Things That Matter

Texas Lawmaker Cesar de Leon Has Resigned After Being Recorded Using The N-Word

Cesar de Leon, a city official from Brownsville, Texas, recently sparked a scandal after being caught on tape using racial slurs. Despite calls for his resignation, de Leon says he will remain in his post.

Roughly two weeks ago, an audio recording was leaked featuring Brownsville City Commissioner Cesar de Leon saying the N-word. While the N-word is the most offensive thing that is said on the recording, the entire clip is really disturbing.

The Brownsville Herald reports that de Leon was talking about two black district attorneys who worked for the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office.

“There are a couple of [F-word and N-word] that Luis Saenz is getting, and I don’t know where he is getting them from,” de Leon says in the recording. “They are coming down to my [F-word] city and now they are trying to [F-word] put everybody in jail because they think we are a bunch of Mexicans that hit our wives, which couldn’t be further from the [F-word] truth, but that is how they see us.”

WARNING: Profanity And Strong Language

News Revolt / YouTube

That recording, which was shared on social media, forced Brownsville District Attorney Luis Saenz to comment on de Leon, who works in his office.

“The people of Cameron County expect me to hire the most competent prosecutors that I can find, without regard to their race, and that is what I strive to do. Mr. de Leon’s remarks are very shameful and hurtful,” Saenz said, according to The Brownsville Herald. “It is extremely disappointing that they are made by a lawyer and a representative of the City of Brownsville.”

De Leon did apologize, somewhat, for what he said. He didn’t, however, apologize for actually saying the N-word, only that he the general public had to hear it.

I want to begin by apologizing,” de Leon said in a statement to The Brownsville Herald. “I want to apologize to the citizens of Brownsville or whoever had to listen to those tapes because there is a lot of profane language and that was a private conversation. It was never meant to be public, but it’s very important that people understand that I’m very apologetic.”

Many lawmakers in the city have expressed they want de Leon to resign.

Saenz told NBC affiliate KVEO, “His remarks stand for themselves, speak for themselves. They are racist today, they were racist yesterday, and will be racist tomorrow.”

Veronica Sanders, a Brownsville assistant district attorney that de Leon was referring to in the recording said, according to NBC: “He is not a representation of what Brownsville is or how Brownsville thinks. When you have a person who steps out and says something like that I think it’s time for you to step down.”

On Tuesday night, de Leon addressed the City of Brownsville in a public meeting and said that while he did something terrible, he will not give up his seat.

BPL Social Media / YouTube

“I made a terrible mistake, but please believe, I still stand against injustice, unfair, and unlawful treatment of any American regardless of race, religion, age or social standing. I will not stop honoring my commitment to the people of Brownsville, nor will I back down in my fight for our great community.”

According to the Brownsville Herald, the people that were in the commission chambers – mostly made up of residents of Brownsville – applauded de Leon when he was done speaking.

Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez released a statement when the recording came out saying that de Leon’s hate speech “violates the character of our city.”

“The opinions expressed on the audio recordings do not in any way represent the beliefs or policies of the City of Brownsville or its residents. As Mayor of the great City of Brownsville, I denounce the use of racist language or behaviors. We must not allow these comments to detract from the progress that our residents, city staff and City Commission have made to establish Brownsville as an inclusive, welcoming community that values diversity.”

UPDATE: 

On Friday, October 6, Cesar de Leon submitted a letter of resignation, citing conflicts of interest as his reason for stepping down. “There’s a conflict of interest that has risen between my profession and the commission. Because I’m a practicing attorney conflicts could arise because of the city,” said de Leon to the Brownsville Herald.

READ: Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks SB4 In Texas, But The Fight Is Not Over

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Five Migrant Girls Were Found Left Alone And Abandoned In The Texas Heat

Things That Matter

Five Migrant Girls Were Found Left Alone And Abandoned In The Texas Heat

This past March, according to El Pais, migrants crossed the Rio Grande at an all-time high not seen in the past 15 years. US government reports underlined that a total of 171,000 people arrived at the southern border of the United States in March. Eleven percent were minors who made the journey by themselves.

