Things That Matter

These Parents Dropped Off Their Daughter At Cheer Practice To Go Back-To-School Shopping, Now Their Three Kids Are Orphans After The El Paso Shooting

Alleged white supremacist Patrick Crusius drove hours to get to the border town of El Paso, Texas, where he opened fire at a Walmart and killed 22 people. Two of his victims were newlyweds Jordan and Andre Anchondo. The two had just dropped off their daughter, Skylar Grace, off at cheerleading practice and went to Walmart with their two-month-old son, Paul, to buy school supplies. 

Jordan used her body to shield her son, Paul, who was grazed by a bullet, but survived. As his mother’s body fell on top of him, he broke two fingers. 

Jordan’s sister knows that baby Paul “pretty much lived because she gave her life.”

Credit: Andre Anchondo / Facebook

CBS News met with Jordan’s sister, Leta Jamrowski, in the waiting room at the University Medical Center of El Paso. She was waiting for her baby nephew, Paul, to receive treatment for his broken fingers. “From the baby’s injuries, they said that more than likely my sister was trying to shield him,” she told CBS. “So when she got shot she was holding him and she fell on him, so that’s why he broke some of his bones. So he pretty much lived because she gave her life.”

The day after Jordan died, her new husband, Andre, was pronounced dead.

Credit: Tito Anchondo / Facebook

The family had been left in an agonizing wait to find out if Andre would survive–if their three children would be orphaned or not. At 6:33 p.m., Andre’s brother, Tito, wrote on Facebook, “It’s official……he’s gone.”

A survivor of the shooting told Tito that Andre tried to grab the gun away from the shooter.

Credit: Jordan Jamrowski / Facebook

Jordan was holding Paul. The witness said that Andre essentially tried to fight off the shooter, but was met with a hail of bullets.

As Andre’s father mourns the loss of his son, he shared this poster his son made when he was a child, which he keeps on his wall to this day.

Credit: @CBS11Andrea / Twitter

The poster, which Andre’s dad has preserved framed, reads, “A different kind of hero…My dad.” Paul will not make those memories of cooking “delicious food” and seeing his father volunteer at his school. Still, Paul will always know that his papa was “a different kind of hero.” It’s in the family blood, shed far too soon.

The two had just celebrated their one year wedding anniversary three days earlier.

Credit: Andre Anchondo / Facebook

Andre’s Facebook bio reads “Proud husband and Father. July 30 2018 ????????????God is my savior. ???????? born and raised.????️‍♂️♋” He had just started his own business, “Andre House of Granite and Stone,” and the day before asked for his friends and family to give his business page a five star rating on Facebook. They didn’t imagine this future for themselves. They didn’t plan to leave three children behind.

Their oldest child, Skylar Rose, is about to turn six years old.

Credit: Jordan Jamrowski / Facebook

You can help their family with funeral expenses and the expenses of three young, traumatized children who have lost all the stability and financial security in their lives by donating to a GoFundMe. Andre’s brother, Tito, shared that he has “been getting so many messages of people wanting to help and i’m writing this post for those that want to help and all the platforms that are available.”

Share the GoFundMe link with your friends and family if you can’t make a contribution yourself. 

 So far, a total of $47,000 has been raised for their three orphaned children.

Credit: @KateBieri / Twitter

The GoFundMe comments alone are heartbreaking: 

“He was a fine man killed by hatred originating from the very top of our country,” reads one comment on GoFundMe.

“My heart is so heavy for all of the victims, and especially for these 3 beautiful children that lost both of their parents in the same day. Rest In Power, Jordan and Andre,” reads another comment.

“Deeply saddened of this tragic event. I’ve known Andre since middle school and he was always the most funniest person, always full of life and love,” reads another comment on GoFundMe. “My dearest condolences to him and his wife, Jordan. May they rest easy as two beautiful angels in the sky watching over their three beautiful children. Prayers for the Anchondo and Jamrowski family.”

You can also donate physical items like diapers, blankets, clothes, and school supplies if you’re local to El Paso.

Credit: @CherneyAmharaTV / Twitter

They will be accepting donations at 120 N. Piedras Mon-Fri 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. No amount of school supplies will repair the tragedy and loss that this family experienced, simply trying to buy school supplies for their kids, but every bit will help.

READ: As El Paso Grieves Their Loss, Here Is Everything We Know About The Victims Of The El Paso Massacre, Which Were Mostly Latino

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Texas High Schoolers Conducted a Mock ‘Slave Auction’ Of Black Students Over Snapchat

Things That Matter

Texas High Schoolers Conducted a Mock ‘Slave Auction’ Of Black Students Over Snapchat

Photo via Getty Images

Students at a high school in Aledo, Texas are being disciplined after the administration discovered they held a mock slave auction on Snapchat where they “traded” Black students.

