Things That Matter

Police Are Looking For Two People Who Attacked An Elotero In Long Beach

Another street vendor has been attacked while working. This time, an elotero in Long Beach was viciously attacked by two people in broad daylight. Police and the community are looking for the two and people in Long Beach want to see justice brought against the attackers.

A vicious attack on an elotero was caught on a Ring camera.

According to KTLA, police are searching for two Black men in their 20s who were caught on camera attacking Bililfo Fernandez. The elotero was pistol-whipped and beaten as the two men stole his property and cash during the senseless and unprovoked attack.

In true American fashion, a GoFundMe was set up to cover the old man’s medical bills.

It is common in the U.S. for GoFundMe pages to be set up to cover medical costs for people who are victims of crime or face unexpected health failures. People can be heard screaming to deter the violent attack but no one intervened to help Fernandez while being attacked.

A GoFundMe set up for the elotero has raised more than $80,000 to help the family.

Credit: GoFundMe

“He is an elotero and goes on his usual routes everyday,” writes his daughter, Erika, who organized the GoFundMe. “He is a very hard working man and known by many.  We had to take him to the Emergency Room so that they could help him and treat him because his injuries were pretty severe. His nose and head were busted open with a gun. My dad does not have insurance.Anything will be very much appreciated to help pay for his medical expenses. During these hard times I am currently not working because of covid, so anything will be a blessing for us.”

People on social media are angered by the two men attacking someone taking care of their family during COVID-19.

Latino families are experiencing the devastating financial impacts of COVID-19. Unemployment was highest among the Latino community than any other group of people in the U.S. during the crisis. This elotero was doing what he could to keep his family afloat during the pandemic and faced violence.

People cant wait for just to be served and Latinos are reminding people that this is not a time to let anti-Blackness fester in the Latino community.

Racism is a real issue in the Latino community. While people are angered at this attack, this is not to be used to generalize against the Black community. These are two bad people who attacked a man for his money and property. If you have any information about the two men in the video attacking Fernandez, call the Long Beack Police Department at (562) 435-6711.

READ: Family Sets Up GoFundMe To Help Paletero In Chicago Retire

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The Second Lady Of Pennsylvania, A Former Undocumented Immigrant From Brazil, Was Attacked And Called The N-Word

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The Second Lady Of Pennsylvania, A Former Undocumented Immigrant From Brazil, Was Attacked And Called The N-Word

Racism knows neither dignity nor bounds and Gisele Barreto Fetterman, the wife of Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor, knows this first hand.

Fetterman, a Brazilian-American activist, philanthropist, and non-profit executive who co-founded 412 Food Rescue and is married to John Fetterman, said that she became the target of a racially-motivated verbal attack over the weekend. Part of the incident, which took place at Fetterman’s local grocery store, was captured on video and has gone viral.

Gisele Barreto Fetterman shared details of the incident on Twitter this past Sunday.

“I love love love this country but we are so deeply divided, I ran to the local grocery store and was met by and verbally assaulted by this woman who repeatedly told me I do not belong here,” Fetterman shared in a tweet that featured the video. The two-second clip shared with Twitter shows an unidentified woman lowering her mask to say, “You’re a n*****,” into Fetterman’s car window.

Fetterman explained in an interview with the Washington Post that the woman in the video had confronted her in the store earlier and pursued her outside of the store later that day.

According to Fetterman’s interview with the Post, the woman told her that she didn’t “belong here.”

“She said, ‘There’s that n-word that Fetterman married. You don’t belong here. No one wants you here. You don’t belong here,’” Fetterman explained in her interview with the Post. “The fact that she was so comfortable and bold to just do it to my face with an audience … that was really scary.”

“I was just kind of frozen in that moment,” she went onto explain. “I was shaking. I was so nervous.”

“The confrontation continued into the parking lot where I was able to finally capture it after the crying winded down,” Fetterman shared on Twitter. “This behavior and this hatred is taught. If you know her, if she is your neighbor or relative, please, please teach her love instead.”

While the woman in the video has yet to be identified, Fetterman told the Post that the incident is now being looked into by state troopers.

Fetterman explained that she called her usual trooper escort after the confrontation and sent them a picture of the woman’s license plate.

Originally from Brazil, Fetterman came to the United States with her mother as an undocumented immigrant as a child. She became a citizen in 2009 is the co-founder of 412 Food Rescue, an organization that provides clothing and food to people in need. Fetterman’s mother came to the United States with a Doctor of Philosophy degree but ultimately took jobs cleaning hotels and houses to make ends meet after she moved to the United States. According to Fetterman, her mother’s pay was often withheld due to her status as an undocumented immigrant. She has never publicly identified as having Black roots.

