Things That Matter

Georgia Is Discriminating Against Puerto Ricans Trying To Get Driver’s Licenses With A Cultural Questionnaire

Georgia has been requiring Puerto Rican natives seeking Georgia driver’s licenses to answer a special set of questions such as “identifying ‘what a meat filled with plantain fritter’ is called; where a specific beach is located; and ‘the name of the frog native only to Puerto Rico,’” according to a lawsuit filed against the state this week.

A Puerto Rican man has filed a lawsuit against Georgia for alleged discrimination and voter suppression.

Credit: @southerncenter / Twitter

A man is accusing Georgia of discriminating with driver’s licenses and requiring Puerto Ricans to answer trivia questions about fritters, frogs, hillbilly hats, baseball players and customs on their native island.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the US District Court for Northern Georgia, accuses the state’s Department of Driver Services (DDS) of violating the Civil Rights Act by engaging in “race-based stereotyping and implicit bias against Puerto Ricans.”

The lawsuit says Georgia holds residents of Puerto Rico, who are American citizens, to more stringent requirements than it does transplants from American states or the District of Colombia.

The quiz and other discriminatory practices prevent Puerto Ricans living in Georgia from traveling to work, school, and even doctor appointments. They also subject Puerto Ricans to the threat of a $500 fine and a year in prison if they drive without a license, the lawsuit says.

LatinoJustice obtained a copy of the quiz questions and shared them in a report.

A DDS document titled “Puerto Rican Interview Guide,” provided to CNN by LatinoJustice, includes numerous questions about the island, some of them are allegedly trick questions. Among them:

  • How long is the San Juan-Fajardo train ride? (There is no train.)
  • Who is Roberto Clemente?
  • What is the name of the frog native only to PR?
  • What is a pava?
  • What is alcapurria?
  • How do you celebrate San Juan Day?

A note in the interview guide says the questions are designed to better identify possible Puerto Ricans and discourage fraud. “While this guide can in no way positively determine if a person was born in or lived in Puerto Rico, it will help determine if the individual has a normal base of knowledge of their claimed birthplace,” it says.

Many on Twitter were using this as yet another example of Puerto Ricans being treated as second-class citizens.

Credit: @andreagonram / Twitter

“Puerto Ricans who are trying to start a new life in Georgia deserve access to the same benefits that are afforded to other citizens of the United States,” LatinoJustice PRLDEF attorney Jorge Vasquez said in a statement.

Driver’s licenses and identification cards issued in Puerto Rico aren’t subject to the same reciprocity extended to those issued in other states, the lawsuit says. Puerto Rico driver’s license holders must successfully pass the written and road exams to get a driver’s license, unlike other out-of-state license holders.

While others pointed out the shocking resemblance to a time when segregation was still a thing.

Credit: @KeithHi40841914 / Twitter

“The so-called quiz, applied to Puerto Rican drivers, bears a strikingly disturbing resemblance to the tests applied by segregationists to block voter registration of people of color,” Southern Center attorney Gerry Weber said.

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico’s governor has come out swinging against the possible acts of state-sanctioned discrimination.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló has weighed in, calling the alleged special requirements “absurd” and demanding that Puerto Ricans receive equal treatment in all US jurisdictions.

“If true, I ask Georgia Governor Brian Kemp to address the disturbing irregularities immediately,” Rosselló said in a statement. “The U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico cannot be subject to illogical and illegal requirements when procuring government services.”

There are more than 93,000 Puerto Ricans living in Georgia, according to the 2017 census estimate.

To many, this is just another sign of Puerto Ricans having to work extra hard to prove themselves as American citizens.

Credit: @carlitocenteno / Twitter

Other examples of Georgia’s allegedly discriminatory practices include refusing to accept any birth certificate issued in Puerto Rico before July 2010 and flagging Puerto Rican birth certificates for fraud review, the lawsuit states.

READ: Bad Bunny And Ricky Martin Killed A ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill In Puerto Rico Furthering LGBTQ+ Rights In The Caribbean

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Disturbing Video Shows Workers Feeding White Kids First At A Georgia Daycare

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Disturbing Video Shows Workers Feeding White Kids First At A Georgia Daycare

Schools and daycares are supposed to be safe spaces for kids to be able to learn and to express themselves. However, we know that isn’t always the case. For years, children have had to fear gun violence on campus, bullying, and sexual assaults.

