver City Council members Jamie Torres, Amanda Sandoval, and Candi CdeBaca. All officials of color called it “painful” to witness the erasure of Latinidad for two candidates because it illustrates the additional challenges candidates of color experience. “We have each faced tough races and withstood critiques of our policies and we have each navigated the additional challenges of running for public office as candidates of color,” the statement said.

Even Romero Campbell’s own opponent stood by her, saying, “Diana is right to be offended by this bizarre and sloppy mail piece. I do not need or want any independent expenditure committee spending money on my behalf.”

Alexis Menocal Harrigan is proud to be a first-generation American. 

Untitled. Digital Image. Alexis for DPS. 21 October 2019.

Immigrant support is one of her key policies, and she plans to bring sanctuary status to the table for Denver public schools. She also wants to ensure students’ status and privacy is protected so that immigrant families feel safe to enroll in Free and Reduced Meal Applications once again.

Meanwhile, Romero Campbell’s campaign is built on dismantling systemic injustices within the district.

Untitled. Digital Image. Diana for DPS. 21 October 2019.

The opportunity gap for students is an inheritance of structural racism and injustices within the system. She’s ready to “name and call-out the racial, economic, and social disparities” that oppress students throughout the district. Her campaign page also lists mental health support as a top priority to ensure a “warm and welcoming” learning environment, “given today’s national climate.” Romero Campbell is a proud second-generation American.

Finally, Students Deserve Better issued an official apology.

Untitled. Digital Image. Diana for DPS. 21 October 2019.

Students Deserve Better issued a statement that took full responsibility for the pain and outrage the mailer caused for communities of color. It said it was never their intention to misrepresent the candidates, and issued a direct apology to Alexis Menocal Harrigan and Diana Romero Campbell. It also took the opportunity to distance the error from its donors, the Denver Classroom Teachers Association and the Colorado Education Association.

The candidates were under attack for their stances on charter schools and school closure.

Untitled. Digital Image. Alexis for DPS. 21 October 2019.

In the world of public education, charter schools have long been a contentious issue of debate. Charter schools are publicly funded but are able to run independently from public school curriculums. Progressive reformers have backed Romero Campbell, Menocal Harrigan, and Curcio as the candidates who will ensure equitable access to education for all students, tailored to their specific needs. Meanwhile, the mailers claim that the three are “The School Shutdown Squad,” claiming they want to shut down public schools. In fact, they’ve simply said that school closure will always remain a last resort.

READ: A Viciously Racist Video Has Gone Viral In Which Two Girls Call For The Return Of Slavery And The KKK

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An Abuelo Got A Hurtful Note From Bad Neighbors About His Decorations And Latino Twitter Came Into Comfort Him

Things That Matter

An Abuelo Got A Hurtful Note From Bad Neighbors About His Decorations And Latino Twitter Came Into Comfort Him

@goldenstef / Twitter

We are rarely more defensive than we are for our abuelos. The viejitos have always been there for us and seeing them treated unkindly is just heartbreaking. That is what one Twitter user experienced after her abuelo got a wretched note about his decorations outside his home.

This is the horrid letter left for @goldenstef’s abuelo by undesirable neighbors.

The letter, which is filled with misspelled words, calls the abuelo’s house an example of a “low class Mexican family.” The letter was written anonymously by neighbors and delivered to the abuelo in an attempt to shame him into changing his decorations. One of the most bizarre moments in the letter is when the angry author criticized the homeowner for having too many American flags claiming he isn’t patriotic and can’t fool the neighbors. Like, which one is it people?

The Twitter user followed up with photos of the house to show the decorations their abuelo has out front.

People flooded the Twitter post with comments supporting and sending love to the abuelo. Fellow Latinos are ready to stand with the abuelo and some just want the names of the people behind the letter so they can talk to them. Some people are stunned at how far the author was willing to go out of their way to be mean to an old man who just wants to decorate his home and front yard.

Latino Twitter wants to come together to let the abuelo know that his decorations are adorbs.

We need to come together to give her abuelo all of the wonderful decoration we love. Let’s turn his house and front yard into a showcase of all of the greatness that Latin America has to offer.

People are falling in love with this viejitos yard.

Honestly, this is a great yard. Who wouldn’t want a yard like this? This yard is original and adorable and worth all of the praise that we can muster. Thank you to people like this for making their yards something unique and worth seeing.

@goldenstef wants everyone to know just how much they appreciate the sweet messages about their abuelo’s yard.

It costs nothing to be kind. It is even better when you can be kind about something someone clearly cares so much about. Who cares if someone decorates their lawn a little too much. At least they are having fun with their lives and that is something we all need more of right now.

READ: Latinas Are Sharing Their Most Treasured Memories Of Their Abuelos And It’s Exactly What We Needed This Month

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“Sister, Sister” Actress Tia Mowry Broke Down In Tears Describing A Racist Incident She Experienced As A Teen

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“Sister, Sister” Actress Tia Mowry Broke Down In Tears Describing A Racist Incident She Experienced As A Teen

CBS Television Distribution

Back in the 90s, Tia and Tamera Mowry were experiencing the height of their fame while on the hit show “Sister, Sister.” The series which followed Tia and Tamera as Tia Landry and Tamera Campbell saw two actors play the part of two identical twins separated at birth and then accidentally reunited in their teens. It won several Emmys and Kids’ Choice Awards and cemented itself as essential Black TV. As a result, the twin sisters scored roles on other series, movies, and all kinds of media attention. And not for a lack of racist incidents that attempted to hold them back

Recently, Tia opened up about her experience as a Black teen actor in the 90s and shared a story that clearly still hurts her heart.

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Tia shared that she and her sister were once rejected from appearing in a teen magazine cover because of their skin color.

Speaking about the incident, Tia recalled how she’d been subjected to racism when she was a teen on the show and attempting to be on the cover of a popular magazine at the time.

“It was around Sister, Sister days. The show was extremely popular. We were beating — like in the ratings — Friends around that time,” Tia said. “So, my sister and I wanted to be on the cover of this very popular magazine at the time — it was a teenage magazine. We were told that we couldn’t be on the cover of the magazine because we were Black and we would not sell.”

The actress teared up as she went onto recall that “Here I am as an adult and, wow, it still affects me, how someone could demean your value because of the color of your skin,” she said. “I will never forget that. I wish I would have spoken up. I wish I would have said something then. I wish I would have had the courage to speak out and say that isn’t right.”

Years later Tia says she has used that moment to drive her in raising her two children.

Tia (who is a mother to Cree, 9, and Cairo, 2) says that “to this day, I’m always telling my beautiful brown-skinned girl that she is beautiful.”

“What I’ve done with my children is [reading] books,” she explained to People. “You can read incredible books to your children about Rosa Parks, about Martin Luther King Jr. — pivotal people that had a huge impact within the movement.”

“The other thing is through television, especially during this time,” she went onto explain. “I was just having my children watch a whole bunch of [things] that starred a lot of African American actors, and one of them is [TheWiz. You had Michael Jackson, Diana Ross. It was just such a great story. And my son … he loved it, [and] it’s important.”

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