Of course, Fetterman’s experience is shocking but in recent years has not become unusual, given current leadership

According to reports from the FBI published in 2019, racially-motivated verbal and physical assaults have been on the rise in recent years. No doubt the increase is congruent with Donald Trump’s anti-immigration policies and continued anti-Latino and anti-Black sentiment during his campaign run for president and his time in office.

In 2015, Trump notably launched his presidential campaign with a speech in which he accused Mexicans of being drug dealers, criminals, and rapists.

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Uber Says It May Shutdown In California As It Fights Against Gig Worker Law

Things That Matter

Uber Says It May Shutdown In California As It Fights Against Gig Worker Law

Mark Ralston / Getty Images

Is it possible that you won’t be able to get an Uber or Lyft in California? Well, it’s actually very likely that your apps won’t work much longer. The two companies are threatening to go dark in the Golden State as the two fight back against AB5 – a state law that offers protections to gig economy workers.

Uber says that they’ll need to rethink their entire business model if forced to follow AB5, hence the likely shutdown. But many find it suspicious that the company will be shutting down through the November election, when voters will be asked to vote on Prop 22, a ballot measure that would exempt Lyft and Uber from the new regulations.

An Uber shutdown is looking more likely in California as the company plans its response to new state laws.

All the drama started when California (among some other states) started enacting ‘gig worker’ protection laws that were meant to force companies like Uber to reclassify drivers as employees. Currently, drivers are classified as ‘independent contractors’ and are not eligible to receive any benefits, such as healthcare, retirement plans, and overtime.

Uber moved to limit the impact of that law while also admitting that change was needed to better protect their drivers. Not too long after Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi published an op-ed in The New York Times with the headline “Gig Workers Deserve Better,” a San Francisco judge ruled that Uber and Lyft had to reclassify their drivers as employees within 10 days.

In his ruling, Schulman wrote of Uber and Lyft, “It is high time that they face up to their responsibilities to their workers and to the public.” He rejected the argument that Uber and Lyft are simply technology companies, asserting “drivers are central, not tangential, to Uber and Lyft’s entire ride-hailing business.”

Two days later, Khosrowshahi responded with an ultimatum: If Uber had to abide by California labor law, it would require a business model change so extreme the entire company would have to pull out of the state until November. Which is convenient, since California has an initiative in the November election that would overturn much of the state’s gig economy law.

The shutdown would be used to fight back against a recent gig economy law that Uber says would eat away at profits.

Over the last five years, several states have enacted legislation against Uber and Lyft’s operating methods. The companies have come to rely on a tried and tested playbook: threaten to suspend service in the area. The threat, which the companies would sometimes follow through on, appeared designed to rile up customers and drivers, and put more pressure on lawmakers. And it often worked: look at Austin, TX.

Now, both Uber and Lyft say they are once again considering suspending service to get what they want. They say they may suspend their operations in California as soon as this week while simultaneously pushing for a referendum in November to exempt them from the law, known as AB-5.

Although the pandemic has reduced demand, a shutdown would largely impact Black and Brown communities.

Credit: Mark Ralston / Getty Images

Although the companies are planning on going dark in the next week or so, many industry experts don’t think the shutdown will have the impact they hope for. The pandemic has greatly reduced demand for ride sharing as people are staying at home and many more are working from home.

However, much like the pandemic itself, the shutdown would likely have an outsized impact on Black and Latino communities – two groups who have largely come to reply on the companies for commuting to and from work or school. Several studies have shown that Black and Brown workers make up the majority of ‘essential workers’ – so many don’t enjoy the privilege of working from home.

An Uber or Lyft shutdown would force many of these workers back on to buses and trains, further putting already impacted communities under increased risk for contagion of the virus.

The companies are betting on a November ballot initiative to help bail them out from new regulations.

Credit: Mario Tama / Getty Images

Although a judge has tried to force the companies to follow the law – the legal system may not have the last word. Uber and Lyft are counting on California’s voters to help them circumvent AB5, which went into effect in January and makes it more difficult for companies to use independent contractors. Uber and Lyft built their respective businesses on the concept of using freelance drivers who aren’t eligible for traditional benefits like health insurance and paid leave. 

Earlier this year, the companies, along with DoorDash, raised nearly $100 million to place a question on the November ballot. They succeeded, and this fall, voters will be asked to permanently classify ride-hailing drivers as independent contractors. The measure, called Proposition 22, also directs the companies to adopt certain labor and wage policies that fall short of traditional employment.

To help build support, the companies are turning to their customers. Lyft has taken a very active approach with urging its customers to vote yes on Prop 22 – they’ve emailed them and added pro-Prop 22 messages to the app. Meanwhile, Uber is considering similar tactics to ones the company used in 2015 in New York, when the company added a pop-up feature in its app to troll the mayor of New York City and encourage the company’s customers to pressure him to back off on proposed legislation that could seriously hamper Uber’s growth efforts in the city. It worked, and Mayor Bill de Blasio relented.

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