Things That Matter

Florida Republican Representative Shows Off Cuban Man He Claims Is His Stepson

During a recent hearing, Representative Matt Gaetz, of Florida, was called out for not knowing the experience of raising a child of color. The comment came from Representative Cedric Richmond, of Louisiana, while debating the Justice in Policing Act. The comment made Rep. Gaetz do something bizarre on social media.

Rep. Matt Gaetz wants everyone to know that he understands what it is like raising a child of color.

Recently, the House of Representatives held a hearing for the Justice in Policing Act. The act would ban chokeholds, create a misconduct registry, and mandate training against racial profiling, among other changes to national policy.

During the debate, Rep. Cedric Richmond, of Louisiana, called out his Republican colleagues. Rep. Richmond claimed that the Republicans debating the bill were not in a good position to fully understand the enormity of the legislation.

“As a black male who went to a fifth-best public high school in the country, who was a victim of excessive force, who has a black son, who has worries that you all don’t,” Richmond said. “Please do not come in this committee room and make a mockery of the pain that exists in my community.”

The sudden disclosure of a Cuban child that Rep. Gaetz lives with bothers some people.

Rep. Gaetz has not spoken about Nestor Galban as someone personally connected to the congressman. The sudden introduction of Galban as someone that is so closely connected to Rep. Gaetz feels opportunistic and questionable to people.

“You’re claiming you have more concern for my family than I do? Who in the hell do you think you are? This is outrageous,” Rep. Gaetz retorted to Rep. Richmond.

Rep. Gaetz’s tweet does not claim to have adopted Galban but he does that he is his life.

Adoptions from Cuba to the U.S. are very rare. Most adoption attempts from the U.S. of Cuban nationals are often unsuccessful so it does not seem that Rep. Gaetz adopted Galban.

American citizens have been protesting for weeks against police brutality. The protesters are demanding a change to police policies. These policies overwhelming affect Black and brown communities. The deadly trend of police brutality has devastated these communities for decades.

That is what Rep. Richmond was saying. Some people will never fully understand the constant fear of police taking your life or the life of your loved ones. Claiming that you understand the lived experience of a community under attack does a lot of undermind their fight.

Galban has been connected to Rep. Gaetz, but never as someone close to him.

Rep. Gaetz and Galban have been in the same photo before. Every time the congressman has been near the young boy, it was usually a photo-op, like the one above. It is unclear why Rep. Gaetz kept this a secret for so long and chose to release the information as a rebuke to a colleague’s remarks.

In the end, people are upset that Rep. Gaetz would use Galban as a political prop.

Americans are demanding change from their government. The people want to see meaningful and necessary police reform to help keep communities safe.

READ: This Is What Protesters Actually Mean When They’re Calling For Cities To ‘Defund The Police’

No Fireworks, No Character Greets: Walt Disney World Prepares For Weekend Reopening

Entertainment

No Fireworks, No Character Greets: Walt Disney World Prepares For Weekend Reopening

Todd Anderson / Disney Parks via Getty Images

Walt Disney World was one of the first major closures brought on by COVID-19. After months of being closed, Wat Disney World announced that they will be partially reopening this weekend. Some Floridians are begging for the company to reconsider.

Walt Disney World is planning to reopen Saturday, July 11.

For Central Florida, the reopening of Walt Disney World after Universal Studios and SeaWorld is a welcomed influx of money. However, the park’s reopening is concerning Floridians who say that the state is not ready for such a reopening because of the current spike of COVID-19 cases in the Sunshine State.

A petition is pleading with Governor Ron DeSantis to postpone Walt Disney World’s reopening.

Credit: MoveOn.Org

Florida is among the states experiencing major spikes in COVID-19 cases. Recently, Florida reported more than 11,000 cases in a single day. The MoveOn.Org petition is calling for Gov. DeSantis to prioritize the health of residents over the opening of Disney World.

“This virus is not gone, unfortunately it’s only become worse in this state. Having our theme parks remain closed until cases are steadily decreasing would keep our guests, our employees and their families safe,” reads the petition. “Re-opening the theme parks is only putting our guests, employees, and families at higher risk for contracting COVID-19. While theme parks are a great way to relax and enjoy free time, it is a non-essential business; it is not fair to the people who work there to risk their lives, especially if they are at risk or have family members who are at risk. People are more important than making a profit.”

The theme park had a reopening preview to show the new normal while at the park.

Disney cast members were given a chance to explore the park and the new safety regulations in place to protect guests from COVID-19. For two days, “guests” were able to enjoy the full park for the first time since March when the theme park had to close because of COVID-19.

One union has filed a grievance with Walt Disney World ahead of the reopening.

The Actors’ Equity Association, which represents 750 Walt Disney World performers filed a grievance of retaliation. The union claims that their members are being punished by Disney after demanding tests for performers because they are not able to social distance on June 25. On June 26, Disney rescinded notice recalling the performers for work.

“Seven unions signed agreements to have their employees return to work, the Actors’ Equity rejected our safety protocols and have not made themselves available to continue negotiations, which is unfortunate,” a Disney spokeswoman said in a statement, according to WTVBAM. “We are exercising our right to open without Equity performers.”

Some people were quick to use Disney’s own creations to highlight the kind of reopening they expect.

Oof. So far, there has been no mention so signaling from Walt Disney World that the reopening will be postponed. Twitter is filled with people both excited and appalled that the happiest place on earth is reopening. Some people hope that Disney magic will be worth the risk.

READ: Demi Lovato Says She Left Disney Channel Because Of Her Eating Disorder

St. Louis Protesters Return To The Area Where A White Couple Drew Guns At Activists

Things That Matter

St. Louis Protesters Return To The Area Where A White Couple Drew Guns At Activists

Michael B. Thomas / Getty

In another display of a peaceful protests, activists returned the site of a St. Louis mansion owned by the white couple who drew out their guns during a calm demonstration last month. On Friday, chanting protesters returned to the home of Patricia and Mark McClosky, stopping just outside of their gate to protest for nearly 15 minutes.

During the peaceful protest over a dozen men in plain clothes walked the area inside of the gate.

According to Time Magazine, “One protester briefly straddled an iron gate as if he was going to jump over, but did not. No one threw anything and no one behind the gates showed aggression. One man on the McCloskeys’ balcony clapped along with the chanting protesters.” The crowd of protesters included a racially diverse crowd carrying signs calling to “Defund the Police” and underlining that “Black Lives Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace.” Chants included calls like “when Black lives are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back,” and “this is what democracy looks like.”

According to reports, it is unknown if the McCloskeys were home. Soon after, the protestors left and marched to Interstate 64. Police had closed off the roads to traffic in both directions to allow protestors to march onto the highway. There the protestors sat on the highway for several minutes to honor the life of George Floyd who died on May 25 after a white police officer pressed his knee to his neck for over eight minutes.

The recent rally was organized by the group Expect Us and is among various demonstrations in St. Louis that have taken place in the weeks since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.

The McCloskeys first came to national attention in mid-June after they had been spotted aiming guns at protesters outside their home in St. Louis. Soon after the images of them began circulating Twitter dubbed them “Ken and Karen” and the stars of the “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” remake no one asked for. The incident occurred as protesters marched their way towards the home of Mayor Lyda Krewson who declared in a Facebook post that she would not support rising calls to defund the police. She also reportedly shared activists’ full names and addresses while reading off suggestions on how to better spend the city’s funds. After users ridiculed her online, Krewson apologized for her actions saying “Never did I intend to harm anyone or cause distress,” Krewson tweeted. “The update is removed and again, I apologize.”