Things That Matter

The Latino Community Overlaps With Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Identity And We Need To Support That Community

Many of us have rallied behind the youngest Latina ever to be elected to Congress. We’ve lambasted critics who pick apart what car her tía drives, what lipstick she wears, and her Spanish accent. Supporting strong women of color in politics does matter because they are under far more scrutiny than any other politician whose views might align with our own.

For Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, the magnifying glass is arguably worse than for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. While Ilhan Omar’s ideology is most closely similar to AOC than of any other Congressperson to date, Omar is receiving death threats on a daily basis.

To fight against systemic oppression and racism towards Latinos and to ignore the Islamophobia and racism facing Rep. Ilhan Omar would be hypocritical.

@chadloder / Twitter

That’s why AOC supporters should stand with Rep. Ilhan Omar. Here are some reasons why the first Somali-American woman in Congress needs the support of other communities under fire by the current administration.

Her primary offense is that she’s a strong, black Muslim woman in Congress.

@MPower_Change / Twitter

Omar is the first refugee to be elected to Congress and she’s working to combat systemic Islamophobia in this country. Her campaign path to election rode on tearing down Trump’s Muslim ban. She’s not loved by the GOP.

During a speech, Omar defended her religion against the nationwide presumption that an entire religion is responsible for the actions of extremists.

@realdonaldtrump / Twitter

She was speaking to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), when she said, “Far too long we [Muslims] have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen, and frankly, I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it.”

The horrible thing Omar said was that “CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”

Then, The New York Post published this on their front page:

@seanhannity / Twitter

Fox News personality Sean Hannity tweeted it out, as a means to persuade the public that Rep. Omar was downplaying the tragedy of 9/11. Conservative outlets are trying to tout that Omar doesn’t consider the event a terrorist attack. ????

Then, the President of the United States tweeted out this:

@realdonaldtrump / Twitter

It was a video stitched together of Omar saying “some people did something” with horrific footage of 9/11, along with the caption, “WE WILL NEVER FORGET!”

“Since the President’s tweet Friday evening, I have experienced an increase in direct threats on my life — many directly referencing or replying to the President’s video.”

@ScottDAngelo / Twitter

One man has been arrested for a credible death threat to the Congresswoman and hundreds of Twitter users have directly tweeted unspeakable threats to her. The Anaheim chapter of CAIR has also since received a bomb threat.

Several Democrats have rejected Omar’s financial contributions to their campaigns.

@lucymcbath / Twitter

Georgia Rep. Lucy McBath rejected a $2,000 donation that was made on March 27. North Carolina’s 9th congressional district candidate Dan McCready even refunded $2,000 to Omar because of her “divisiveness.”

Some Twitter users noted that they wouldn’t be supporting McBath or McCready’s campaigns any longer.

The New York Times has published several pieces against the Congresswoman.

@tomscocca / Twitter

She got into some trouble in February for saying “money talks” in regards to the U.S.’s favor of the state of Israel in regards to its occupation of Palestine.

Rep. Omar’s supporters are calling out her critics.

@tomscocca / Twitter

The New York Times opinion piece entirely misquoted Omar as an effort to bring her down with one clause in a sentence. Critics are tweeting things like, “Ilhan Omar becomes the first Congressperson to refer to 9/11 as ‘some people did something.’ Unbelievable.”

The double standard for a black Muslim woman versus a rich, white male celebrity is appalling.

@RyanHillMI / Twitter

The country is in an uproar over Ilhan saying “some people did something” when POTUS called Charlottesville Nazis “some very fine people.” We cannot forget that the president of the United States also called himself a proud nationalist.

Minnesotans are rallying together to show their support for the Congresswoman.

@OrganizingWomen / Twitter

The attacks she’s experienced by the right are completely disproportional to what she has said, especially given the rhetoric of the president, who has sided with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Many feel this is just another example of how strong women of color are overly criticized.