Screenshots of the Snapchat group show that these unnamed students “bid” on students of color, ranging anywhere from $1 to $100.

One student in particular was priced at $1 because his hair was “bad”. The screenshot also shows that the group chat’s name changed regularly. The group’s name started as “Slave Trade” then changed to “N—-r Farm”, and finally to “N—– Auction”.

Upon learning of the mock slave auction, the Daniel Ninth Grade Campus’s principal wrote a note to parents explaining the situation. Principal Carolyn Ansley called the mock slave auction “an incident of cyberbullying and harassment” which “led to conversations about how inappropriate and hurtful language can have a profound and lasting impact” on people.

Many people felt that the school principal downplayed the gravity of the mock slave auction. Not once did she mention the word racism in the letter that she sent out to parents.

“Calling it cyberbullying rather than calling it racism… that is the piece that really gets under my skin,” said Mark Grubbs, father to three former Aledo ISD students, to NBC DFW. But Grubbs, along with many other Aledo parents and community members, say that the incident didn’t surprise them.

In fact, Grubbs said he had to take his children out of the Aledo ISD school system because of how much racist harassment his children were facing. “A lot of racism,” he said of his son’s experience at the school. “My son being called out of his name and what not and it got to the point he didn’t mind fighting and that didn’t sit right with me and my wife. My son was never a fighter.”

After the backlash to the initial statement, Superintendent Susan Bohn finally released a statement condemning the racism and “hatred” of the mock slave auction.

“There is no room for racism or hatred in the Aledo ISD, period,’ Bohn wrote. “Using inappropriate, offensive and racially charged language and conduct is completely unacceptable and is prohibited by district policy.”

The problem with “policies” like these is they fail to target the issue of racism at the root. Hate speech may be “prohibited”, but if a child is displaying racist behavior for whatever reason, the bigger problem is the way that they have been educated and indoctrinated. Slave auctions have no place in 2021.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Texas Republicans Are Recruiting An ‘Army’ of Poll-Watchers To Go Into Black and Brown Precincts To ‘Fight Voter Fraud’

Things That Matter

Texas Republicans Are Recruiting An ‘Army’ of Poll-Watchers To Go Into Black and Brown Precincts To ‘Fight Voter Fraud’

Photo via Getty Images

The GOP’S voter-suppression tactics in Georgia have been gripping the nation. But now, the media is also turning its attention to other voter-suppression tactics in the rest of the country. Now, Texas Republicans are taking the heat.

According to Common Cause Texas, Texas Republicans are planning on recruiting thousands of volunteers create an “election integrity brigade”. They want the “brigade” to go into Black and brown neighborhoods in Houston and “fight voter fraud”.

A Texas GOP presentation was leaked that outlined plans to send an “army” of poll-watchers to Black and brown precincts.

“I’m trying to encourage and recruit, as a precinct chair, about 30 people in my precinct who will have the confidence and courage to come down in here…,” said an unnamed GOP official, pointing to majority non-white urban areas, “…in these areas where we really need poll-workers. Because this is where the problem is occuring.”

“So me finding poll-watchers out here, it helps, but it’s a pretty safe precinct”. He said this while pointing to majority-white Houston neighborhoods.

The video inspired outrage among people who saw these tactics as blatant attempts to suppress the voting rights of POC.

“The impetus for releasing [the video] right now is there are some bills in the legislature that seek to empower poll watchers in some really scary ways,” said executive director of Common Cause Texas, Anthony Gutierrez, to NBC News. “And also at the same time, take away the power of the presiding judge at the poll site from being able to remove a disruptive poll watcher.”

“It’s very clear that we’re talking about recruiting people from the predominantly Anglo parts of town to go to Black and Brown neighborhoods,” said Gutierrez to The Washington Post.

“This is a role that’s supposed to do nothing but stand at a poll site and observe,” he added. Why is he suggesting someone needs to be ‘courageous’?”

This “election integrity brigade” comes on the heels of a problematic election bill the Texas Senate just passed.

According to NBC News, the bill “bans overnight early voting and drive-thru early voting” and also “empowers partisan poll watchers.”

“It’s part of the intimidation, the confusion, the antics that (the Republican Party) has engaged in for so many generations that culminated in President Trump asking people to overturn the election,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo to CNN.

“What they’re doing is filing bills that are essentially a poll tax that weaponize the election system against our own voters,” she continued. “And what they’re proposing is absolutely tragic and reminiscent of the worst of what we’ve seen in Texas and across the South since Reconstruction.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com