Things That Matter

The El Paso Walmart Where A White Nationalist Killed 22 People Reopens With #ElPasoStrong Banner

Amid a class action lawsuit over safety, Walmart has hired off-duty officers to man its El Paso store during today’s quiet reopening, over three months since the deadly, racist mass shooting. On August 3, 2019, a white supremacist drove ten hours from Dallas, Texas, to the Cielo Vista shopping center, armed to kill as many Mexicans and Mexican-Americans as possible. That day, more than 3,000 people were in the El Paso Walmart, and 22 died within the few minutes the shooter opened fire. 

A security guard was scheduled to be there that fateful day but didn’t show. Walmart is currently the defendant in a class-action lawsuit, which is not seeking monetary damages but rather answers as to why Walmart didn’t adequately protect its customers.

The El Paso Walmart reopened its doors but not without an #ElPasoStrong banner greeting customers.

Before its scheduled opening at 9 a.m., employees gathered for the first time since the shooting for an employee meeting. Many wore “El Paso Strong” pins on their nametags. This time, armed off-duty police officers will be standing by, comforting many and alarming others. “There was a time that Walmart hired off-duty officers and for some time prior (to) August 3rd that ceased,” El Paso police spokesman Enrique Carrillo, told The Daily Mail in an email. 

The officers will be paid $50 per hour, roughly double their hourly wage.

Credit: @anjelia3464 / Twitter

Walmart has significantly invested in its security measures at all Walmart stores. “We typically do not share our security measures publicly because it could make them less effective,” Walmart spokeswoman Delia Garcia told the outlet, “But they may include hiring additional security, adding cameras in-store and using ‘lot cops’ in the parking lot. We will continue our long-standing practice of regularly evaluating our staffing, training, procedures, and technology which are designed to provide a safe working and shopping experience.”

If the government won’t implement gun reform, does the burden of protecting shoppers now lie in corporations?

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The National Rifle Association (NRA) is one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the United States, and the single largest roadblock to gun reform in America. The NRA donates to politicians who then ensure its interests are protected. The class action against Walmart presents a morose shift in the political landscape. It presumes that mentally ill people armed with assault-style weapons are something businesses should expect to protect their customers from. 

While it’s legally sound for Walmart to hire the off-duty officers to protect itself from liability, where is the burden on the police department? If the United States won’t pass gun reform measures, should it raise taxes instead to militarize the police and station them at every church, synagogue, movie theater and chain store? Will corporations band together to lobby the government, founded in capitalism, to take this undue burden off its back?

One shopper reflects the sentiment of many heading to Walmart today: “We aren’t letting this beat us.”

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Journalist Keenan Willard met Emma Ferguson in the parking lot of the Walmart. She stopped to smile for a photo and tell him what her shopping experience means to her. “It’s about standing up to our fear. We aren’t letting this beat us.” Willard quoted her in a tweet.

The City of El Paso began removing the makeshift memorial behind Walmart earlier this week to prepare for its reopening.

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Journalist and El Paso resident Andra Litton tweeted a photo of the makeshift memorial behind Walmart the evening before the City of El Paso started removing the items, along with the fencing, “making it visible from I-10 for the first time since the Aug 3 shooting,” she tweeted. “It still hurts. #ElPasoStrong”

The items have been moved to Ponder Park, across the street from Walmart.

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Next to the memorial are “Temporary Memorial Site” signs in both Spanish and English. They read, “The City of El Paso invites the public to honor the victims of the August 3, 2019 tragedy at the Temporary Memorial at Ponder Park. The public may leave memorial items at the site. The public is encouraged to tie an orange ribbon in remembrance of those lost on August 3, 2019.” Along the fence, traditional Mexican sombreros hang next to a green star that says, “God cares!” “Pray for El Paso” and “#FronteraStrong,” along with Día de Muertos images of Frida Kahlo pepper the memorial.

A permanent memorial is under construction in the Walmart parking lot.

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The ‘Grand Candela’ will be 30 feet tall, and projected to be unveiled by the end of the year. A month after the El Paso shooting, Walmart announced its plan to phase out certain types of ammunition from its stores, reducing its market share of ammunition from 20 percent to less than 10 percent. 

Still, some feel Walmart’s reopening, with the memorial or not, is a “slap in the face” to the victims. “It’s disrespectful to the people who died in the shooting,” college student Brandon Flores, 19, told CNN. “Anyone would be able to walk over the place where their bodies were laying and it would be just like nothing happened.”