AOC tweeted out this reminder for us all to support Omar:

@AOC / Twitter

If we, as Latinos, don’t come through to support Omar as she faces dog whistle racist remarks from our President, then how can we expect any non-Latinos to speak out against putting brown children in cages?

Omar is a living, breathing example of how Islamophobia derides any effort for Muslims to regain first-class citizen status.

Omar was simply speaking to her experience with unjustified islamophobia.

@AOC / Twitter

Nobody will ever forget what happened on September 11, 2001. It’s a tragedy has become part of our collective American consciousness.

There’s no question that America wrongly turned to our fellow Muslim Americans with suspicion and even violent hatred. Media began this islamophobic stereotype that Muslim values cannot align with American values and that Muslims are inherently un-American.

Democratic Presidential Candidate Julián Castro has publicly sided with Omar.

@juliancastro / Twitter

In a tweet, Castro firmly spoke out against Omar’s attackers:

“I am grateful for @IlhanMN‘s courage and leadership and I stand with her – and with others targeted by the President’s anti-Muslim rhetoric.”

“It is not anti-Semitic to be critical of a right-wing government in Israel.”

@DemSocialists / Twitter

During the #BernieTownHall on Fox News, Democratic Presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, defended Ilhan against the incessant attacks she’s received in her short term. Bernie Sanders has cracked open the taboo subject of Israeli President Netanyahu’s occupation of Palestine by telling Intercept that he would cut US aid to Israel if the injustice continued.

An entire Presidential candidate is proof that you can be Jewish and stand with Omar.

@BernieSanders / Twitter

Trump has no qualms about his tweet. He told reporters that Omar has “a way about her that’s very, very bad, I think, for our country. She’s extremely unpatriotic and extremely disrespectful to our country.”

If that’s not a dog whistle we don’t know what is.

Jewish organizations have voiced their support for Omar.

@jewishaction / Twitter

We are all entitled to speak about our experience of racism and fight to change the status quo. All this has prompted tweets like this one from POTUS:

“Before Nancy, who has lost all control of Congress and is getting nothing done, decides to defend her leader, Rep. Omar, she should look at the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and ungrateful U.S. HATE statements Omar has made. She is out of control, except for her control of Nancy!”

Amidst all this, Omar has officially introduced the No Ban Act to Congress.

@MuslimAdvocates / Twitter

In Omar’s own words, “I ran on a promise to end the president’s hateful effort to ban a single religion from entering this country. Last week, I introduced the #NoBanAct to finally end this discrimination.”

Omar may arguably be putting her life in more danger, but won’t back down from protecting Muslims in the U.S.

@IlhanMN / Twitter

“This country was founded on the ideas of justice, of liberty, of the pursuit of happiness,” she tweeted. “But these core beliefs are under threat. Each and every day. We are under threat by an administration that would rather cage children than pass comprehensive immigration reform.”

We stand with you, Rep. Omar.

@AdalahJustice / Twitter

“I did not run for Congress to be silent. I did not run for Congress to sit on the sidelines. I ran because I believed it was time to restore moral clarity and courage to Congress. To fight and to defend our democracy,” she tweeted.

Thank you for your service.

READ: AOC Has Made Roasting Her Twitter Trolls And Haters An Art Form And We’re Mesmerized

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AOC Gets Under Ted Cruz’s Skin With Crack About His Mexican Getaway After He Accuses Her Of Pushing For ‘open borders’

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AOC Gets Under Ted Cruz’s Skin With Crack About His Mexican Getaway After He Accuses Her Of Pushing For ‘open borders’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ted Cruz are at it again on Twitter. This time it’s about immigration policy. After recently traveling to the US-Mexican border to underline the recent rise in immigration, Cruz accused AOC of pushing for a “full open borders” policy.

And of course, AOC got him with some solid zingers.

AOC in turn hit back at Cruz for recently fleeing his home state of Texas during its power grid collapse to vacation in Cancún.

