Things That Matter

Meryl Streep’s Nephew Faces Felony Assault Charges After Violent Road Rage Incident Where He Attacked Latino Teen; Teen Claims Streep is ‘Racist’

Photos: via 7davinho/Instagram; GoFundMe

Meryl Streep’s nephew, Charles Harrison Streep, faces felony assault charges after a violent road rage altercation gave a Latino teen permanent brain damage.

The teen, whose name is David Peralta, 18, claims that Streep is “racist” and hurled racial slurs at him before attacking him in a Chase Bank parking lot in East Hampton, New York, on August 24th. Peralta’s family hails from Ecuador but he has lived in the U.S. all his life.

According to Peralta, the altercation began when Streep allegedly ran a stop sign and almost hit Peralta’s car.

Photo: via GoFundMe

Surveillance video obtained by The Daily Mail (which can be seen here) shows the two men pulling into a parking lot and appearing to exchange words out their car windows. The footage then shows Peralta getting out of his car. Streep exits his car and quickly approaches Peralta. Peralta puts his hands up in a defensive position and Streep appears to attack him.

Peralta–who was a high school wrestler–responds by grasping Streep, lifting him up, and throwing him to the ground. Streep quickly gets up and begins to strangle Peralta, lifting him up in the air in turn and throwing his body to the ground, where he begins to drag his apparently unconscious body. Streep then leaves Peralta on the ground before getting into his car and driving away.

Peralta claims that before Streep attacked him, he made racist remarks about him.

“He starts coming at me, pushing me,” Peralta recounted to The Daily Mail. “[Streep] said: ”You’re just Spanish I’m going to slam you to the ground…” Peralta says after that, he went unconscious.

In the video, Peralta stands up after the assault, holding his head and appearing dazed. According to court documents, he refused medical attention at the scene. It was only later that he was airlifted to the nearby hospital. When he arrived at the hospital, he was told that he had a brain bleed that could lead to permanent brain damage or even death. He then went into emergency surgery.

According to Peralta’s family, the teen was forced to drop out of school, where he had been studying criminal justice.

Photo: via 7davinho/Instagram

“He is staying in his room. He doesn’t want to go out,” Peralta’s mother told The East Hampton Star. “He is sad. His life is not easy now. He’s frustrated because his life changed.”

Three days after the incident, Streep was arrested on charges of second-degree assault and second-degree strangulation. Streep’s lawyers insist that it was Peralta who was the aggressor, but the footage clearly shows Streep initiating first contact.

“The level of violence is really shocking,” Peralta’s lawyer told The New York Post. “For him to take this young man’s limp body, after he had choked him unconscious and slam him on the ground…it just rises to the level of obscenity in my view.”

The East Hampton community has rallied around Peralta, with a group of his supporters appearing at the court hearing on October 8th. Streep, it should be noted, was a no-show. One of Peralta’s supporters was Alexandria Preston, 27, who believes the incident is racially motivated.

“This can easily just be viewed as just a road rage incident, or just an incident happening within the Latino community,” she told The East Hampton Star. “But no, it’s a racial incident, and it’s systemic racism.”

Another supporter told the East Hampton Star that Streep is the prime example of what unchecked privilege can do to a person. “This is a man who represents an ill in our community here of ultra-rich people, of ultra-famous names, who feels that he is above the law,” said the woman.

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They Made Fun Of Her Accent During A Zoom Meeting But This Latina Councilwoman Clapped Back With Pride

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They Made Fun Of Her Accent During A Zoom Meeting But This Latina Councilwoman Clapped Back With Pride

Cheryl Diaz Meyer / Getty Images

Have you ever not spoken up out of fear for how people might judge your accent? Or maybe you’ve heard racial comments about how your abuelos or your tías speak?

Well, one Latina councilwoman knows exactly how so many of us feel after having experienced racist comments during a Zoom meeting on racial injustice amid her community’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout. But instead of remaining silent, she is urging anyone with an accent, especially Latinos in her community, to speak up and wear it with pride.

A chat about racism led to racist comments about Navarro’s accent.

A Maryland county was hosting a virtual meeting the racial disparities taking place amid the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, when two people giggled and mocked the accent of the county’s only Latina councilmembers.

During the, Nancy Navarro, a member of the Montgomery County Council, spoke passionately about the county’s coronavirus vaccine rollout, which she said is failing people of color. According to CDC data, Maryland ranks near the bottom when it comes to getting vaccines in people’s arms.

