Things That Matter

Hours After Latinos Were Gunned Down In A Terror Attack, This Family Had To Deal With Racism At A Baseball Game

Jessica.Romero / Facebook

Some stories make your blood boil. While at a Texas Ranger’s game on Saturday in Arlington, Texas — just a mere hours after a white nationalist with anti-Latino beliefs opened fire at an El Paso Walmart killing 22 people — Jessica Romero documented what she believes was a racist encounter with a white fan. 

Can we just enjoy our favorite “American” pastime that is ripe with immigrants from Latin American countries?

So at tonight’s game this couple sat behind us. We don’t usually sit in this section but I bought these tickets at the…

Posted by Jessica Romero on Saturday, August 3, 2019

Romero was sitting near a white couple at the game. When a family member took a selfie they noticed that a white Rangers fan was photobombing them with his middle finger. A despicable act during a tragic moment in American history. I am sure most people were there trying to distract themselves from the horrible news of the day. I wonder, if he had known more tragedy would strike just a few hours later would he have second-guessed his actions? Or was the middle finger a ringing endorsement for what had already happened and what was to come? 

It wasn’t just a crass photobomb. This man had “thoughts.”

“For the next 3 innings I had to hear him complain about all the illegal immigrants that were surrounding him at the game,” Romero’s wrote in a Facebook post. A little boy accidentally kicked the back of the man’s seat. The man responded with a racist rant. 

“That he should kick little Speedy Gonzalez all the way back to Mexico for kicking his seat. That Trump needs to hurry and build the wall and send all these illegals back so they won’t be kicking his seat. ” Romero wrote .“Sadly this is not the first or the last time we will ever experience this kind of racism.” 

The family is taking it all in stride.

Romero and her family were hurt by the incident, and the man was so incessant, they left early during the fifth inning. Fortunately, many were on the family’s side. Her post was shared over 110,000 times on Facebook. Jessica Romero’s husband, Ramon Romero was frustrated by the incident but was warmed by the public’s response.

“It’s not the fault of the Rangers. There are just some bad apples, and we happened to end up near the bunch. What we’ve heard from people and the Rangers since, though, means a lot. People do care. Strangers are apologizing. It gives me some strength to think that the stuff we are hearing about will get better,” the father said.

The Texas Rangers are investigating.

Team officials claimed the man’s behavior violated their fan code of conduct and apologized to the couple and their son. 

“After learning of this incident on Sunday, we reached out to the Romero family and pledge to make their next trip to Globe Life Park a memorable and enjoyable experience,” the team told the Dallas Morning News in a statement.

America is, yet again, in a sad sorry state but that doesn’t mean there is no solidarity. 

The Latinx community, and even the Texas Rangers community came together to support the Romeros on social media. It’s hard to feel compelled to applaud people over the bare minimum of opposing racism, but it is this very lack of opposition that got us to where we are. If we are to ruminate over every wrong, then we should indulge in moments of righteousness. Not necessarily because the moments deserve praise, but because we need these precious reminders. We’re not alone

El Paso Artists Joined Together To Commemorate El Paso Gun Violence Victims With A Mural That Highlights Community Strength

Things That Matter

El Paso Artists Joined Together To Commemorate El Paso Gun Violence Victims With A Mural That Highlights Community Strength

Just seven weeks after the massacre at an El Paso Wal-Mart that took the lives of 22 people and injured 24 others, the border city is still recovering from their tragic losses. Though the victims have been laid to rest and the survivors are working towards healing, the city is still feeling the effects of the life-shattering experience. 

As national news has moved on from the tragedy, the minds and hearts of local El Pasoans are still with the embattled town. 

With that in mind, a new mural created by a pair of talented street artists has been created to celebrate the power of the Texas town. 

Twitter / @AlyssaCBS4

El Paso brothers, John Ramirez and Jamie Hernandez Jr., worked hard to craft this graffiti style mural. Reading “El Poderoso Tejano,” the vast wall painting is located between Ascarate Street and Valencia Place on the United States side of the border city. The mural was sponsored by local tee-shirt company, OG Family. The company will be selling tee-shirts of the mural design and all profits from their sale will go to the victims of the El Paso assault.

“It shows that everybody came as a community,” David Barbosa, co-owner of OG Family said of the mural. “For one purpose. That purpose is to show that we’re united no matter what happens. At the end, El Paso is united.”

The mural will also be featured in a music video for local El Paso record label, 915 Records Familia. The rap video will be filmed on September 28th. During the video shoot, a local car show will also take place at the mural’s site bringing together El Paso’s car community, rap community and street art community all in one spot. 

Though the Ramirez Brothers are now getting the credit they deserve for this mural, they were not named by local El Paso media who first reported the new artwork

Twitter / @cassyjernandez1 

In a video first promoting the mural, the brothers were not named as the artists. Instead, they were called “unlikely artists” and “former gang members.” Thankfully, Cassie Hernandez, a family member of the two artists, took to Twitter and credited them for their amazing work. 

In response, Twitter applauded the Ramirez Brothers’ craftsmanship and celebrated the spirit of El Paso’s survivors. 

