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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The Trump Team Is Ramming Through Last Minute Immigration Rules That Will Have Serious Impacts On Migrants

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The Trump Team Is Ramming Through Last Minute Immigration Rules That Will Have Serious Impacts On Migrants

Johan ORDONEZ / Getty Images

In addition to telling his own team to have zero contact with the President-Elect’s transition team, Trump is now attempting to rush through more dangerous immigration policies.

Although most officials agree that there are few major changes the administration can achieve in two months, they admit that Trump could still wreak havoc on an incoming administration’s plans. From solidifying ‘safe third country’ agreements to finally enacting their rule against international students, there is still a lot of damage the Trump administration can impart on the migrant community.

Trump is rushing to put into place last minute changes to immigration policy.

With President-Elect Biden’s inauguration less than two months away, there is added urgency with the Trump Administration to ram through any last-minute rules that would further limit immigration.

The last minute push comes as little surprise as it’s very much inline with a years-long effort to expand policies that further limit immigrant’s rights – and also a concession that a new administration is incoming.

Like so many other immigration reforms, it’s believed that Trump’s longtime advisor Stephen Miller is behind the push. As lead immigration adviser and the architect of his hard-line immigration agenda, Miller is looking for any opportunity to tighten immigration rules and curtail the flow of migration to the United States.

Immigrant advocates have slammed Miller and the administration for their actions, arguing that the changes have betrayed the country’s posture of welcoming immigrants. 

Despite Trump’s denial, some see the last minute rush as a tacit admission that Biden won the election.

Although these last minute pushes are the same thing that happens in the twilight of every outgoing administration, this one is peculiar because Trump himself has conceded to admit he’s leaving office come January.

However, every administration wants to finish what they started and give it as much staying power as they possibly can.

It’s common for administrations to try to get pending items across the finish line before a transfer of power, but such moves have the potential of setting up more hurdles for Biden, who’s pledged to roll back Trump immigration policies, many of which have occurred through regulations that can be more arduous to reverse.

Though even immigration hawks admit that there is little that can really be accomplished within the next two months.

Some on the right who have failed Trump’s dangerous immigration policies say that there is always going to be a higher level of intensity when you’re running on borrowed time. They also admit that they have, in fact, been working with the Trump Administration on last minute changes. Chris Chmielenski, deputy director at NumbersUSA, told CNN that, “There has been constant communication between us and administration officials on what we still want done.”

“People are looking for stuff to do. People are asking, is there anything you think we could make progress on, anything you think needs to be fixed,” he said. “It’s nothing that’s going to make a difference within two months. People want to know if there are policy changes that can be made, but I think the general view is there is not a lot that can be done.”

The one area where Trump could make changes it by creating more so-called “safe third country” agreements.

Credit: Johan ORDONEZ / Getty Images

Although it’s unlikely the administration will be able to enact any major legislation, the president is attempting to further enact existing policies. One area where Trump’s team is looking to expand policy is in so-called ‘safe third country’ agreements.

The agreements — initiated last year — marked a significant shift in US asylum policy as migrants who may have legitimate claims for asylum are sent to other countries to make their cases. The U.S. already has entered into agreements with Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, but only the agreement with Guatemala was actually up and running.

And despite the region being devastated by Hurricanes Eta and Iota, they still want to see the agreements enacted.

There has also been a major push to finalize a rule that takes aim at international students, potentially limiting the length of time students and others can remain in the United States. In September, DHS proposed changes to visas for students, exchange visitors and foreign media. Since then, a “substantial amount of resources” have been put into finalizing the regulation, a DHS official told CNN, pointing out that there has been “tremendous opposition” to the rule.

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A Racist White Woman Was Caught On Video Telling Black Neighbor To “Act White” Because It’s A White Neighborhood

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A Racist White Woman Was Caught On Video Telling Black Neighbor To “Act White” Because It’s A White Neighborhood

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Surprise, surprise! Another racist white woman ahs been caught on camera harassing her Black neighbors. This time the target was a Black family who had been neighbors of the alleged racist for more than ten years.

It seems that every week we see new videos going viral involving white peoples being racists. In some of these incidents, these individuals have threatened or called the police on Black Americans doing seemingly routine or nonthreatening activities.

Such actions from white Americans have received heightened national scrutiny, particularly in the wake of the Black Lives Matter and anti-racism demonstrations that have taken place across the country and around the world in the past several months. Demonstrators have called for an end to systemic racism in U.S. society, and in particular for major police reforms and changes to the justice system.

But none of that seemed to matter to this woman who wanted her Black neighbors to start acting white.

A White woman is going viral after threatening her Black neighbor and telling her to “act white.”

The Jones family, who have lived in California’s Discovery Bay neighborhood for more than ten years, captured their neighbor asking, “Why don’t you act like a white person in a white neighborhood?”

According to the family, who spoke with local media, they haven’t previously had any problems with white neighbors. But that changed when a white neighbor confronted them on Monday, in an incident that was captured on video.

Gerritt Jones and his family have lived in the Bay Area neighborhood for 12 years and say they’ve never had any issues involving the woman they identify as Adana Dean, who lives across the street from them.

In surveillance video and cell phone video provided to ABC7 News by the Jones family, you can hear Adana say “You know what? You guys are acting like Black people and you should act like white people.”

She goes on to say in another clip “You’re a Black person in a white neighborhood and you’re acting like one why don’t you act like a white person in a white neighborhood?”

“Unfortunately that’s the reality of being black in America,” says Gerritt.

The incident made headlines and got the attention of the country sheriff.

Adana had threatened the family with her racist words but was also holding a stun gun when she confronted the family. As a result, the Contra Costa County Sheriff did respond to the incident and spoke to both parties, although no charges were filed.

“The Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff takes these types of acts seriously. Deputy sheriffs responded to the home yesterday and contacted both parties involved,” Jimmy Lee, director of public affairs at the sheriff’s office, said in a statement.

Although deputies determined that no crime had been committed, a report was taken to document the interaction between the two neighbors, as the original complaint was in reference to a neighbor dispute due to an off-leash dog,” Lee said.

Unfortunately, incidents like this one are far too common across the country.

“It don’t matter if you grew up in a gated community your whole life,” Gerritt Jones, another family member, told KNTV. “It’s bound to happen. It’s going to happen. And as African Americans, unfortunately, we have to prepare our children on how to deal with this.”

“It was just very angering to see that come to our front door,” Jariell Jones, another family member added. She said her family has always gone out of their way to “be extra nice, say ‘yes, ma’am, yes, sir,’ which I feel is sick that we even have to feel that way.”

Jones added, “But even though we were trying to be good Black people in their good white neighborhood, they still treated us this way.”

However, the incident has empowered the family to be who they are. “We’re going to act Black in our white neighborhood,” Jones added.

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