Things That Matter

A Mexican-American Mother Was Beaten Until She Was Unconscious By Her Son’s Racist School Bully

We’re pretty sure this latest incident is our country’s newest low.

According to The New York Post, a 35-year-old New Jersey woman by the name of Beronica Ruiz was beaten until she was unconscious by a 13-year old boy who bullied her son.

According to reports, the day before the beating, Ruiz had filed a former complaint about her son’s tormenter and his alleged harassment of her son.

Her son, whose name is being kept private because he is a minor, claimed that he was bullied by the 13-year-old on June 18. At the time, Ruiz’s son said that the bully and a few other boys had chanted “Mexicans should go back behind the wall” to him other boys in the cafeteria.

In response, the Ruiz family’s lawyer, Daniel Santiago, says that her son replied: “We all come from immigrants.”

When Ruiz’s son received further threats from the students, he became fearful for his safety and reported the incident to a teacher who sequestered him from the other boys.

Attempts to notify Ruiz’s parents about the incident did not happen.

Santiago says that she did not find out about the incident until her son came home and he told her that he was too afraid to go to school the next day.

According to the Washington Post Ruiz and her husband returned to the school that evening and complained to the school’s assistant vice principal that they had not been alerted of the events. Santiago says that the vice principle replied that he had simply forgotten to call them.

“That’s a woefully inadequate response,” Santiago said. “’My bad’ is not a good excuse for not calling (the parents), not telling them.”

Ruiz picked up her son from school the day after the incident in the cafeteria happened.

She walked him home while pushing her 1-year-old daughter in a stroller. When they were just a few blocks away from the school, Ruiz’s son alerted his mother that they were being followed by the boys who had bullied him the previous day in the cafeteria. Soon after, the 13-year-old boy allegedly attacked Ruiz and her son. First, he punched Ruiz’s son in the face and then when the mother attempted to intervene he punched and “threw her to the ground” which caused her to lose consciousness.

This was a brutal hate crime, and it was committed by a 13-year-old,” Santiago said. “I don’t know what circumstances could give rise to a 13-year-old boy having such hate in his heart that he would commit this brutal attack and leave a woman essentially to die in front of her children without any remorse or any twinge of conscience.”

Ruiz was hospitalized for two days after the alleged attack.

Pictures of Ruiz’s face are brutal. In a photo circulating online, Ruiz’s face is marked with bruises and her eye is visible injured. She reportedly suffered from facial fractures and a concussion.

Earlier this week, the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office announced that the 13-year-old bully, who fled the scene, had been arrested. He has been charged and faces one count of aggravated assault and one count of simple assault.

According to Santiago, the 13-year-old returned to the school the day after the attack.

Meanwhile, Ruiz and her husband are Mexican and in the United States awaiting green cards while holding work permits. Both of their children were born here and are American citizens.

Santiago says that he doesn’t “know that a child is able to fully understand and comprehend the implications of his words and saying things like ‘You should go back to Mexico… But this was clearly generated from hatred, and clearly, this young man has a great deal of anger in his heart, and that’s sad for a whole other list of reasons.”

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Prince Harry Says Being Married to Meghan Markle Taught Him About Unconscious Bias: ‘I Had No Idea it Existed’

Things That Matter

Prince Harry Says Being Married to Meghan Markle Taught Him About Unconscious Bias: ‘I Had No Idea it Existed’

Photo by Rosa Woods – Pool/Getty Images

Prince Harry continues to shed his upper crust image by tackling important social issues head-on. On Monday, the Duke of Sussex sat down with UK Black Lives Matter activist Patrick Hutchinson for a conversation with GQ. In the conversation, Prince Harry admitted that he “had no idea” unconscious bias existed before he experienced it firsthand through the treatment of his wife, Meghan Markle.

The GQ conversation focused on hot-button topics like structural racism, unconscious bias, and the responsibility of white people to educate themselves on the aforementioned topics.

Prince Harry started the conversation of by commending Hutchinson for his activist worth and adding that there’s still “lots of work to do” when it comes to dismantling racism worldwide. The conversation turned personal when the two began to discuss unconscious bias, with Hutchinson broaching the subject.

