Things That Matter

When A Trump Supporter Won One Of Her Contests, Kat Von D Couldn’t Stay Silent

Kat Von D is a queen for many reasons: she’s a kickass tattoo artist, she’s a Selena fan, and she’s built a massive beauty empire. And while she’s been vocal about social issues like immigration, we’d hardly say that she’s political. That all changed a couple of weeks ago. Here’s how the drama went down.

Back in June, Kat Von D launched a new version of her fragrance line, Saint + Sinner.

Kat Von D Beauty hosted a contest in which her millions of followers were asked to post a photograph of themselves with Saint + Sinner-inspired makeup. The winner and a guest would get an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles and a $500 gift card to Sephora. They’d also get to attend a Saint + Sinner party with Kat Von D.

Thousands entered the contest for their chance at the big prize.

A couple of days after the contest was announced, a winner was chosen.

Kat Von D Beauty named makeup artist Gypsy Freeman of Kansas as the winner of the contest.

@katvondbeauty @mercyhanna_15 #SaintandSinner #KVDContest Photography and water/milkbath concept @jennbischof Model @numinous.model MUAH/wardrobe @facesofgypsy #kvdcontest Foundation @temptu As Hamlet said to Ophelia, ”God has given you one face, and you make yourself another." The battle between these two halves of identity…Who we are and who we pretend to be, is unwinnable. "Just as there are two sides to every story, there are two sides to every person. One that we reveal to the world and another we keep hidden inside. A duality governed by the balance of light and darkness, within each of us is the capacity for both good and evil. But those who are able to blur the moral dividing line hold the true power. -Emily Thorne

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The image alone is stunning. Take a closer look at the picture and it’s clear why Freeman was crowned the big winner. There’s so much attention to detail, and the model’s eyes give off a haunting glare, which perfectly goes with the Saint + Sinner vibe.

When fans found out Freeman was named the winner, they naturally went to view more of her work on her Instagram. They found one IG post especially troubling.

Fans alerted Kat Von D that Freeman is a Donald Trump supporter.

Kat Von D may not always chime in on how she feels about politics, but she is an advocate for immigrants and immigrant rights, especially because it is a part of her history. So how did she feel that a Kat Von D Beauty winner approved of Trump’s ways? Not good.

When Kat Von D found out Freeman’s support of Trump, Freeman claimed she was allegedly disqualified from the contest.

#facesofgypsy

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Freeman posted this image soon after she was “disqualified.”

According to The Wichita Eagle, Kat Von D reached out to Freeman personally and told her how she felt about her political stance.

Freeman provided screenshots of her conversation with Kat Von D.

CREDIT: A screenshot of messages exchanged between Gypsy Freeman and Kat Von D. The Wichita Eagle.

The two conversed via text message at length. “My launch party [and my brand] celebrates many things that Trump is against,” Kat Von D said via text. “In a world where most people are afraid to stand up for what’s right, I refuse to. And this is something I am extremely open and vocal about … It’s hard to hear someone be open and vocal about the opposite — especially when it comes to a president who is openly racist, misogynist, and denies climate change.”

Freeman said she shouldn’t be discriminated against based on her political views.

@Regrann from @thinking.lady – An Instagram post showing support for President Donald Trump apparently disqualified a local makeup artist from a national contest. Gypsy Freeman, who splits time between Wichita and Florida, last month was declared the winner of an Instagram contest sponsored by Kat Von D Beauty, according to screenshots taken by Freeman. The winner of the Saint + Sinner Contest – and a guest – was to be flown to Los Angeles to attend the launch party of a new makeup line from Kat Von D, perhaps best known for her role on “LA Ink.” The approximate value of the prize package, which included a $500 gift card to Sephora, was $2,100. To enter, Freeman submitted an Instagram image of an angelic figure beside a girl in an all-black outfit and thick mascara. When Freeman was announced as the winner, curious Instagrammers went to her page and found a pro-Trump post from Election Day last year. That evening, she received a direct message from Kat Von D’s personal Instagram account, telling her the celebrity had “drawn a personal line in the sand between myself and anyone who supports that man,” according to screenshots of the conversation. “My launch party [and my brand] celebrates many things that Trump is against,” the celebrity went on to say, according to the screenshots. “And I just need you to know that I personally have a hard time with inviting anyone who would support such an anti-feminist, anti-homosexual/LGBT, anti-immigrant, and anti-climate change fascist such as Trump.” @realdonaldtrump @joyvilla #trumpsupporter #donaldtrump #trumpsupporters #boycottkatvond #katvond #gypsyfreeman #katvondbeauty #conservativeisnotacrime #suethem – #regrann

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Part of the great thing about this country is having freedom of speech,” Freeman told The Wichita Eagle. “I said the same thing to Kat. I was like, ‘You can say whatever you want to say and you shouldn’t filter comments based on who I support. It doesn’t bother me.'” She also added that the entire disqualification based on her support for Trump is “bigotry.” “It’s a huge case of hypocrisy” Freeman told The Wichita Eagle.

According to Kat Von D, there was no disqualification. Freeman decided not to attend the launch party.

Kat Von D wrote on IG: “No one got disqualified, so calm down. I personally messaged her sharing MY personal feelings on the subject as to avoid her getting even more criticism than she already was receiving. She decided on her own to not come to my launch. And further more, just like everyone has the right to support whomever they choose, I have the right to set my own personal boundaries.”

Kat Von D also added this point about her Mexican mom.

Mi Mama y yo les mandamos mucho amor en este hermoso Domingo! ?❤️? #momvond

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“If you want to explain to my Mother who lives in Mexico why she should pay for a wall to be built, and why she should have to deal with the negativity that comes with such anti-Mexican statements as our president has made, feel free,” she wrote. “If you want to explain to me why anyone should tell me what rights I have over my own body, feel free. If you want to promote someone who is anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT, anti-women, and denies climate change – feel free. But don’t throw a tantrum on my personal Instagram if I personally don’t back YOUR choices. Have a great day. X.”

