“Don’t ever forget that immigrants built the United States of America.”
At this year’s third annual Latin American Music Awards, Cuban-American rapper Pitbull was awarded the Dick Clark Achievement Award. Dick Clark was the founder of the American Music Awards and was known for his phenomenal passion, commitment and dedication to the entertainment industry. In remembrance of Clark, the award recognizes artists who not only work hard in the studio, but use their platform to help those in need. Enrique Iglesias got down on one knee as he presented the award to Pitbull. The move got a huge pop of applause but it was Pitbull’s acceptance speech that resulted in a standing ovation.
Pitbull began his speech by thanking Dick Clark and the people who helped him get out of the streets, including one of his teachers, Hope Martinez — someone who believed in him when nobody else did. Pitbull then used his time on the stage to talk about the natural disasters that have affected people around the world. “I want to motivate them and inspire them to stay strong. To rebuild even stronger,” said Pitbull. Toward the end of his speech, Pitbull also sent out a message to immigrants in the United States: “We gotta stay strong and we gotta fight, so that the United States of America stays the United States of America, not the divided States of America.” Finally, Pitbull dedicated his award to all of the soldiers who are “out there fighting for us so that we can enjoy this thing we call freedom.”
After his speech, Pitbull fans took to his social media accounts to express their appreciation.
CREDIT: @PITBULL / INSTAGRAM
Watch the full segment, which includes a performance with Fifth Harmony, below:
Latinos are suffering harder economic downfalls because of Covid-19. Latinos have disproportionately been laid off and experienced pay cuts as businesses closed because of the pandemic. Pitbull teamed up with Priceline and Hello Alice to give Latino owned small businesses an emergency grant.
Pitbull is teaming up with two organizations to give money to Latino owned small businesses.
The program is aimed at giving businesses up to $10,000 to keep their businesses open. Latino unemployment in the U.S. is 18.9 percent because of Covid-19. That means that 4 million, or 1 in every 5 Latinos, is currently unemployed because of the virus.
Latinos are currently experiencing the worst economic loss to the community since the Great Recession.
The Latino and Black communities have born the brunt of the economic ups and downs of the U.S. economy. The current unemployment statistics are the worst for Latinos since the Great Recession. During that time, Latinos lost 66 percent of their wealth. The novel coronavirus has exposed the precarious economic state of the Latino community in an economy with stagnant wages yet rising costs of living.
In February, the Latino unemployment rate was 4.4 percent.
President Trump has bragged about the unemployment rate for the Latino and Black populations. Latinas are the largest and fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S. and the pandemic has hit the community hard. Pitbull’s program could help to keep those entrepreneurs afloat.
Businesses can be awarded up to $10,000. The reason for financial help is more than unemployment. Organizers of the fund also point to the number of Latino businesses that were denied funding through the federal government.
“We found out the centers for responsible lending said that 91% of all Latino applicants of government Phase one funding got rejected. Secondly, the sectors that can’t work from home. ‘You can’t be a waiter at home there are no customers,’” Jeff Hoffman, founder of Priceline, told CBS Miami.
Hoffman added: “A competitor before, are now your friends. Reach out to those businesses near you talk to those people ask what ideas work for them and what resources they can share and we’ll figure this out together.”
On Monday morning, Emma Valentina Hernandez, 9, enjoyed a hearty breakfast, passed her back-to-school physical and spent the afternoon riding her bike in her Detroit neighborhood. That’s when three dogs, described as pit bulls by the police, attacked her in an alley. One of her neighbors heard her screaming and ran to the alley where she laid. Emma’s neighbors all tried to help save her, one even fired a gun and shot one of the dogs.
Her father, Armando, performed CPR on the scene. Today, he says he feels ’empty’ after paramedics were unable to save her. Emma died from her injuries.
Emma Hernandez’s family describes her as “a smart and silly girl… a beautiful soul inside and out.”
Emma leaves behind two brothers, ages 12 and 4, who will be returning to the Academy of the Americas without her next week. They’re currently with their abuela in Detroit while their parents grieve.
Just one week before Emma’s death, Armando got into a fight with the dogs’ owner over the inadequate fence enclosure.
He told Detroit News that he had warned the owner that his yard fence, the one his dogs eventually lept over to attack Emma, was too flimsy. Neighbors told the outlet that they had filed police reports about the dogs, who seemed too skinny, and were roaming the neighborhood freely.
The dog’s owner is in custody, and the dogs are likely going to be euthanized.
While a bullet didn’t stop the attack, a cement brick was finally enough to scare the dogs away.
“I went and grabbed a brick and threw it right at the dog,” neighbor Edward Cruz told CNN affiliate WXYZ. “They all ran and I stood next to the girl to make sure she was OK and I yelled out for help.”
That’s when Deborah Golden heard the screaming and ran to find Emma laying on her back with bite marks on her neck.
A neighbor quickly called on Armando to come help his daughter. Around the corner from his house, Emma laid in a pool of blood, with Golden performing CPR. Armando applied pressure to the wounds in her neck to help stop the bleeding. The injuries were too severe to be recovered from, and she died at the hospital.
Emma’s injuries were so appalling, counseling services were offered to emergency responders.
Detroit Police Department Captain Russel Solano told CNN affiliate WDIV, “It’s hard for me not to cry. It’s tough, real tough. We’re talking about a 9-year-old girl who was just out there playing, and now she’s not here.”
“This is her neighborhood. She should be able to be free,” tía and godmother to Emma, Claudia Stapleton told WDIV.
“This is her neighborhood. She should be able to be free and do what every kid does — walk around, ride their bikes — they shouldn’t be afraid to be in their own neighborhood,” Claudia said, holding a photo of Emma in front of her family’s home and memorial. “This is just very devastating. Very, very hurtful for this family.”
A Detroit millionaire has helped raise nearly $50k for Emma’s funeral costs in less than 24 hours.
Claudia was on her way to the cemetery to help the family understand the funeral costs for her niece when a friend called to let her know that the funeral was paid for. Founder of The Blight Authority, Bill Pulte, shared the GoFundMe link. A few hours later, he tweeted again, to assure the family that he would personally make sure the family doesn’t have to pay for the funeral.
A warrant is pending for the dogs’ owners but has not been issued.
The Detroit police are handling the investigation, and Detroit Police Chief James Craig is not mincing words in getting justice for Emma. “Certainly the owner has a responsibility when they have violent animals that those animals are to be secure at all times,” Craig said in a press conference Tuesday morning. “I believe that, and if you can’t secure the animal, you shouldn’t have the animal — period, not open for conversation.”
While many sympathizers for Emma have taken to Twitter to call for murder charges against the owner, the prosecutor’s office has not disclosed what charges they are considering.