In response to Cruz’s attack, AOC suggested Mexico avoid allowing Cruz in the next time he attempts to vacation there. She also called on him to resign from office for his attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

“Ted, this is pretty rich coming from someone who fled their own home (and responsibilities) during an environmental crisis to cross the border and seek refuge in Mexico,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “Also you funded cages, expanded cages, and yet you’re complaining about cages. You have no policy, just puff.”

Ocasio-Cortez accused Republicans of hypocritically attacking the current administration’s detention of migrant children at the border after they supported President Donald Trump’s policy of separating migrant parents from their children.

Currently, Democrats like AOC are calling on Biden to impliment more liberal immigration policies.

Republicans have strongly expressed their dislike for the recent rise in migrants which has come as a result of Biden’s reversal of Trump’s most rigid border policies.

AOC is currently a co-sponsor of the Roadmap to Freedom resolution. The resolution calls on the Federal Government to develop and implement a Roadmap to Freedom “in order to overhaul the outdated immigration system in the United States that has gone without significant reform for decades, and to relieve the great human impact an unjust system bears on communities around the country.”

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9 Films, Docs and Series About Latinas to Watch Before Women’s History Month Comes to an End

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9 Films, Docs and Series About Latinas to Watch Before Women’s History Month Comes to an End

Whether you want to celebrate Women’s History Month with a movie night or appreciate media about powerful mujeres year-round, you’re probably looking for a few films, documentaries or TV series to add to your streaming queue right now. Regrettably (and shamefully), most of the lists cropping on entertainment news sites don’t feature projects made for, by or about Latinas. With that in mind, we’ve put together some titles centering narratives about Latina trailblazers and heroines from Latin American and U.S. history. So clear your weekend cal and purchase all of your fave movie theater snacks, because you can watch (most of) these films, documentaries and series right from your computer screen.

1. Dolores

If you’re looking for documentaries about Latina heroines, start with Dolores, the 2017 film about the life and activism of Chicana labor union activist Dolores Huerta. The doc, executive produced by Carlos Santana and Benjamin Bratt, and directed by Bratt’s brother, Peter, delves into how the 90-year-old co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (later named the United Farm Workers), her famous “Sí se puede” rallying cry and her role in the women’s rights movement. Including interviews with Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and more, Dolores celebrates the history and ongoing activism of one of the country’s most critical civil rights leaders. Watch Dolores on Amazon Prime.

2. Isabel: The Intimate Story Of Isabel Allende

Isabel: The Intimate Story Of Isabel Allende, a three-part docuseries about the famed Chilean author and feminist, is one of the most exciting new drops. The HBO Max series, directed by Rodrigo Bazaes, premiered on March 12, just in time for Women’s History Month. Like all good biopics, Isabel reveals the person behind the icon, portraying Allende’s path from a young woman fighting her way into a male-dominated industry to the most-read Spanish-language author of all time. As the niece of assassinated Chilean President Salvador Allende, the series also gets political, bringing light to her life under the regime of General Augusto Pinochet as well as her own feminist activism. Watch Isabel on HBO Max.

3. Knock Down the House

Knock Down the House portrays the political rise of a Latina icon in the making: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. While the 2019 documentary by Rachel Lears revolves around the 2018 congressional primary campaigns of four progressive women, Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Vilela, Cori Bush and Paula Jean Swearengin, the Puerto Rican now-congresswoman is the only one who wins her race (though Bush won in the next election cycle) and thus much of the film focuses on her story. A first-time candidate with a passion for social justice, a degree in international relations and economics, and a job in bartending, the doc shows how a regular, degular, shmegular girl from the Bronx unseated one of the most powerful Democrats in Congress with a progressive platform and a focus on community. Watch Knock Down the House on Netflix.