 Twitter / @braydenbern

This Twitter user called out the attention to detail the artists put into the piece and also credited their commitment to graffiti-style art. The street art style came into popularity in the 1980s with the emergence of hip-hop culture. Cholo-inspired graffiti script especially became a calling card of Latinx communities and their street artists. While street art was once looked down upon, it is now celebrated for the unique and bold art form that it is.  

Many supporters were offended on the Ramirez Brothers’ behalf for the dis by local news. 

 Twitter / @angelitaaaxo

The original news story definitely did a disservice by leaving out the Ramirez Brothers’ names and by calling out any speculative former gang affiliation they might have had. Instead, their work as amazing artists and dedicated members of their community should be commended. There’s nothing “unlikely” about their talent or their love for El Paso.

This mural joins others that have recently gone up in El Paso to honor the victims of mass shootings.

Tweet / @thedailybeast

A mural honoring Joaquin Oliver, a victim of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, was unveiled the day after the tragedy in El Paso. The mural was planned before the Wal-Mart attack so the timing made the new addition to El Paso even more heartbreaking. Local artist Gabe Vasquez also created a mural reading “El Paso Strong” dedicated to the spirit of the border city.

Beto O’Rourke Campaign Launches Spanish-Langauge Twitter Account To Reach The Larger Latino Community

Things That Matter

Beto O’Rourke Campaign Launches Spanish-Langauge Twitter Account To Reach The Larger Latino Community

betoorourke / Instagram

The 2020 presidential campaigns are in full swing and the candidates are all trying to reach as many voters as possible. In that attempt, the Beto O’Rourke campaign has launched a Spanish-language Twitter account. The account, called Beto en español, is brand new and will be live-tweeting O’Rourke’s participation in the Democratic presidential debates tomorrow. Here’s why the O’Rourke campaign decided to address the Spanish speaking community via social media.

Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke is using his platform to reach out to Spanish-speaking voters.

Credit: betoorourke / Instagram

“Beto is committed to going everywhere and talking to everyone, even when their native language is not English,” Claudia Tristán, the director of Latinx messaging for the O’Rourke campaign tells mitú. “He learned Spanish in his native El Paso, a community on the U.S.-Mexico border where many residents are bilingual. As an elected official representing the border, he has always used Spanish to communicate with his constituents, regularly holding town halls, taking questions in both English and Spanish.”

Tristán explains that O’Rourke wants to use the same strategy of his political career to give attention and information to the Spanish-speaking community.

The attacks on the Latino community, both through rhetoric from the Trump administration and the shooting in El Paso, solidified the importance of the campaign to address Spanish-speaking constituents.

Credit: betoorourke / Instagram

“As a native of El Paso, part of the largest bi-national community in the Western Hemisphere, reaching out to and standing up for the Latinx community has been a top priority for Beto throughout his campaign,” Tristán says. “On the trail, he has prioritized meeting with Latinx voters, engaging with Latinx media and is boldly speaking out against the discriminatory attacks President Trump has waged against the Latinx community.  This Twitter account is an extension of Beto’s in-person Spanish-language outreach to voters.”

There are more than 40 million Spanish-speakers living in the U.S. Many of the younger generations are bilingual with parents who rely predominately on Spanish to communicate.

Tristán admits that O’Rourke using Spanish in his speeches is important to her and her family.

Credit: betoorourke / Instagram

“I know for my mom and abuelita it really resonated for them when they heard Beto express solidarity with the community, in their preferred language, that means something,” Tristán recalls after the El Paso shooting. “That is incredibly profound.”

@BetoParaTodos is going to be part of a larger push to utilize O’Rourke’s Spanish to communicate with voters.

“Beto understands that it is an important part in communicating with this vastly diverse community,” Tristán explains. She adds: “Establishing this online communication channel allows Beto and the campaign to regularly and consistently have interactions with voters in Spanish.”

Tristán highlights the candidate’s upbringing in the bilingual and multiracial community of El Paso as shaping his policies and campaign tactics.

Credit: betoorourke / Instagram

O’Rourke grew up in El Paso surrounded by immigrants and eventually went on to represent the community in Congress. His outlook on the world and the future of the country have been influenced and shaped by his experience living in and representing a large and vibrant immigrant community.

“In the wake of one of the deadliest attacks on the Latinx community where hate was brought into his hometown, Beto has redoubled his efforts to call out the hateful, racist rhetoric of Donald Trump, has reinforced his commitment to visiting with people targeted by Trump’s harmful policies, will continue to uplift them and tell their stories,” Tristán says.

As a candidate for the office of President of the United States, O’Rourke wants to uplift the stories of those he has fought for.

Credit: betoorourke / Instagram

“Beto is committed to engaging with the Latinx community in a meaningful way: to listen and show up for them, and demonstrate solidarity at a time where they feel hunted and afraid,” Tristán says. “Beto is not only boldly speaking out against Donald Trump and his racist policies targeting the Latinx community, but is also reaching out to Latinx voters to better address their needs and concerns on a range of issues and in a meaningful way that moves this country forward.”

READ: After The Shooting In El Paso, Beto O’Rourke Calls On Media To Call Out Trump’s Dangerous Rhetoric