“For me personally, I’ve always had this interesting dilemma in my years of public service, which has been this bizarre disconnect in terms of who we are in Montgomery County,” Navarro, the first Latina and the only woman serving on the council, said. “We’re still perceived as a totally, we’re like some other hologram of a county that doesn’t look anything like who we actually are.” 

As Navarro spoke, there was some chatter and laughter in the background — two people who apparently thought they were muted were talking about Navarro’s accent. 

“I love how her accent comes out and pronounces words like she thinks they’re pronounced,” one person said, specifically calling out the way Navarro pronounced the words “represent” and “hologram.”

Navarro spoke up and urged anyone with an accent to wear it with pride.

Navarro wasn’t aware that the incident had happened until two staff members notified her of that the employees had said in the background.

“What happened to me on Tuesday was not an isolated incident, it fits a pattern of microaggressions and racist acts that wittingly and unwittingly make the workplace, and by extension, our community spaces hostile spaces for people of color,” Navarro told CBS News.

“Make no mistake, these dysfunctions are deeply ingrained in our county and in our country, racism has become a public health crisis,” Navarro added. “What hurt was that these employees are part of our team, charged with working daily with a diverse team of Council members and staff on initiatives that require a sensitivity to and respect for racial and ethnic differences.”

Since the incident happened, Navarro is urging Latino immigrants with a Spanish accent to “wear it with pride and keep moving forward.”

Navarro’s story is one that so many of us can relate to.

Like so many of us, our friends, and our family, Navarro’s story is one that is widely reflected in our community. She was born in Venezuela but came to the U.S. with her family when she was 10. Her family eventually returned to Venezuela but Navarro came back to the U.S. for college and moved to Maryland with her husband, where they’ve lived since the 1990s. Her story is 100% American.

Navarro hopes that this incident will drive people to consider the impact of their words and actions. And, ultimately, she hopes the council will strengthen its efforts to hire a staff that reflects the diversity in its community.

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Six Dr. Seuss Books Are Being Pulled From Publication Due To Racist Imagery

Things That Matter

Six Dr. Seuss Books Are Being Pulled From Publication Due To Racist Imagery

Vince Bucci / Getty

Don’t call it a total cancellation.

Dr. Seuss Enterprises has made the decision of their own accord to no longer publish or license six of the books written and illustrated by the writer Theodor Seuss “Ted” Geisel. The American children’s author who passed away in 1991 was also a political cartoonist, illustrator, poet, animator, and filmmaker. His first children’s book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street (1937), and his book  If I Ran the Zoo (1950) are among the books being pulled as a result of racist and insensitive imagery.

On Tuesday, Dr. Seuss Enterprises shared a statement on their website explaining their decision to cancel the publication of the books.

Citing the four other books including McElligot’s Pool (1947), Scrambled Eggs Super! (1953), On Beyond Zebra! (1955) and The Cat’s Quizzer (1976) the company explained that they came to the decision citing the fact that they each “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.”

“Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ catalog represents and supports all communities and families,” explained the statement.

Dr. Seuss Enterprises is a company that, according to Time Magazine, works to preserve and protect “the legacy of the late author and illustrator, who died in 1991 at the age of 87, also noted in the statement that the decision was made over the past year with a panel of experts, including educators, academics, and specialists in the field, who reviewed the catalog of titles.”

Children’s books by Dr. Seuss have long been considered a classic contribution to children’s literature.

The books’ colorful and fun illustrations and rhymes are still to this day instantly recognizable. Recently, however, the writer’s work has been re-examined and scrutinized for racial caricatures and stereotypes. This is especially when it comes to the depictions of Black and Asian people. Many have also pointed out that before he was known as Dr. Seusss, Geisel’s work had been strongly criticized for “drawing WWII cartoons that used racist slurs and imagery, as well as writing and producing a minstrel show in college, where he performed in blackface—a form of entertainment that some children’s literature experts point to as the inspiration for Geisel’s most famous character, the Cat in the Hat.”

Dr. Seuss Enterprises’s announcement of their decision to pull these books coincided with the anniversary of the writer’s birthday.

Geisel’s birthday coincidentally comes at the same time as National Education Association’s Read Across America Day, which has long been attached to his books,

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