READ: El Paso Artists Joined Together To Commemorate El Paso Gun Violence Victims With A Mural That Highlights Community Strength

These Companies Are Hiring People To Offset The Loss of Income During The Various COVID-19 Lockdowns

Things That Matter

These Companies Are Hiring People To Offset The Loss of Income During The Various COVID-19 Lockdowns

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There are various companies, both chains and local, that are hiring up extra people for their workforces. As the world sees more and more countries and cities go on lockdown, delivery companies, grocery stores, and restaurants are needing to hire more people to meet the growing demand. Here are some of the companies looking to hire people to wait out the COVID-19 pandemic that is currently sweeping the country.

Amazon is looking to bring in thousands of new employees across its operations.

Amazon wants to hire 100,000 more people to work in their warehouses, distribution centers, and Whole Foods grocery stores. According to a statement by Jeff Bezos, Amazon is hoping to be the place people who have recently lost their jobs can find temporary work as the world works to combat COVID-19. You can apply to Amazon here.

Dollar General is staying open to serve their customers throughout the crisis.

Dollar General is also stepping up to give those who recently lost their jobs a chance to generate some income. The company needs to hire people for its distribution center, private fleet networks, and store associates across the country. You can apply for jobs with Dollar General by clicking here.

Dollar Tree and Family Dollar are looking to hire people to ease economic constrictions from job lay offs.

The company currently has 25,000 positions across the country that need to be filled. The two chains, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar, are hoping to fill the positions as soon as possible to offer a lifeline to those who have been impacted by shutdowns. You can apply to Dollar Tree here and Family Dollar here.

Kroger, a parent company of grocery store chains, is working to get people back to work.

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Kroger is working to maintain the same store hours but some are having to shift. In Atlanta, the stores are shifting to an 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. schedule to give the stores a chance to restock and get ready for customers. You can look for Kroger jobs here.

Pharmacies, like Walgreens, are also giving people a chance to bridge the financial gap caused by COVID-19.

Walgreens is looking to fill around 9,500 people for roles across the country. Walgreens has also joined a number of stores in implementing senior citizen shopping hours and guidelines. These hours give the population most vulnerable to the worst of the coronavirus a chance to shopping peacefully. You can look for Walgreens jobs here.

GE Healthcare is trying to increase its output of medical equipment.

GE Healthcare is looking to fill positions so that the company can create, distribute, and provide necessary medical equipment to people. You can check out GE Healthcare jobs here.

Walmart is taking steps to hire people who are facing layoffs right now.

Walmart is looking to hiring 150,000 people in sales, fulfillment centers, distribution centers, and clubs by the end of May. The largest employer in the world is staying open to cater to people during the COVID-19 crisis. You can check out Walmart jobs here.

READ: Cuban Doctors Arrive In Italy To Combat The Coronavirus– Demonstrate History Of Global Humanitarian Commitment

Selena Is The First Latina Inducted Into Houston Rodeo’s Star Trail Of Fame

Entertainment

Selena Is The First Latina Inducted Into Houston Rodeo’s Star Trail Of Fame

houstonrodeo / Instagram

Selena Quintanilla has been a very important part of the Latino community since she first started to record music. Her sound is something we all know and grew up with. Finally, after so many years, the Tejano singer is finally being honored by the Houston Rodeo’s Star Trail of Fame.

Selena Quintanilla made history when her name was added to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s Star Trailer of Fame.

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Selena performed at this venue three times throughout her career. However, it was her last performance on Feb. 26, 2020 that left a lasting impression on fans. The show was made famous by her iconic purple jumpsuit. It was her last concert and it will live in the memory of her fans forever.

Twenty-five years after Selena performed at the iconic venue, the Tejano singer was finally given a top honor.

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Of course, Selena’s sister Suzette and brother A.B. III were there to revel in the accomplishments of their sister. Selena’s induction to the Star Trail of Fame is historic because she is the first Latina ever inducted into the trail. Other members of the Star Trail of Fame are Elvis, Reba McIntire, and George Strait.

Selena is the second woman ever inducted to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Star Trail of Fame.

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Selena was inducted on two very important days for her induction. It was both International Woman’s Day and Go Tejano Day as the late Tejano singer was honored by the group. Despite having been dead for two decades, Selena continues to inspire Latinos through her music.

It might have taken a very long time, but the honor is one that Selena definitely deserves.

With a handful of English-language songs, Selena made the jump from Latin music to mainstream pop. Her influence is still seen today when celebrities wear clothing with her image keeping her memory alive with more than just Latino music fans.

Congratulations, Selena.

We still love and admire you. You deserve all of this recognition, mija!

READ: MAC Cosmetics Is Launching A Second Selena Collection