“There are a lot of people who either don’t think that [racism] exists or they don’t want change and they’re fighting against it. And I don’t know what these people are afraid of,” said Hutchinson.

Prince Harry became personal, revealing that his background as the literal Prince of England had made him ignorant to the widespread nature of racism before.

“Unconscious bias… having the upbringing and the education that I had, I had no idea what it was. I had no idea it existed.” He then admitted: “Sad as it is to say, it took me many, many years to realize it [existed], especially then living a day or a week in my wife [Meghan]’s shoes.”

Since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle started dating in 2016, Markle has been on the receiving end of vicious media attacks–many of them fueled by racism.

At the time, Prince Harry condemned the British press for their treatment of Markle. He released a statement decrying the “racial undertones of comment pieces” and the “outright sexism and racism of social media trolls” that Markle has to deal with. Recently, Meghan spoke about the hate her and Harry receive for being in an interracial marriage.

Prince Harry described unconscious bias to Hutchinson as largely beyond people’s control, but worth addressing once you’re aware of it. “No one’s blaming anybody,” Prince Harry said.

“You can’t really point fingers, especially when it comes to unconscious bias. But once you realize or you feel a little bit uncomfortable, then the onus is on you to go out and educate yourself, because ignorance is no longer an excuse.”

Both Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been on the receiving end of criticism for their vocal support of the Black Lives Matter movement and their video campaigns urging people to vote in the upcoming election.

About dismantling structural racism, Prince Harry said, “It’s going to take every single one of us to really change things and anyone that’s pushing against it really needs to take a long, hard look at themselves in the mirror.”

He continued: “This isn’t black versus white…This is a global movement. The train has left the station. If you’re not on it now, then get on it because there’s so much that we can do.”

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Amy Coney Barrett Has Refused To Acknowledge That Systematic Racism Exists

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Amy Coney Barrett Has Refused To Acknowledge That Systematic Racism Exists

Pool / Getty

We know LGBTQ rights, birth control, and race are under threat as Amy Coney Barrett as President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. We know that that conservative judge has been evasive in answering comments about her beliefs which, if appointed, would steer her in making fundamental decisions that could affect American citizens’ lives for decades. Still, though we knew things are bound to go sideways as most things under the Trump administration have, we didn’t realize that an educated woman living in today’s world would refuse to acknowledge a basic societal fact: that “systemic racism” exists in the United States.

In written responses submitted Tuesday night, Barrett repeated her refusal to say whether “systemic racism” exists in our country.

After Sen. Mazie Hirono, Democrat of Hawaii asked her to explain her view of the existence of “systemic racism” in the United States, Barret refused the opportunity to acknowledge its existence.

“At the hearing, you acknowledged that racism persists in our country, but you refused to answer where there is systemic racism, calling it a ‘policy question.’ You also refused to answer other questions based on your view that they are ‘policy questions,’” Hirono wrote in his questions. “What makes a statement a policy question rather than a question of fact?”

“I believe that racism persists in our country, but as I explained at the hearing, whether there is ‘systemic racism’ is a public policy question of substantial controversy, as evidenced by the disagreement among senators on this very question during the hearing,” Barrett replied. “As a sitting judge and judicial nominee, it would be inappropriate for me to offer an opinion on the matter.”

Barrett’s approach to the question is not totally uncommon. Previous Supreme Court nominees have avoided answering questions concerning precedent. Barrett clung to the approach during her confirmation hearing last week while sitting before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Barrett used this as a standard and repeatedly cited it as a reason for dodging questions.

Systemic racism exists within our country without question.

It persists in our academic settings, workplaces, as well as in our court and judicial system. The fact is that when a certain group dominates a majority of positions of decision-making power, others struggle to exist and get by let alone get ahead. For generations and right now, white people have been the dominating group with decision-making power and people of color have suffered as a result. Acknowledgment is a vital part of making this change. Particularly from our leaders.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on Barrett’s confirmation on Thursday afternoon.

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