Things That Matter

Georgia Suffered An Election Day Meltdown And Minority Communities Were Hit The Hardest

On Tuesday, voters in both Georgia and West Virginia went to the polls to cast their votes in the state’s primaries. However, the process was so chaotic and unorganized in Georgia, that many are rightfully worried for what the state could look like come November’s presidential election.

The state’s election woes are already being investigated by both Republican and Democratic state officials, as the latter points out that the irregularities were overwhelmingly in predominantly Black communities. Georgia has a history of voter suppression and many worry that this could be a sign to come for the upcoming election, as Democrats hope to turn the state blue.

Voting delays across Georgia led officials to call for investigations into why voters spent hours standing in lines on a hot June day. 

Voters went to the polls in Georgia and West Virginia to cast their votes in the 2020 primary. However, things didn’t go as they should have in Georgia and it could be a sign of voter suppression in action. What happened was an infuriatingly frustrating breakdown in the voting process that appeared to disproportionately affect majority-black precincts in metro Atlanta.

From hours long waits to malfunctioning voting machines and even missing equipment, Tuesday’s Georgia primary was an absolute disaster. Add to that the state had shut down dozens of polling places and you had people waiting in line for more than four hours in some instances.

Many admirably waited in long lines through downpours and searing heat, and some stayed beyond midnight to exercise their right to vote. But untold numbers were dissuaded from voting by the lengthy lines and other issues that plagued the primary.

The primary was such a disaster that it drew the attention of both the state’s Democratic and Republican leadership, who have both called for investigations into the failures.

The state’s Republican Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, said “in certain precincts” in Fulton and DeKalb counties, the failures were “unacceptable. My office has opened an investigation to determine what these counties need to do to resolve these issues before November’s election,” he said in a statement.

The voting issues appeared to be happening in counties with large Black and Latino populations.

The glaring differences between predominantly white communities and those of color even forced LeBron James to weigh in.

“Everyone talking about ‘how do we fix this?’ They say ‘go out and vote?’ What about asking if how we vote is also structurally racist?” he tweeted.

Election workers said that their office had been flooded with calls from “voters who encountered barriers from polling sites that are not open on time, malfunctioning equipment, long lines with several hours’ wait time, insufficient backup paper ballots and more.”

Three-quarters of voters who called with problems identified as African American.

Meanwhile in Roswell, a mostly white Atlanta suburb, there were far fewer problems. Brian Takahashi voted there and told NBC News “it went well,” and that he was in and out in less than 20 minutes.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Georgia has had issues with its voting.

Credit: Elijah Nouvelage / Getty Images

During the 2018 midterm elections, several counties across Georgia saw voting irregularities – including Fulton County, home to Atlanta. There the election was so chaotic that several Democrats alleged voter suppression. The secretary of state at the time was Brian Kemp, a Republican, who wound up winning the governorship by a thin margin against Democrat Stacey Abrams. Abrams at the time called the election “rotten and rigged.”

She tweeted Tuesday that “Georgians deserve better.”

“From Jasper to Fulton to Coffee & Chatham, long lines, inoperable machines & under-resourced communities are being hurt,” Abrams wrote, adding that Raffensperger “owns this disaster.”

Aside from making sure everyone’s vote is counted, Georgia is especially important in 2020 because it could be in play for the Democrats.

Experts agree that having such critical voting issues in a state that has been plagued by similar issues for years, doesn’t bode well for the November presidential election – especially as many Democrats consider the state to be in play.

Democrats have targeted Georgia — which has added 700,000 registered voters to the rolls since 2018 — as a possible swing state in November. Rachana Desai Martin, the national director of voter protection for Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, said that what happened Tuesday is “unacceptable” and noted that many voters reported asking for — and never receiving — absentee ballots.

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The Miami Herald Apologizes For Including Racist, Anti-Semitic Insert In Newspaper

Things That Matter

The Miami Herald Apologizes For Including Racist, Anti-Semitic Insert In Newspaper

@BillCorben / Twitter

Readers of the Miami Herald and the El Nuevo Herald noticed a racist and anti-Semitic insert in one of the latest editions. The column in the insert compared BLM activists to Nazis while talking down about the Jewish community.

The Miami Herald recently published a racist and anti-Semitic insert.

The offensive piece, written by Cuban exile Roberto Luque Escalona, received harsh and immediate backlash. Escalona expresses his displeasure for the Jewish community and those seeking racial justice by joining BLM with one column.

“What kind of people are these Jews” writes Escalona. He then continues to “teach” Jewish people the history of the Holocaust and claims that BLM supporters are worse than the Nazis during Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, because the Nazis simply destroyed things and didn’t steal.

The newspaper has apologized for the insert going so far as to admit that it was not properly vetted and that “internal failures” were at play.

According to an open letter, higher ups at the Miami Herald admit to the insert not being read and vetted by the staff. The obvious overlook led to a 40-page insert of right-wing propaganda to be distributed to the readers of both the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald. Since the publication, the Miami Herald claims to have ended their relationship with Libre, the insert with the racist and anti-Semitic content.

Those responsible at the Miami Herald admitted to not reading the insert before it was distributed.