Reports say that this vulnerable group will continue to grow in size with recent shifts in the Biden administration child immigration policies. Five migrants girls recently found by the river recently became part of this group.

An onion farmer in Quemado recently reported that he found five migrant girls on his land.

The girls were each under the age of seven, the youngest was too small to even walk. Three of the girls are thought to be from Honduras, the other two are believed to have come from Guatemala.​ Jimmy Hobbs, the farmer who found the girls, said that he called the Border Patrol gave the children aid by giving them water and food and putting them in the shade.

“I don’t think they would have made it if I hadn’t found them,” Hobbs told US Rep. Tony Gonzalez (R-Texas) in a New York Post. “Because it got up to 103 yesterday.”

“My thoughts are that it needs to stop right now. There are going to be thousands. This is just five miles of the Rio Grande,” Hobbs’ wife added in their conversation with Gonzalez. “That’s a huge border. This is happening all up and down it. It can’t go on. It’s gonna be too hot. There’ll be a lot of deaths, a lot of suffering.” 

“It is heartbreaking to find such small children fending for themselves in the middle of nowhere,” Chief Border Patrol Agent Austin Skero II explained of the situation in an interview with ABC 7 Eyewitness News. “Unfortunately this happens far too often now. If not for our community and law enforcement partners, these little girls could have faced the more than 100-degree temperatures with no help.”

According to reports, the Customs and Border Protection stated that the five girls​ ​will be processed and placed in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services.​

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Iowa Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Hate Crime Charges After Running Over Latino and Black Children With Her Car

Things That Matter

Iowa Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Hate Crime Charges After Running Over Latino and Black Children With Her Car

Photo: Polk County Jail via Associated Press

On Wednesday, an Iowa woman pled guilty to federal hate crime charges. The woman, 43-year-old Nicole Poole Franklin, intentionally hit a 12-year-old Black boy and a 14-year-old Latina with her car in 2019. The charges include two counts of violating the U.S Hate Crime Act, as Poole Franklin intended to kill the victims because of their ethnicity.

Nicole Poole Franklin admitted to authorities that she targeted the girl because she thought she looked “Mexican”. She thought the boy was an Islamic terrorist.

As part of her defense, Poole Franklin is claiming that she suffers from schizophrenia and PTSD. Since her arrest, she admitted to police officers that she smoked meth before going on her hate-filled rampage.

The incident, which happened in December of 2019, struck fear into the hearts of communities of color in Des Moines, Iowa, where the hate crimes took place. “Anytime things happen to any minority, people are concerned about what happened,” said Joe Gonzalez, the executive director of Latino Resources Inc. in Iowa. “It was a horrific thing and people were concerned — especially people of color.”

When Nicole Poole Franklin ran over the children, she injured the boy’s leg. The girl, Natalia Miranda, was knocked unconscious and hospitalized for two days.

Natalia Miranda was walking to junior high school on December 9, 2019, when Poole Franklin ran her down on the side walk. Miranda was unconscious for 40 minutes before she woke up and walked to school, where she alerted the authorities.

Natalia Miranda says she remembers the car speeding towards her, but she doesn’t remember being hit. “I was in the hospital and I tried moving, and I couldn’t get out of my bed,” the 14-year-old told KCCI. “Sitting up was the worst pain I’ve ever felt.”

As of now, prosecutors are recommending that Nicole Poole Franklin serve 27 years behind bars.

Poole Franklin is also looking at two charges of attempted murder–both of which could carry up to 25 years each. Prosecutors are recommending that she serves all of the jailtime–state and federal–at the same time.

Here’s to hoping that the justice system does what is right and puts Nicole Poole Franklin behind bars for a long time–if only to save the lives of innocent children of color whose only crime is walking down the street.

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