Photographer Jenn Bischof attended the party in the place of Freeman.

Case closed!

READ: Kat Von D Is Using Her Immigration Story To Take A Stand Against Trump’s Border Wall

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Ice Cube Catches Massive Blowback For Teaming Up With the Trump Campaign; Denies He’s Endorsing Him

Things That Matter

Ice Cube Catches Massive Blowback For Teaming Up With the Trump Campaign; Denies He’s Endorsing Him

Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Ice Cube is catching lots of heat for meeting with the Trump campaign to collaborate on policy. According to Ice Cube, he met with the Trump campaign to discuss what he calls a “Contract with Black America“. His 13-point plan proposes a robust overhaul of everything from the banking industry to prison reform.

After meeting with Ice Cube, the Trump campaign adapted the Contract with Black America into what Trump has called his “Platinum Plan”. Trump’s Platinum Plan outlined vague promises of continuing “to seek immediate and generational advancement for Black Americans”. The Platinum Plan proposal also claimed Trump “works every day to advance a fair and just America for the Black Community.”

Ice Cube, for his part, has refuted reports that he approached the Trump campaign specifically. “I didn’t ‘run’ to go work with any campaign. Both campaigns contacted me. Both campaigns wanted to talk to me about the Contract with Black America,” Ice Cube said in an interview with CNN addressing the controversy.

He continued: “[The Biden] campaign said, ‘We love what you have, but let’s really dig into after the election.’ And [the Trump] campaign said ‘We love what you have, do you mind talking to us about it?’ And that’s what I did, so I didn’t ‘run’ to nobody.”

Although Ice Cube says that he would have met with any political party regardless of affiliation in order to get his plan off the ground, critics are still annoyed that he decided to team up with a man who has such a dismal track record with Black Americans.

President Donald Trump has been plagued by accusations of racism throughout his tenure as president as well as before. Not only did he hold a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma (the historical location of a racial massacre) on Juneteenth, but he recently canceled racial sensitivity training, claiming it was “racist”. More recently, Trump has refused to condemn white supremacist organizations like the Proud Boys.

Critics are also expressing concern that the Trump campaign is using Ice Cube as a ploy to entice more Black Americans into voting Republican. These concerns were made more apparent when the President’s son, Eric Trump, tweeted out a photoshopped picture of Ice Cube and 50 Cent sitting side-by-side, both wearing MAGA hats. To his credit, Ice Cube quickly condemned him.

But Ice Cube insists he isn’t endorsing Donald Trump, per se–he’s simply teaming up with whatever political party is more willing to collaborate with him.

“I’m not playing no more of these political games, we’re not part of a team…so I’m going to whoever’s in power and I’m going to speak to them about our problems, specifically,” Ice Cube said in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo.

It should be worth noting that Ice Cube recently took to his Instagram page to encourage his followers not to vote “unless you get something out of it”.

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Twitter Has Busted a Ring of Fake Accounts That Posed As Black Trump Supporters

Things That Matter

Twitter Has Busted a Ring of Fake Accounts That Posed As Black Trump Supporters

Photo: George Frey/Getty Images

On Monday, Twitter announced that it has suspended 15 Twitter accounts of “Black Trump supporters” that they discovered were fake. The accounts were similar in nature, tweeting out nearly identical messages, like “YES IM BLACK AND IM VOTING FOR TRUMP!!!” and “VOTE REPUBLICAN”. The accounts quickly amassed thousands of followers and retweets.

The fake “Black Trump Supporter” accounts were discovered by social media disinformation researcher Darren Linvill, who flagged the accounts and reported them to Twitter.

The accounts violate Twitter’s rule barring users from using the platform “in a manner intended to artificially amplify or suppress information or engage in behavior that manipulates or disrupts people’s experience.”

The Twitter accounts sourced their profile photos through internet image searches. One profile photo even included the search term “black man photo” at the top of the profile photo–proving that someone stole the photo from the internet and (sloppily) cropped it. Others were revealed, via reverse-image searching, to be generic stock photos of Black people.

The accounts seemed to follow a pattern: the Black Trump supporters were devout Christians, veterans, blue-collar workers, police officers…you get the picture. 

“They are impersonating Black Trump supporters, Black authoritative figures such as veterans and police officers, and various prominent individuals in order to gain rapid traction and virality,” said cybersecurity manager Lee Foster to The Washington Post.

Linvill says that the accounts don’t necessarily appear to be a coordinated campaign, although he did find traces of the Russian alphabet  in the accounts’ online records. Linvill hypothesizes that the accounts might have had monetary motives–they often tweeted out links to buy Trump merchandise. 

Another theory is that, based on the timing, whoever created the fake accounts is trying to change what appears to be the persistent narrative that President Trump is racist. The accounts became much more active in recent months, around the time when Trump refused to condemn white supremacist groups on national TV. These “Black Trump supporters” make it seem like he actually has the support of Black Americans. 

But polls and surveys prove that Trump is highly unpopular among Black Americans. The Pew Research Center shows that 81% of Black voters support Biden in the upcoming election. 

These most recent fake Twitter accounts are one of the many ways that the Republican Party has been attempting to manipulate voters this election cycle. Along with spreading disinformation, the party has set up unsanctioned ballot drop-off boxes across California. The Governor of Texas, Rick Abbott (R) also made headlines recently for restricting the amount of official ballot boxes in Texas to only one per county–a move that critics slammed as a transparent attempt to suppress the Latino vote.

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