“We are deeply sorry that inflammatory, racist and anti-Semitic commentary reached our el Nuevo Herald subscribers through LIBRE, a Spanish-language publication that paid our company to have the product printed and inserted into our print edition as a weekly supplement,” reads part of an open letter to readers. “The fact that no one in leadership, beginning with us, had previously read this advertising insert until this issue was surfaced by a reader is distressing. It is one of a series of internal failures that we are investigating in order to prevent this from ever recurring.”

Readers are outraged that the newspaper would allow such offensive things to be published and distributed.

The right-wing conspiracies pushed by Libre are part of a larger Spanish-language disinformation campaign targeting Cubans in southern Florida. The community has been inundated with disinformation ahead of the 2020 election preying on the fears and ignorance within the staunchly conservative Cuban community.

“It’s difficult to measure the effect exactly, but the polling sort of shows it and in focus groups it shows up, with people deeply questioning the Democrats, and referring to the ‘deep state’ in particular — that there’s a real conspiracy against the president from the inside,” Eduardo Gamarra, a pollster and director of the Latino Public Opinion Forum at Florida International University, told Politico. “There’s a strain in our political culture that’s accustomed to conspiracy theories, a culture that’s accustomed to coup d’etats.”

The disinformation is targeting Cubans because of the growing Latino communities who tend to vote Democratic.

According to Politico, the campaign is Cuban specific. The Puerto Rican, Nicaraguan, Colombian, Venezuelan, and Dominican communities in Florida, which continue to grow, typically vote Democratic. These shifting demographics have left Republicans doing anything it takes to keep a strong hold of the Cuban community, even by means of racism, anti-Semitism, and disinformation.

READ: Politicians Need To Stop Assuming That The Latino Vote Is A Monolith Because It Is Not The Truth

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ICYMI: Bad Bunny Has Dropped A New Song And He’s Taking On Racism And The Upcoming Elections

Entertainment

ICYMI: Bad Bunny Has Dropped A New Song And He’s Taking On Racism And The Upcoming Elections

Matt Winklemeyer / Getty Images

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, many celebrities used their platform to highlight his story and to speak out against the racial injustice so prevalent in the United States. However, one big voice was conspicuously absent: Bad Bunny.

At the height of the Black Lives Matter conversation, Bad Bunny was called out by fans for remaining silent on an issue so many were talking about. It was one of his biggest stumbles. As a vocal critic of Puerto Rican politics, as a vocal proponent of LGBTQ+ communities, many had expected the reggaetonero to add his thoughts to the conversation.

Fans finally received what they wanted in the form of an Instagram post but to many, the damage had already been done. Now, San Benito appears to be trying to redeem himself with a new, surprise track that addresses #BLM and many other issues.

Bad Bunny’s Compositor Del Año has been released and he touches on many topics that he’d previously left untouched.

In his new track, called ‘Compositor del Año’ (with a Soundcloud link that ends in “f—k2020”), Bad Bunny is opening about the ongoing social issues that have been centerstage. He addresses important issues including racism, immigration, the importance of voting, and his support for Biden, among other topics.

‘Compositor del Año’ is apparently a response to the critics who said he hadn’t spoken out enough during the height of the Black Lives Matter movement.

In the 2-minute, 34-second song he raps (in Spanish), “It’s 2020 and racism is worse than COVID/ A black man with a gun, that’s a criminal, but if he’s white, they say that’s a hobby.” He adds how a badge is used as a “license to kill” but “it’s being white that makes you lethal/and being Black is what makes a white person/easy to shoot you.”

He also delves into the 2020 election and his support for Joe Biden.

Although the song appears to be a clear response to the backlash he received for remaining silent on #BLM, the song also addresses the upcoming elections.

He reinforces the importance of voting in “Compositor del Año” saying “There are more important things than sitting down to criticize the achievements of an artist,” adding “There are more important things like fighting for the rights of immigrants.”

He addresses Trump as a “mamabicho” and encourages people to vote to oust “quien nos jodió ante’.” He also raps: “I loved you before but not anymore. I liked you but not anymore. I was there for you but not anymore. … I won’t give you a break. I don’t want your fake love.”

He also goes into the controversy surrounding his win at the 2020 ASCAP Latin Music Awards.

Bad Bunny’s new track also goes into how the hatred toward him is misguided. Some of the lyrics sound like a response to the critics who said he didn’t deserve the songwriter of the year award from the 2020 ASCAP Latin Music Awards in July. Many took to social media to question his victory due to his sometimes explicit lyrics.

Bad Bunny has a clear message for the haters, expressing that there are more important issues going on in the world. “They fight because they gave me composer of the year but not for what matters.” There are more important things than sitting down to criticize the achievements of an artist,” he continues, such as encouraging the youth to vote. “There are more important things like fighting for the rights of immigrants.”

At the end of the track, the “Yo Perreo Sola” singer expresses his dream to change the world and end poverty. “But I can’t; it’s not my fault,” he says. “Before being born, all of this already existed. We only have to teach and learn, live and grow. Understand that we will always see something that will hurt us. To have faith, to believe that it is going to be possible.”

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