A recent video that’s gone viral shows that even younger kids aren’t safe from trauma, as a daycare in Georgia is being accused of blatant racism against its Black kids.

Young kids are experiencing hate and racism even at places meant to be safe for them.

The Kids ‘R’ Kids daycare center in Roswell, on the outskirts of Atlanta, has been accused of racism after a father checked in to the live feed at lunch time to see how his two-year-old son was doing and noticed that the white children were all fed first while the Black children were made to wait.

Adryan McCauley told CBS46: “They were skipping all of the Black kids it seemed like. All the white kids got their lunch, and all the Black kids had to wait. From the videos and pictures that we saw today, we are just completely disturbed.”

McCauley took a screenshot which he posted to Instagram, but the full video has not been released. He added that the boy’s mother asked the nursery what had happened and was reportedly told by the director: “I’m not really sure because I’m not in the classroom, maybe it’s a dietary thing.”

One of the families was sure to share what happened with the public.

According to the Daily Mail, the family of the 2-year-old posted the screenshot to Instagram, where it went viral.

“This is truly unbelievable. You better know this won’t be the last time you hear from me on this,” user @marquis_dagreat wrote, along with the screenshot. “Why does every white kid have their food? Not one black child has food in front of them! Thank God for cameras in classrooms because there is no way to hide this racism!”

“In the year 2021 this is truly unbelievable. As blacks we always strive to send our kids to schools in Suburban area’s [sic], but I’m telling you first hand that is not always best,” they continued. “This is not a black or white issue this is simply wrong!”

The brand behind the daycare has cut ties with the Georgia location.

The corporate office responded on Thursday by calling the screenshot “disturbing” and cutting ties with the location in question. 

“Our company has decided to terminate that franchisee’s Kids ‘R’ Kids contract and branding, effective immediately, leaving them to operate independently,” President and CEO David Vinson said in the statement, posted to Instagram. “We apologize to the family, the community and all of those impacted by this situation and will use this as a learning tool to remind our Kids ‘R’ Kids staff on the importance of diversity and inclusivity.”

Vinson added that the corporate office will help locate alternate preschool options for families displaced by the decision. 

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Stacey Abrams Was Just Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and People Are Excited

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Stacey Abrams Was Just Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and People Are Excited

Photo via Getty Images

Add “Nobel Prize nominee” to the list of Stacey Abrams’ accomplishments, right behind “voting rights activist” and “icon”. Today, Reuters reported that a Norwegian politician nominated Abrams for the historic prize.

Norwegian parliament member Lars Haltbrekken invoked Dr. Martin Luther King in his nomination speech for Abrams.

“Abrams’ work follows in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s footsteps in the fight for equality before the law and for civil rights,” he said. “Abrams’ efforts to complete King’s work are crucial if the United States of America shall succeed in its effort to create fraternity between all its peoples and a peaceful and just society.”

The connection between Stacey Abrams and Dr. Martin Luther King is valid–both Georgians worked tirelessly for African-Americans’ right to vote.

In 1957, Dr. King delivered an entire speech dedicated to voter suppression, now known as the “Give Us the Ballot” speech. “Give us the ballot, and we will transform the salient misdeeds of bloodthirsty mobs into the calculated good deeds of orderly citizens,” he said.

In 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King led a historic march in the town of Selma, Alabama because still only 2% of African-Americans were registered to vote. The march was intended to bring attention to the Jim Crow laws the town used to suppress the Black Vote.

Just months later, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the 1965 Voting Rights Act into law, a law that ended discriminatory election practices like literacy tests and poll taxes that required people registering to vote to pay a fee.

Stacey Abrams was instrumental in flipping Georgia from red to blue in 2020, people believe the nomination is well-deserved.

“Having researched what has been going on in Georgia’s fight for election reform the last few years,” wrote one Twitter user. “I’ve come to the conclusion that Stacey Abrams is not only a hero for what we have seen her doing, but also for what she did behind the scenes. She deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.”

Through her organization Fair Fight Action, Abrams and her team managed to register an estimated 800,000 new voters since its founding in 2014–many of them being people of color.

While Abrams’ nomination is meaningful, it’s also worth noting that the Nobel committee does not have a direct hand in who is nominated for their prizes. The nomination committee is made up if thousands of people, from international politicians to former winners.

Other exciting 2021 nominees were the Black Lives Matter Movement, environmental activist Greta Thunberg, and the World Health Organization (WHO).

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