4. Lorena: Light-Footed Woman

In 2017, María Lorena Ramírez’s name made international headlines when the young woman defeated 500 other runners from 12 different countries at the Ultra Trail Cerro Rojo in Puebla, Mexico. Ramírez didn’t just stand out because of her speed but also because she ran without professional gear. Instead, she donned the traditional clothes of the Tarahumara, Indigenous people in Chihuahua, Mexico, including a floral skirt and a pair of huaraches. Capturing the world’s attention, Ramírez became the focus of the 2019 documentary Lorena: Light-Footed Woman, which was directed by Juan Carlos Rulfo. The short doc beautifully tells the tale of a young woman’s athletic training in the mountains where she grew up to become a celebrated long-distance runner while staying true to her culture and traditions. Lorena: Light-Footed Woman is streaming on Netflix.

5. Berta Didn’t Die, She Multiplied!

In Honduras, the most dangerous country in the world for land defenders, Berta Cáceres’ life was taken because of her commitment to the environmental justice struggle. Back in the Central American country, Berta’s assassination hasn’t been forgotten and neither has her fight. The 2017 short doc Berta Didn’t Die, She Multiplied!, directed by Sam Vinal, shows how her work lives on among Indigenous Lenca and Afro-Indigenous Garifuna people of Honduras, who continue to struggle against capitalism, patriarchy, racism and homophobia, for our land and our water. Watch Berta Didn’t Die, She Multiplied! on Vimeo.

6. Celia

Celia reveals the story of one of the most powerful voices and greatest icons of Latin music, Afro-Cubana salsera Celia Cruz. The Spanish-language novela, produced by Fox Telecolombia for RCN Televisión and Telemundo, starts at the beginning, when Cruz was an aspiring singer in Havana, and takes viewers through to her time joining La Sonora Matancera, leaving her homeland with her would-be husband Pedro Knight and gaining massive superstardom as the “Queen of Salsa.” Watch Celia on AppleTV+.

7. Beauties of the Night

In the first half of the 20th century, showgirls dominated the entertainment scene in Latin America. Their glamorous looks and luxe performances were enjoyed by audiences of all ages and genders. But around the 1970s, as VHS pornos took off, these scantily clad talents started to lose work and, as a result, their lucrative incomes. Oftentimes, these women came from low-income backgrounds and didn’t have a formal education, forcing many of the vedettes to also feel like they’ve lost their sense of purpose and impelling some to take on work they didn’t feel good about in order to stay afloat in the industry. In Beauties of the Night, directed by María José Cuevas, we see some of Mexico and South America’s leading showgirls, Olga Breeskin, Lyn May, Rossy Mendoza, Wanda Seux and Princesa Yamal, and how their lives transformed as the work they were once famous for lost its reverence. Watch Beauties of the Night on Netflix.

8. Frida

The 2002 biographical drama film Frida shares the professional and private life of one of the most famous woman artists of all time, Frida Kahlo. Directed by Julie Taymor and starring Salma Hayek, the Academy Award-nominated film touches on many aspects of the late Mexican artist and feminist’s life, from her life-altering accident in 1922 and her tumultuous relationship with muralist Diego Rivera to her bisexual identity, political affiliations and, of course, her time-defying art and self portraits. Watch Frida on Amazon Prime.

9. Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It


With a career spanning 70 years, Rita Moreno is one of the most famous and beloved actresses of all time. The only Latina to have won all four major annual U.S. entertainment awards, an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony, her own life is certainly worthy of a film; and in 2021, director Mariem Pérez Riera gave the Puerto Rican star what she deserves with Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It. The documentary, which premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival on January 29, 2021, features interviews with Moreno, Eva Longoria, Gloria Estefan, Normal Lear, Whoopi Goldberg and more. More than just a celebration of all the barriers Moreno broke, the film also delves into her personal life, including the racism she endured on her road to stardom, the sexual violence she experienced in Hollywood, her struggle with mental health and suicidal ideation and her fight for multidimensional roles for people of color. While Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided To Go For It isn’t streaming yet, it is set to air on PBS’ American Masters later this year.

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